Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

Video: nuclear testing

November 20, 2010 Leave a comment

The only surviving color photograph of the &qu...

The only surviving color photograph of the "Trinity" explosion. Photo by Jack Aeby...

Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project‘s “Trinity” test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan‘s nuclear tests in May of 1998. This leaves out North Korea‘s two alleged nuclear tests in this past decade (the legitimacy of both of which is not 100% clear).

Each nation gets a blip and a flashing dot on the map whenever they detonate a nuclear weapon, with a running tally kept on the top and bottom bars of the screen. Hashimoto, who began the project in 2003, says that he created it with the goal of showing”the fear and folly of nuclear weapons.” It starts really slow — if you want to see real action, skip ahead to 1962 or so — but the buildup becomes overwhelming.



Karachi CID building hit by huge explosion

November 11, 2010 1 comment

11 November 2010 Last updated at 11:47 ET

A Pakistani paramilitary soldier and volunteer help an injured man at a bomb blast site in Karachi The blast took place in the busy evening rush-hour

An attack on anti-terrorist police headquarters in Pakistan‘s largest city, Karachi, has left 15 dead and 30 injured.

The suspected car bomb exploded outside the police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) building, reducing parts of it to a pile of rubble.

TV footage showed bloodied victims being taken away on stretchers.

An eyewitness quoted by AP news agency said the blast had left a crater 3m (10ft) wide.


One witness told the BBC that he had heard gunfire before the explosion.

“I was playing tennis across the road at the Karachi Club when I heard gunshots and then a huge blast,” said Ali Zaidi.

“Everyone started panicking and running toward the changing rooms. Some of my friends have been injured and have been taken to hospital.”

The site of the blast is not far from the Sindh province chief minister’s residence, opposite the Sheraton hotel in the south of the city.


Other buildings close by were badly damaged in the blast, which shattered windows within a two-mile radius.

The blast took place in the evening rush hour as the city was busy with people leaving work.

No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but the Taliban have been behind a number of similar attacks on police and army compounds in recent years.

Pakistan’s commercial capital has a history of violence with sectarian disputes between majority Sunni and minority Shia Muslims regularly flaring.

Karachi has also seen a spate of shootings in recent years, some of them sectarian, which have left many dead. Ethnic divisions are also re-emerging.


The Definition of Insanity

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Sunday 07 November 2010

by: Barry Eisler, t r u t h o u t | Op-ed

(Photo: The National Guard)

Last month, the Washington Post published an op-ed by Jack Devine, former CIA deputy director of operations and chief of the CIA Afghan Task Force. When I read it, I thought it was perhaps the most insane op-ed I’d ever come across. But leave it to David Broder, “Dean of the Washington Press Corps,” to try to one-up it just three weeks later.

Let’s take Devine’s piece first. Devine argues that our top priority in Afghanistan must be capturing or killing bin Laden. Devine asks, “We have entered into two problematic wars and have expended a great deal of blood and treasure since Sept. 11. What was it all about, if not capturing bin Laden?”

I think I know now why invading Iraq was “problematic.” You see, bin Laden wasn’t in Iraq. No wonder we can’t find the guy.

But wait a minute. Back in 2002, when the Bush administration was selling America on the benefits of invading Iraq, it was all about WMDs and mushroom clouds as smoking guns. When it turned out there were no WMDs, the Bush administration realized the war was actually about building a stable democracy in the Middle East. Now that the new, improved rationale has itself turned to ashes, Devine offers the silliest and most ahistorical yet: we invaded Iraq to capture bin Laden. The good news – for Devine – is that, if you accept his premise, capturing or killing bin Laden will mean we’ve won in Iraq.

If only that meant we’d be leaving Iraq, it might redeem Devine’s bizarre claim. But it doesn’t.

Devine’s reasoning degenerates further as he plows on. He argues that if “elements within the Pakistani government [are] an impediment to [bin Laden’s] capture, we should forget about nation-building in Afghanistan and, like Sherman marching across Georgia during the Civil War, march our army across eastern Afghanistan, pressing forward even into Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier, and continue the march until we capture him.”

