It's still a swell of woes for slum dwellers

It's still a swell of woes for slum dwellers

KARACHI: With the winter months soon approaching, residents of slums of Karachi have been gripped in fear of illness as they cannot afford basic needs to cope with cold weather.

Shanti, a slum dweller, is worried about her newborn granddaughter since the winter is quickly approaching. She is worried that the shack in which she lives with her seven family members is not strong enough to keep baby comfortable during colder season.

"Most of children in our slum get pneumonia during winter, as majority of the huts are opened and we can't keep babies warm during winter," Shanti told Daily Times.

She lives in a small slum, which is located in Gadap town, which was recently established by the victims of 2010 floods. Before moving here, she was living in a small village in Thatta district that was submerged during floods.

Most of the children in the slums are not vaccinated against different infant diseases such as pneumonia, which makes them vulnerable to different diseases.

Though, Karachi doesn't get severe winter, but even the moderate winter is deadly for the slum dwellers. It has been observed that majority of the residents of city's slums, especially those slums which are established recently by the flood victims from different districts of Sindh, are in the worst conditions.

Residents of these slums live in shacks made of gunny bags, which is unable to protect them and infants, minor children, women and elderly people are sufferer during cold weather.

"During cold weather, my mother fires some wood inside the hut, but even then I feel so cold and usually unable to sleeping during winter nights," said eleven year old Rozina Mallah, resident of the same slum.