A Man and A Fish

no picture Rafia Saleem
Member since February 26, 2011
  • 9 Posts
  • Age 31

“This will take another 5 days to get ready”, Sher Muhammad tells with a beam in his eyes. “And this is going to be a brand new addition to my fleet”, he affirms with a voice echoing of resolve. I am present at a boat-making training organized by WWF-P and DFID for local CBO members in Kot Addu – a town badly hit by 2010 floods. Sher Muhammad, a practiced fisher, has arranged wood for a 16-feet wide boat whereas three other members – the trainees – are investing labor in Sher’s would-be prized possession. The trainer, a local man skilled at the art of boat-making, passes quick directions while the trainees continue with saws, wood cutters and hammers at full play; all to the surprise of little staring kids.

“Once ready, both the boat and this training will increase the livelihood opportunities of these local people”, the Site-Incharge later tells me at lunch. Once skilled in this art themselves, the trainees at today’s boat-making training are expected to impart similar trainings at their native villages. “The program would also hand out energy-efficient stoves, lamps etc. in the next phase. We would also be extending trainings on how to repair once such items are out of order”, he happily adds.

Pakistan suffered the worst flood in its history in 2010, a loss even greater than 2005 earthquake and 2004 tsunami. About one-third area of Pakistan was hit by the calamity. Small towns and villages like Kot Addu were the worst affected as the dams and barrages were breached to save metropolises. Three years on, the people have built back. The programs still run by donor agencies in these areas focus on disaster resistance - skill-enhancement being one of them.

And nothing embodies the quote “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime” more. Beyond our love and compassion, disaster-affected communities need capacity-building initiatives everywhere. Let’s think about it to care for them more than anything. Let’s get together to ensure that they are more powerful if waters become ruthless, God forbid, one more time. Let’s reach out and join hands lest we forget!

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