Let’s put this a little more plainly. Devine is proposing that if Pakistan thwarts us, we should destroy Afghanistan.

If we were talking about individuals, I believe Devine’s approach would be known as executing a hostage. At the national level, I don’t know how to describe a threat to destroy Country A in order to punish Country B, other than to call it state terrorism. Sherman’s March, after all, otherwise known as a “scorched earth” campaign, otherwise known as “total war,” was a campaign of infrastructure destruction intended to break the South’s will to fight. It involved the annihilation of railroads, bridges, farms and manufacturing infrastructure. Sherman’s army provided for itself by taking whatever it needed from the southern farms it pillaged and destroyed. This was called “foraging.”

This is what Devine urges we do to Afghanistan. To punish Pakistan. At least when Sherman did it, he was destroying the territory of the population whose will the North sought to break.

But wait, as the Ginsu commercial used to say – there’s still more! Devine doesn’t want the US army to do a Sherman’s March across Afghanistan only. He wants the army to “press forward” into Pakistan and “continue the march” until we capture bin Laden. I’d like to think that, if bin Laden doesn’t turn up during the march (maybe he’s in Iraq after all?), our armies would stop marching before they invaded India or China. But Devine doesn’t say, and because he seems enamored of the notion of destroying one country to punish another, one is left to wonder.

One of my favorite aspects of Devine’s piece is his linguistic dexterity. Not once does he use the word “invade” or any derivation thereof. Instead, we will simply “march” and “press forward” and “continue.” Euphemisms, Orwellian doublespeak, and other such mealymouthedness are hallmarks of this species of op-ed because they serve to conceal the naked brutality of the author’s proposal. It would be much more difficult for the Devines of the world to call for “destroying” or “invading” Pakistan, or “burning it to the ground.” Orwell wrote masterfully about this style of obfuscation in his essay “Politics and the English Language.”

In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.

The Orwellianisms get thicker as Devine goes on, so thick that one senses the judgment they’re most effectively suppressing is his own. “We should advise the Pakistani government of our intention in no uncertain terms” means we should threaten to invade and destroy the country. In response to this threat, Pakistani officials would “surely fuss,” which doesn’t sound like all that much (babies fuss, right? and they never hurt anyone) until you consider that Pakistan has nuclear weapons. Anyway, Devine soothes us, Pakistani officials also “fussed” in response to a recent uptick in Predator drone attacks. Which is extremely reassuring for anyone who believes Pakistan’s reaction to covert drone strikes is a reliable predictor of how the country would respond to an overt invasion with the explicit aim of destroying it.

If any of this sounds worrisome to you, fear not: “it’s a pretty good bet that we would have bin Laden’s head on a platter before we got anywhere near the Pakistani border.” It’s good to know we would only be destroying Afghanistan and wouldn’t have to “continue” any further, because for a moment, I had this nagging sense that our invasions of even non-nuclear-armed countries have sometimes gone not precisely in accordance with the predictions of invasion cheerleaders. And look, Devine isn’t a complete madman. He acknowledges that “this is not traditionally how we deal with important allies, and it is not a formula for routine diplomatic discourse.” Prudent of him to place a restraining hand on any hotheads out there who would argue for the efficacy of applying his model to other nuclear-armed allies, like Britain or France. He recognizes, after all, that these are “exceptional circumstances,” but notes that, in exceptional circumstances, “hardball is called for” – “hardball” being the traditionally favored nomenclature for threats to invade and destroy nuclear-armed, allied nations.

Finally, sensitive always that some nervous nelly might be reading his piece, he reassures readers that “I also suspect the fallout would be far less damaging and more ephemeral than many might suggest.” Amusing use of the word “fallout” under the circumstances, though I’m reasonably confident Devine didn’t intend the effect. The main thing to remember is that our threat to destroy Afghanistan and invade and destroy Pakistan, and the invasion and destruction itself, would be ephemeral, as such operations historically always are. Really, the worst that might happen from Pakistani fussing is that we could get our hair mussed.

