I just saw footage of the rains in the North – the situation is getting worse. When you send relief goods, please concentrate on the weather conditions there – we now need waterproof tents more than ever. Since tents are apparently all sold out in the metropolitans of Pakistan, I suggest people buy Scotchprints – the material used to make billboards. An 8×10 foot sheet of scotchprint costs between Rs. 1000-2000. If you buy two of those, they can be rigged together to make a small tent. Scotchprints can be purchased from Tariq Road [I cannot remember the actual shop right now, will post details when I get the information] – all those who work in advertising agencies, please ask your companies to send discarded billboards to the affected areas – Nestle did the same a few days back.

In related news, we have the following update from Dawn on how the relief goods will be sent via mules:

Helicopters from around the world have formed the backbone of efforts to help remote corners of quake-hit Pakistan, but when they go home relief officials say mules will take their place. Without the choppers the aid effort after the quake that killed at least 38,000 people would never have got off the ground. The bigger choppers ferry supplies to main towns like devastated Muzaffarabad and rush casualties back to the capital Islamabad — 500 on Friday alone. The smaller ones drop food, blankets and tents to the crushed hamlets that litter the valleys of the quake zone, and evacuate thousands of often critically injured survivors. But the helicopters are vulnerable to weather — and that is about to turn for the worse. Besides, time will come when the foreign fleet will go home. In that event, mules will ultimately bear the burden for getting supplies up twisting paths to cut-off villages. “They are capable of reaching the parts machines cannot reach,” said a Pakistani army spokesman. Mules have already begun to lug heavy loads to isolated villages near Balakot. “It is a very technical business, loading a mule, and how much they can carry depends on how old they are, their size, a lot of factors.î “Yet there are some far-flung areas that are even too steep for mules, and when that happens it will come down to humans themselves. “Our soldiers are ready to hike to the villages the mules can’t get to, and we know that local people will also help. We have no other choice.”

1 Comment so far

  1. Hasan Jafri (unregistered) on October 17th, 2005 @ 8:47 am

    I am a journalist and working on a story on how Pakistanis are helping the vicitms of the earthquake. I live overseas and have found your blog one of the most informative on the situation. Is it possible we can have a quick chat on how you – and other Pakistanis – are helping things along. I can be reached at hasan.jafri@dowjones.com
    hope to hear from you soon…

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