Response to Emergencies
RCDS has always been at the forefront to help the brethren in distress during and after the catastrophes and emergency situations. It has always come to the rescue of the affected communities. Be it the floods devastating floods of 2010 or the floods caused by unforgiving rains in 2014, RCDS has never compromised over the safety, early recovery and reconstruction and rehabilitation of the affected communities.
Leaving behind unforeseen trails of destruction, the on-going flood 2014 were the fifth in series of floods after floods in 1973, 1988, 1992 and 2010. The downpours come at the very end of the monsoon season, and its severity was restricted to the Himalayan region of Kashmir. Much of this water was fed into the Chenab River, sending down its worst floods since 1992. The people that had colonized those parts of the river-bed that had turned dry over the last two decades were the most affected by these latest deluges. Multan region had been the focal point of the most recent relief and rescue operations, with thousands of people evacuated from low-lying land along the river. One of Pakistan's largest cities surrounded by vast tracts of agricultural land and is one of the country's major cotton producers, Multan city remained safe but its adjoining areas were submerged. Total 150 km area of Multan was hit by flood waters especially tehsil Multan,Shujabad, Jalalpur and Peerwala and total number of villages 196 severely damaged. In this area total 85714 households were damaged. RCDS immediately diverted funds from its own resources and dispatched a team comprising professionals for early recovery and assessment of damages and immediate relief supplies in Multan region.
The RCDS team of professionals reached Multan and started work on baseline data collection. It initially conducted meeting with officials from the government line departments, assistant commissioner and district health officer with the purpose of information sharing and detailed presentation regarding RCDS working in the Punjab. The essence of the RCDS work is that it always works in collaboration with the government line departments. It was proposed by the RCDS team that initially they get the information regarding key points of affected people along the bank of the river. The assistant commissioner provided extraordinary support to the RCDS team in this connection and nominated focal persons for this purpose. Local government representatives provided complete details regarding flood affectees camps locations and the number of households living in these camps. In the light of the data, the RCDS team decided to provide health facilities to the flood affected people in Langrial Chaardevari and established medical camp equipped with basic healthcare services. As many as 160 households were shifted to these camps. They were facing shortage of necessities of life including food items, medical care and potable water, which RCDS provided to them. RCDS provided health facilities 1550 patients including women and children, and distributed 1385 bags of ration among affected communities. In 2010 floods, RCDS, with the financial support of Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, distributed agri packages among 9,179 beneficiaries' households with an estimated population of 64,253 persons including men, women and children. The compound feed was distributed among 1,993 households having estimated population of 13,951. RCDS had also established health camps which benefitted 2,000 households. The cash for watercourses programme benefitted 420 households having population of 2,940. The length of these watercourses was 30,350 meters with total command area of 1,265 acres.
Before the distribution of agri inputs, comprehensive sessions were arranged at every union council level. Communities were guided about the tilling time, sowing and using exact time of the fertilizers and then about the watering time so as to get optimum yield. In this way, a package consisting of fertilizers and seeds was distributed among 9,179 households comprising of 64,253 population. RCDS intervened in six revenue villages, and more than 80 settlements of four union councils falling within the jurisdiction of tehsils Layyah and Karore Lal Eisin. The challenging job for RCDS was to complete the task of six months only in two months but with the effective planning and implementation it was materialized. The staff without time limitation worked hard in the communities. A total number 900 of agri packages were distributed among 900 vulnerable households. One hundred households were given goats (two each), among which 15 were men and 85 women who had no permanent income source. In the same way, 50 households were provided with the poultry packages for the restoration of livelihood. This includes six men and 44 women. Cash grant component was too much complicated task in view of transparency. Total cash grants were 70; out of which 48 men and 22 women beneficiaries availed of the facility. As many as four tube wells were rehabilitated benefitting 164 households and irrigating 304 acres of land.