Just in case you got overly giddy at the prospect of laying waste to two countries, Devine brings it all into focus again, reminding us that the whole thing is just about bin Laden, because “putting him to rest would provide a truly meaningful rationale for leaving” (I love that euphemism, “putting him to rest.” It’s almost kind). He even acknowledges that “the most recent publicly available intelligence reports show that there are few al-Qaeda terrorists remaining in the region; many have moved elsewhere, including to Yemen.”

So Devine wants to lay waste to at least two countries, one of them an ally and nuclear-armed, not even in pursuit of al Qaeda, but merely in pursuit of a single man. Seems like a sensible, proportionate plan to me. Anyway, what could possibly go wrong?

And now, Broder.

There’s less to say about Broder’s piece, but only because he expresses his insanity more succinctly than does Devine. First, he lays out his premise: war and peace are the only forces influencing the economy that the president can control. Second, his evidence: World War II resolved the Great Depression. Finally, his slam dunk conclusion: Obama should take America to war with Iran (Congressional declarations of war are so pre-9/11) because war with Iran will improve America’s economy.

There are several things I love about Broder’s piece.

First, I love the euphemisms. Like Devine, Broder would never be so gauche and unsophisticated as to use a word like “invasion” to describe an invasion, and we should pause for a moment in recognition of the talent it takes to pen a whole op-ed about invading a country without once mentioning an actual invasion. Instead, Broder argues for “challenging Iran’s ambition” and “orchestrating a showdown” and “confronting the threat” and “containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.” None of that sounds so bad, does it? I admit I’d feel a little better if Broder could reassure me, as Devine does, that Iran wouldn’t “fuss” overly much in response, and that it’s a “good bet” the whole thing would never happen anyway, or, if it does, that the effects would be “ephemeral,” but given that the chief effect of invading Iran would almost certainly be nothing more than an economic uptick, perhaps such reassurances would be redundant.

Another part I love is the traditional boilerplate disclaimer: “I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected.” This is such a nimble dodge that I really think we should honor the mind behind it by calling such mealymouthedness “Broderian.” You see, Broder doesn’t suggest that the president “incite” a war only because Broder has already done such splendid work in inciting it himself.

Broder spends his whole article calculating the politics that will be in play in 2012, argues that “orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs … will help [Obama] politically,” and concludes that an invasion of Iran will be good for the US economy. Then he assures us in his last paragraph, almost as a weird afterthought, that, hey, it’s not all about the economy and politics, that we should remember too that “Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century.” Oh, and that if Obama invades Iran, he “will have made the world safer and may be regarded as one of the most successful presidents in history.”

Is there a benefit an invasion of Iran wouldn’t achieve? Broder seems to have covered everything he could think of: improve the economy, political gain to the president, good for national security, good for non-proliferation, historical icon status for the president. Incite? When food is as tasty, abundant and nutritious as Broder’s promises – and he’s done such fine work in stoking appetites – diners don’t need to be incited. They’ll be knocking down the restaurant doors.

Still, let no one suggest that Broder wants war to be “incited.” That would be crass and unfair. After all, he explicitly says he is not calling for incitement, and in the complicated, sophisticated business of calling for war in an op-ed, it’s understood that the one-line disclaimer trumps everything else in the op-ed itself. Or at least that’s how it works on the TV shows the Broders of the world get invited on after the wars actually begin, at which point everyone (most of all, the op-ed writer himself) has forgotten everything else he wrote, and the writer gets to waive his disclaimer like a bank robber holding a bundle of loot in one hand and a get-out-jail-free card in the other.

But my favorite part of the whole thing is Broder’s argument itself: war is good for the economy. You know what I’m going to say, right? It’s so stunningly obvious, I know I don’t need to. Still:

We’ve been at war in Afghanistan since 2001. In Iraq since 2003. Broder’s own paper reports that we have covert forces operating in 75 countries. And in the midst of all this warfare, our economy plunged into what has become widely known as the Great Recession.

But in the mind of David Broder, none of this is relevant. Our trillion dollar deficit and 13 trillion dollar national debt don’t even exist. Bloodshed and death don’t even merit a casual mention. He skips past all of it, past the Cold War, Vietnam, and Korea, too, to locate a historically unique instance of a global recession meeting a global war, then uses it to argue that war is ipso facto good for the economy.

