“Where there is will there is way” these were the sentiments of Mr. Obhayo Panhwar-President and Ms. Hamida President-Vice President Union Council Disaster Management Committee (UCDMC) Union Council (UC) Abdullah Shah of district Badin. A committee is comprised on 30 members including 13 women representing whole UC. It has taken different initiatives with collective action at grassroots level in disaster management and have also supported people in need through different sources.
UCDMC is intervention of HANDS Oxfam aiming at to work with communities (especially women) to build understanding, knowledge and skills to prepare for, adapt to and mitigate climate and disasters risks. empowering and make them resilient to disaster through capacity building and engaging them in developing disaster risk management plans.
UCDMC has always tackled disaster issues of UC on top priority, in UCDMC meeting held on March 14, 2020 they discussed in detail regarding locust and decided precautionary measure to be taken in case of locust appeared in the union council Abdullah Shah.
In pandemic situation of COVID-19, UCDMC observed that hundreds of people of district Badin have been remained jobless due lockdown announced by government. It came in action and arranged fast food for 350 families for 15 days who were dependant on daily wages and those who were dependent on begging. This arrangement was done from its local donation and support from philanthropists. In addition to this UCDMC coordinated with EBS Karachi and have provide ration bags to 985 families in Badin city giving priority to widow, PWD and daily wages labour.
The major contribution of UCDMC in COVID-19 is provide alternate livelihood opportunities to labour force of district Badin working in mills/industries at Karachi, and hotel, shops, workshop at Badin. For this purpose UCDMCs has conducted series of meetings with landlords in Badin to accommodate jobless labour in agriculture activities. These meeting were conducted with Shaikh Kashif, Syed Raza Shah, Mustafa Panhwar, Hassan Khor, Mir Muhammad Panhwar, Allah Dino Jeandani and Ramzan Panhwar. In the result of meeting 64 labour were engaged with landlords as peasant in agriculture land and 108 labour were in engaged on daily wages on-farm activities i.e. tomato, sunflower and okra picking, wheat harvesting etch. Apart of this, UDMC has provided a complete set up biryani along with cart to Gamshad Ali who was working on hotel at Karachi and lost his job due to lockdown.
Comments from beneficiaries
Ghamshad who is earning money through biryani cart shared that, on returned back from Karachi, I feed my family for few days from saved money and searched for daily labor but couldn’t find. Thus with end of saved money there was no food on that time for children it was miserable condition. On that crucial situation, I contacted with sister Hameeda and Obhayo Panhwar of UCDMC with reference of one of my friend. I found UCDMC very supportive and caring, they have arranged biryani cart for survival, I sell 02 (Deg) on daily basis and saved around 1200-1500 per day. I am more than happy with support which has made easy my life and survival of family.
Muhammad Bachal was working at hotel at Karachi is engaged as peasant (crop sharing holder) with landlord Mustafa Panhwar. He has grown cotton crop, he shared in his views that, “UCDMC is blessing for deprived human being of the area. It has resolved my survival issue otherwise it was hard to survive in this crucial situation”
Muhammad Moosa Mallah was working as labour and lost his job, he is engaged as labour with landlord Syed Raza Muhammad Shah, he shared that, “no one was agree to support or to give loan for food arrangement and it was difficult to arrange food for family, Sister Hameeda and Qabeer Ahmed Jamali of UCDM has supported and engaged me with landlord and provided me the opportunity to survive.