QC community raises awareness about Pakistan floods


Arissa Khan

PV’s Muslim Student Association ran a henna booth at Pleasant Valley Highschool’s homecoming carnival in order to collect proceeds for flood relief.

Rupika Jai Ganesh, Feature Editor

Since the start of monsoon season in June, over one-third of Pakistan has been submerged underwater, while the rest of the country faces substantial damages. 

The 2022 Pakistan floods are the deadliest and severest floods in the country’s history and the country is struggling to combat its effects. The death toll and displacement rate continue to rise each day. 

The torrential rainfall is a result of the established climate crisis. Despite Pakistan itself emitting very low carbon, the large amounts of carbon emissions produced by neighboring countries are damaging Pakistan’s climate and environment. 

The flooding and landslides have destroyed large amounts of farmland and livestock and so far, Pakistan has suffered over $10 billion in damages. 

Climate activist and a Pakistani civilian aid Imran Lodhi described what he saw in Pakistan in an interview with NPR. “I see hundreds and thousands of people, helpless people. I see a complete blackout in this area…There is no electricity here, and there is no internet connectivity. People are trying to call for help. The water level has gone down a bit. But the problem is it has already submerged hundreds of villages in this area, and people are out of their homes,” Lodhi said.

However, relief efforts by both the Pakistani government and civilians are ongoing and have been largely helpful. Global assistance from the US, China and the EU is expected to arrive soon. These relief efforts help by providing shelter, food and medicine to those in need. 

Many in the Quad Cities have been actively trying to raise awareness and help those affected by the floods as well. 

Senior Arissa Khan is one of those people. Khan along with PV’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) have been fundrasing for Pakistan. “I lead the Muslim Student Association in creating a henna booth fundraiser to raise money for the floods at the homecoming carnival. We made posters and a slideshow that talked about the different hardships that the people of Pakistan are facing as a result of the floods.” Khan stated. 

Although the Quad Cities is miles away from Pakistan, spreading awareness and trying to help is crucial and beneficial in times of need and Khan recognizes that. 

“It’s a problem more people should be aware of locally. For one, there’s not a lot of national coverage in the media, between tropical storm Fiona, the Queen of England, and a whole slew of other things. It’s hard to get solid international support for humanitarian efforts like these, especially when it’s so easy to just push it to the backs of our minds and forget about it. That’s why focused and supported local efforts are so important; they are able to provide a concentrated flow of information and relief backed by real life interactions.” said Khan. 

The resources available to those who live internationally, like Khan, are much more ample than the resources available to the civilian population of Pakistan. It’s important for those who can to amplify the voices and assist those in need, especially when they are unable to. 

Junior Maira Dar is also apart of PV’s MSA and feels the same way as Khan. “I absolutely feel as though more people should be aware about the circumstances in Pakistan as so many lives are being taken, over 1 million homes have been destroyed, people are starving and there are new concerns of waterborne disease. I would say being in the US the way we are able to help is to donate so those organizations can continue their relief effort” Dar stated. 

Khan and Dar effectively and productively used social media and interacted with the local PV community in order to garner attention to the cause, spread facts and raise awareness and money. They raised $300, which was $100 more than their goal.

Pakistan is in a grave state. With increased political turmoil and economic damage, assistance from every corner of the world is necessary in order to help restore peace in Pakistan.