You could argue that all the wars we’ve been waging for the last decade didn’t cause the recession. But even if all that war hasn’t hurt the economy, it’s a hell of a logical leap to suggest that one more war would cause economic improvement. And yet that’s precisely what Broder argues.

No one wants to be called a warmonger, and certainly no one ever cops to the charge. But when someone demonstrates this much ability to ignore glaringly obvious evidence that utterly undercuts his rationale for war, when he blithely ticks off numerous imagined benefits of war and not once mentions blood – not even the blood of his countrymen – as part of his calculus, it’s fair to ask if the person in question might be suffering from a morbid attachment to war itself.

What Broder is calling for is so insane, and so potentially destructive, that the personal disgrace he ought to feel for having suggested it is nearly beside the point. Still, I wish someone would take him gently by the arm and lead him into a quiet retirement before he embarrasses himself further, or, worse, gets someone to actually take him seriously. Given the lineup on the Post’s op-ed page, however, and given that Broder’s piece provides such a perfect companion to Devine’s, I expect Broder will be around for as long as the lunatics are running the asylum.

Do you think my references to insanity are too much? I use them deliberately. Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Have another look at Devine’s and Broder’s pieces, and tell me these men are other than by definition insane.

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Karachi plane crash apparently due to ‘human error’, says expert

November 6, 2010 1 comment

PIA aircraft parked at Terminal 1

PIA aircraft


Big News (ANI)     Saturday 6th November, 2010


A human error appears to be the cause behind the twin-engined Beech 1900 aircraft crash in Karachi on Friday, a source in the aviation industry has said.

“It seems the plane crashed because of a human error,” The News quoted the source, as saying, on the condition of anonymity.

“When one engine of a plane stops working properly because of a technical fault, the pilot puts it on FEATHER, which means the engine is zeroed,” he explained.

“Only a non-functional engine is, however, put on FEATHER and if the other engine is also put on FEATHER by mistake, the aircraft loses balance as well as thrust,” the source added.

The source recalled that the pilot of Flight 688 of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) had committed the same mistake, and had put the functioning engine on FEATHER. The Fokker aircraft of the PIA had crashed in Multan on July 10, 2006.

It seems that the pilot of Beech 1900 aircraft of JS Air, a private charter firm, too committed the same mistake and in panic put the functional engine of the twin-engine plane on FEATHER, the source believed.

“The facts about the crash will, however, be ascertained by the inquiry into the incident and the situation would become clearer after the inquiry report is made public,” he added.

A chartered aircraft, carrying staff from an Italian oil company- ENI, had crashed minutes after its take-off from the Jinnah Airport in Karachi on Friday, killing all 21 people on board. The pilot of the twin-engined turboprop operated by JS Air had reported engine trouble before the plane nose-dived near a military depot in a Karachi suburb.

The source pointed out that pilots of various private airlines have insufficient experience and in some cases the pilots do not have to their credit flight hours mandatory for flying a passenger aircraft. He was of the opinion that various small private firms induct inexperienced pilots to save money.

“The pilots lacking the required experience to fly a plane are always vulnerable to panic in case of an emergency and are most likely to take any wrong step, which can result in a fatal accident,” he said. (ANI)


12 militants killed in Pakistan attack

October 31, 2010 Leave a comment

A Pakistani soldier, file photo
At least 12 militants have been killed and six others injured in a Pakistani military attack on militant hideouts in the northwestern Orakzai tribal region.

Backed by helicopter gunships, military forces pounded several targets in Orakzai Agency early on Friday, a Press TV correspondent and Pakistani media reported.

Four hideouts and a vehicle belonging to suspected militants were ruined during the attack.

A huge cache of arms, including rockets, mortars, hand grenades and explosives was recovered during a search operation carried out by the security forces.

Taliban spokesman, Hafiz Saeed, however, denied the casualty reports, saying no pro-Taliban militants were killed or injured in the shelling.

The Army has intensified its attacks on the militants’ hideouts in the Orakzai tribal region after the group attacked a security forces’ convoy with a roadside bomb on October 22. At least seven soldiers lost their lives in the incident.

