Water, water all around but not a drop to drink

Another major crisis is unfolding in Pakistan's north west, which

    Those people who had electricity during the heavy downpour were able to watch images of people clinging for life against the force of water.

    Their only chance of survival was to hold on to barbed wires as others watched helplessly - many not knowing what to do.

    One old man raised his finger towards the sky and said, "If the present leadership stayed in power for just one more year the wrath of Allah will be upon us all".

    Desperate and strong words, but coming from the depths of a mortal heart.

    After years of military rule, the representatives they happily sent into the provincial and national assemblies are now the target of much anger.

    Meanwhile, it did not matter what happened on the ground as the president prepared to fly to London and Paris amidst strong criticism from both the people and the political leadership that at the time of such an emergency the president should call off his trip.

    Within minutes, the loyal advisor and close confident and presidential spokesman for President Zardari said there was a conspiracy to sabotage the president's visit as if it were a crime to question.

    Major crisis unfolding

    Politics aside, there is a major crisis unfolding in the North West and one that could threaten anarchy and discontent.

    People are still waiting on the mountaintops and on the rooftops of their inundated homes. Water is all over the place but there is no drinking water available. The rainwater has mixed with the sewers and brought with it dead bodies and livestock. The force of the water has turned shrubs and trees to pulp, a layer of it floating over the brown muddy waters and bringing with it sediment and silt.

    Time and again this country has suffered many a calamity but after sixty years of independence and after so many unfortunate disasters the people are poorly trained to deal with disasters. 

    Despite the urgent need for organising and training the masses to cope with crises the emphasis is on entertainment. Most television stations are showing talk shows in which the political leadership is making a fool of itself. The shows have become amusement for the people who see it more as a soap opera.

    Many are inaudible because they all speak at the top of their voices but are not willing to listen to the other. One man described it as a voice wrestling atch, with no holds barred: "Where are they now when we need them?"

    The United Nations estimates that a million people have been affected in the North West frontier province alone. The fear is that there are more rains forecast for the region and people will have to act fast if they are to minimise casualties.

    The leaders were here when they needed the votes but are nowhere to be seen now that their voters are drowning.


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