Here are some edited extracts from reports filed by Rotarian Eb Friedrich, a Senior Disaster Aid Australia Response Team [DART] member. Eb is a member of the Rotary Club of Woodend [Vic.]
Monday 4 Oct
We went to ILAP offices yesterday to introduce ourselves … then drove to Mardan … viewed all the boxes in warehouse … too late to get into the field as we had to be back early to be picked up as guests of the Rotary Club of Rawalpindi … we were surprised by the reception … large bunches of flowers and engraved plaques for each of us … they outlined their clubs response to the floods and we briefed them on what we are doing … they are especially keen on SkyJuice. Heading off to Charrsadda this morning and the real work of distributing boxes will begin … they are anticipating the arrival of other containers … Rotarians want to take us out to dinner tonight.
Tuesday 5 Oct
Very busy day … drove to Charsadda … met Relief Camps project Manager for ILAP … spent some time and cups of tea with District Commissioner to organise security … everything takes time, discussion … and cups of tea … once security organised … proceeded to Tangi Town where 20 tents were set up … access was difficult with very poor roads … about another 30 – 40 min drive from Charsadda.
Whilst in Charsadda Police Compound, a father presented his 5yo child seeking our assistance … the child had a recent lower abdominal wound operation for peritonitis … she had an open wound with protruding small bowel covered by a filthy bandage … (we) cleaned the wound area antiseptically and dressed the wound with sterile dressings we carried … father took child to Charsadda hospital where we offered to pay for treatment.
Proceeded to Tangi town to a settlement on the banks of the Swat river … much destruction of homes … ILAP volunteers did a great job putting up and recording tents and family details … organized a ride for a Tangi town boy with seriously infected finger to go to Tangi hospital … before leaving Charsadda we looked into how the girl was doing in the hospital … unfortunately nothing could be done for her there, she needed surgery … we offered to pay for the girl to have surgery in Islamabad … the father and mother were reluctant … more discussions ensured with an ever swelling crowd and 50 people giving advice … in the meantime the media got wind of the story and I had television crews and newspaper reports converging for a story … we explained what we were doing and how we offered assistance after being approached by the girl’s father … after an hour of discussion parents decided not to allow us to take the girl to more appropriate medical facilities … sadly, without immediate surgery she will die … looks like the story will run in local press and TV … certainly builds tremendous goodwill amongst locals.
At 2000 hours just as we got back we had to prepare for Rotary Club of Ralwapindi who were taking us out to dinner … again overwhelming kindness … met the Prime Minister’s head of security and a professional newspaper photographer … there are more stories appearing in local press about Disaster Aid International … I will give a presentation to Rotary District Assembly meeting on 17 Oct in Pershawer.