It was the third bomb attack targeting Pakistani forces in the country’s northwestern region.

Pakistan is struggling with violence and repeated attacks in which thousands of people have lost their lives.

The Pakistani army has launched several operations in the Northwest in a bid to flush out pro-Taliban militants from its tribal zone.

The army believes that the militants have shifted their operations from Waziristan and the Orakzai Agency to the Kurram Agency.

Militant attacks and political unrest have claimed the lives of over 4,000 people throughout Pakistan since 2007.

Meanwhile, the country has witnessed recurrent non-UN-sanctioned US drone attacks, which have also caused an increasing number of civilian casualties.

Since August 2008, approximately a thousand people have been killed in about 100 attacks by US drones in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Over 90 percent of the victims have been civilians.



UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon: Pakistan Floods Are Worst Disaster I’ve Ever Seen

October 28, 2010 Leave a comment

October 28, 2010

Click here to learn how you can help the Pakistan flood victims.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday he has never seen anything like the flood disaster in Pakistan after surveying the devastation and urged foreign donors to speed up assistance to the 20 million people affected.

Ban’s comments reflect the concern of the international community about the unfolding disaster in Pakistan, which is battling al-Qaida and Taliban militants, has a weak and unpopular government, and an anemic economy propped up by international assistance.

“This has been a heart-wrenching day for me,” Ban said after flying over the hard-hit areas with President Asif Ali Zardari. “I will never forget the destruction and suffering I have witnessed today. In the past I have witnessed many natural disasters around the world, but nothing like this.”

Ban visited Myanmar after Cyclone Nargis devastated the country in May 2008, killing an estimated 138,000 people. He also flew to China’s Sichuan province just days after an earthquake killed nearly 90,000 people in March 2008.

Australia’s ABC news reported that Ban was visibly shaken:

“The magnitude of the problem; the world has never seen such a disaster. It’s much beyond anybody’s imagination,” he said.”This is a long-term affair; this is a two-year campaign. We have to consider that and keep that in mind.

“For two years we’ve got to give them crops, fertilisers; we’ve got to give them seed; we’ve got to look after them, feed them, for two years, to bring them back to where they were. And they will still not be where they were.”


The floods that began more than two weeks ago in Pakistan’s mountainous northwest have now hit about one-quarter of the country, especially its agricultural heartland. While the death toll of 1,500 is relatively small, the scale of the flooding and number of people whose lives have been disrupted is staggering.

The world body has appealed for an initial $460 million to provide relief, but only 20 percent has been given.

Once the floods recede, billions more will be needed for reconstruction and getting people back to work in the already-poor nation of 170 million people. The International Monetary Fund has warned the floods could dent economic growth and fuel inflation.

“Waves of flood must be met with waves of support from the world,” said Ban. “I’m here to urge the world to step up assistance,” he said.

President Zardari has been criticized for his response to the disaster, especially for going ahead with a state visit to Europe just as the crisis was unfolding. Zardari has visited victims twice since returning, but images of him at a family owned chateau while in France are likely to hurt him for months to come.

In his first comments to the media since returning, he defended the government.

“The government has responded very responsibly,” he said, saying the army, the police, the navy and officials were all working to relieve the suffering. “I would appeal to the press to understand the magnitude of the disaster.”

Zardari said it would take up to two years for the country to recover.

Ban said visa restrictions had been eased for humanitarian workers and they now could get visas on arrival at Pakistan airports.

On Saturday, the prime minister said 20 million people had been made homeless in the disaster.

The monsoon rains that triggered the disaster are forecast to fall for several weeks yet, meaning the worst may not yet be over. Over the weekend, tens of thousand of people were forced to flee their homes when they were inundated by fresh floods from the swollen River Indus.

While local charities and international agencies have helped hundreds of thousands of people with food, water, shelter and medical treatment, the scale of the disaster has meant that many millions have received little or no assistance. The U.N. has voiced fears that disease in overcrowded and unsanitary relief camps may yet cause more deaths.

Earlier Sunday, survivors fought over food being handed out from a relief vehicle close to the town of Sukkur in hard-hit Sindh province, ripping at each others’ clothes and causing such chaos that the distribution had to be abandoned, according to an Associated Press reporter at the scene.

