Pakistan floods: Scenes Deborah will never forget

12:56 21 September 2010

Pakistan.

Pakistan.

Bill Kotsatos

Care International worker, from Gittisham, describes her three-week stay in flood-hit territory.

Deborah Underdown, 2010, Nowshera. Flood waters are still present and some people told us that their homes are still submerged under four feet of water.

STRIKING images of devastation and tragedy confronted an East Devon woman when she arrived in Pakistan to help with flood relief efforts.

Charity worker Deborah Underdown, 27, says she is unlikely to ever forget the disaster scenes, after spending three weeks based in Islamabad.

The press officer for Care International had her stay in Pakistan extended by a week.

“There was so much work for me to do there,” she said.

“I was helping our Islamabad office deal with media enquiries.”

She took American, Australian and German journalists, including two film crews, to flood-hit areas.

The Australians were taken to the Swat Valley.

“We went to one area and it was strange, because you could see the tents we had provided on the right and a village six feet under water on the left,” said Deborah, of Gittisham.

“Some of the tents were pitched on a graveyard and young children were playing among the gravestones.

“Other children were swimming in dirty, stagnant water, which probably contained dead livestock and bodies of missing people.

“The children had nothing else to do.

“Some were swimming back to their former homes, trying to retrieve things, but they couldn’t salvage much.

“The power of the flood water knocked down buildings and belongings were washed miles and miles away.”

Deborah said: “It is hard to comprehend that, in one day, a person’s life could change so much.

“Much of the Swat Valley is still cut off, because bridges were swept away.

“I went there to deliver aid and it got to a point when you had to walk.

“We were distributing tents, kitchen sets and hygiene kits. Some of the people we gave them to had walked for four or five hours.”

The most touching moment of Deborah’s visit to Pakistan was when she met a young teenager, who could speak a little English.

He said: “I am not sad about losing my house. I am just sad because I lost my brother.”

Deborah learned the boy’s brother had been swept away while rescuing a young child.

“It is not just the physical things they have lost,” said Deborah.

“I am still supporting our Islamabad office from here, in London, and we are still raising money.

“Around 20 million people have been affected by the floods and eight million are homeless over a massive area of Pakistan.

“We will need to be looking at long-term needs. There is so much more needed than that initial life-saving assistance.

“Our work in Pakistan is going to continue for a long time.”

l Find out more about Care International by visiting www.careinternational.org.uk

1 comment

  • Deborah's story is such an inspiration, she is a brave, courageous lady. You have inspired me to donate to the flood appeal - thank you.

    Report this comment

    leepster

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 14:41

It’s ‘Flashback Friday’ and we found these pictures of Topsham station in the Exmouth Journal archives.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30

Mindless vandals sprayed graffiti on a live animal on a farm near Exmouth.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:02

Devon saw an increase in Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants during December – with East Devon recording the highest increase of any district.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30

A family has publicly thanked Devon Air Ambulance paramedics for saving their eight-year-old son’s life after his scooter tore his windpipe in a freak accident on Exmouth seafront.

Read more
Thu, 15:46

The number of recorded crimes in three out of four Exmouth neighbourhoods rose year-on-year in 2016, according to figures released by Devon and Cornwall Police.

Read more
Thu, 11:26

County planners have been asked to approve the long-awaited completion of Dinan Way at a meeting next Wednesday (January 25).

Read more
Thu, 06:30

The amount claimed in expenses by East Devon MP Sir Hugo Swire during the last financial year has been revealed.

Read more
Wed, 13:52

This stunning view will become the outdoor ‘office’ for the new East Devon Pebblebed Heaths’ conservation manager

Read more
Wed, 12:30

The hunt is on to recruit two new local youths to sign up for the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) course.

Read more
Wed, 10:28

An ‘unprecedented’ disaster that has left a lasting legacy in East Devon

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 2°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications