Finally on the road to Hyderabad! It is two weeks after the flooding in Sindh province began and I am here to support the Pakistan Red Crescent Society with their water and sanitation response. I was in Pakistan following last year’s floods – which ended up as the worst disaster in the country’s history – but was in Islamabad coordinating the massive response. I never had the opportunity to go to the field and really see the extent of the damage and needs of the people. This time I will be on the front line.
I am excited and find it hard to stop looking out the window of the car on the road from Karachi to Hyderabad, waiting to witness the scenes of endless flood waters that have been on the news. Unfortunately, roadblocks on the highway delay us and it starts to get dark. It seems we won’t be able to make it to our original destination of Mirpurkhas by sunset. I feel slightly deflated that we will need to wait another day and anxious that every delay could have an effect on people impacted by the floods.
We head to a hotel in Hyderabad and start to pass through foot deep water in our 4WD. Gradually the water gets deeper and deeper until the whole street is a swimming pool of water. This water was to last the entire three days that I was staying at the hotel. I am shocked to see the lack of drainage in the streets in Hyderabad. Later that night at the hotel, the sounds of drumming and loud music ring throughout the hotel lobby and I am surprised to see a full Pakistani wedding taking place with about 100 people. How did they get into the hotel through the flood waters? Life, it seems, goes on.