“The impatience of the people has deprived us of the little food that had come,” said Shaukat Ali, a flood victim waiting for food.

Waters five feet (1.5 meters) deep washed through Derra Allah Yar, a city of 300,000 people on the border of Sindh and Baluchistan provinces, said government official Salim Khoso. About 200,000 had fled the city and Khoso said he did not know how they would be fed.

“We are here like beggars,” said Mukhtar Ali, a 45-year-old accountant living on the side of a highway along with thousands of other people. “The last food we received was a small packet of rice yesterday and 15 of us shared that.”


Flooding in Colombia: A hidden emergency

October 27, 2010 Leave a comment

27 Oct 2010 15:18:29 GMT
Reuters and AlertNet are not responsible for the content of this article or for any external internet sites. The views expressed are the author’s alone.
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In the past three months, more than 900,000 people have lost their homes and livelihoods because of flooding in northern Colombia, and the rainy season has only just begun. Niki Barton meets people affected by the floods.

Liliana  Ortiz, her husband and four children lost their family vegetable garden, and many of their animals ran away or drowned when the family moved to shelter on higher ground. Photo: Niki Barton

Liliana Ortiz, her husband and four children lost their family vegetable garden, and many of their animals ran away or drowned when the family moved to shelter on higher ground. Photo: Niki Barton

I step out of the canoe, aiming for a shallow area so the water won’t come over the top of my wellington boot. Then I notice the group of children walking past without boots, without shoes even, the water coming up almost to their waists.This is Lorica, a small community in Monteria, northern Colombia. The village has been flooded for more than two months and people are becoming used to the water level. Wellington boots are too much of a hassle, and besides, it’s 40 degrees – who can wear wellies in 40 degree heat?The water is dangerous. It’s filthy from the mud washed in from the streets and the fields, from the excrement of pigs and chickens living in it, and from the rubbish floating in it. Fortunately there is access to clean water for drinking and washing. After flooding in 2007, Oxfam helped the community to rehabilitate a water pumping station to treat and distribute water to each household. Since then the community has set up a water management committee to keep the station working, collecting a small monthly fee from each family to pay for running costs and maintenance.I meet Liliana. Her house has been flooded and she’s sheltering with her husband and four children at the community’s collective farm. At first they stayed in their house, but as the waters rose she began to worry for her children. They had cuts and scratches which were becoming infected in the dirty water. Her youngest son is three years old and after a week, the water level was higher than his head; Liliana was afraid he would drown, so they left the house. They brought with them what possessions they could carry in a canoe, but their vegetable garden was ruined and most of their animals ran away or drowned.I meet other members of community. They tell me that flooding here is normal, it happens every year. But the nature of the flooding is changing, and it is getting worse. The people here used to be fishermen, but fifteen years ago a large dam was built on the river. Fish could no longer swim upstream to reproduce, and fish stocks plummeted. Most of the fishermen became farmers instead. Where the flood waters used to bring an abundance of fish, they now wash away fields and crops. Instead of a time of plenty, it’s a time of destruction. And not all of the flooding is natural. The company that owns the dam sometimes opens the doors to release water, which causes flooding downstream with no warning.In some cases the need for humanitarian assistance is urgent, and Oxfam is providing 1,000 families with water filters, tanks and hygiene kits, and working with community organisations to repair four water pumping stations.But it’s not all up to Oxfam. The Colombian Government has a responsibility to respond to the devastation caused by the flooding. In September, Oxfam co-ordinated a visit by the Colombian media to see the impact of the flooding, and to investigate the causes. The coverage brought to public attention the extent of the floods’ impact, and the role of the dam in exacerbating “natural” flooding. Local and national government have now recognised the need to address the situation.But it’s not over yet. People are still living in two feet of water and the rainy season doesn’t start in earnest until November. But at least the issue is now on the national agenda, and there’s a chance to work towards disaster prevention measures to reduce the impact of future floods.Where we work: Colombia
More from the Oxfam Press Office at

[ Any views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not of Reuters. ]