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Oxfam provides 100,000 people with clean water

Oxfam provides 100,000 people with clean water

August 3, 2010

Less than a week into the crisis, Oxfam is delivering clean water to almost 100,000 people made homeless by catastrophic flooding in Pakistan.

“We are providing water purification sachets to people who are reduced to drinking from ponds and dirty standing water," said Oxfam country director Neva Khan. "At the same time, we are training people on how to clean the water and how to stay as hygienic as possible in such a chaotic and dangerous environment."

To date, Oxfam has:

o Supported evacuation using boats
o Set up of camps and providing cooked meals twice a day
o Provided safe drinking water to 24,000 people through tankering 220,000 litres of water.
o Restored two water schemes through provision of fuel and back-up generator, serving 28,000 people
o Rehabilitated one gravity flow water supply scheme serving 3,500 individuals
o Distributed 195 Oxfam buckets along with a week’s supply of water purification sachets to 195 families, representing 1,365 individuals

In Punjab Province, Oxfam has deployed emergency boats to assist government search and rescue efforts, which have so far evacuated 54,000 people to safety.

"People are sheltering in schools, living in makeshift shelters or being hosted by families whose homes are still standing," Khan said. "In the worst-hit areas everyone is struggling to find clean drinking water and food. Oxfam is providing clean water to people who have lost everything."

Oxfam is appealing for $US6 million to help people get through the immediate days and weeks and to boost recovery over the long-term. The agency is also planning to provide emergency latrines, hygiene kits to help people who have lost everything in the floods, as well cooked food and cash for work.

Oxfam has rehabilitated four water systems by repairing pipes or providing fuel to pumps – these simple measures have provided clean water for four villages or 56,000 people.

Oxfam is tankering water to those who have been stranded or displaced. For four days we have been making four to six daily trips to 14 different locations reaching 39,200 people per day with drinking water.

Water quality is very important so Oxfam is treating the water with chlorine and in Swat Valley in Northern Pakistan it is using a water treatment plant.

“We had contingency supplies in country so were able to respond very quickly but lack of electricity is causing us real problems," Khan said. "We’re not able to pump water off the mains so have supplied generators and are doing quick fix repairs to water systems that have been destroyed.”

For more information: Contact Karen Palmer, cell: 613 240 3047

Notes to the editor:

Oxfam staff are available for interview on the ground in the affected area.
Oxfam has been working in Pakistan since 1973. We support local partners and work with government authorities to improve the livelihoods of those living in poverty, and provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by disasters and conflict.

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