Overdrive Extra

Todd Dills

UN World Food Programme truckers’ near disaster

| February 11, 2009

a href=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ez6JTnOl_tQ/SZIAso-IjeI/AAAAAAAAAM0/wsbOEcpFXeM/s1600-h/afghan.bmp”img id=”BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5301300478280764898″ style=”FLOAT: right; MARGIN: 0px 0px 10px 10px; WIDTH: 186px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 200px” alt=”" src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_ez6JTnOl_tQ/SZIAso-IjeI/AAAAAAAAAM0/wsbOEcpFXeM/s200/afghan.bmp” border=”0″ //aThe Reliefweb.int site has a href=”http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/JBRN-7P4GQB?OpenDocument”this story/a about UN World Food Programme truckers and a near-disaster haul of winter supplies to villagers in Kufab in the Badakhshan region in northeast Afghanistan. A 14-truck convoy snaked up a road that was until recently, thanks to the WFP Food for Assets program, a donkey trail, on a mission to deliver a final supply run to villagers before winter set in. At a crucial point — the highest point on the roadway — a section collapsed, stranding drivers. “They set up camp by the roadside,” Reliefweb reports, “lighting fires and revving up their engines to stay warm. ‘It was so cold, the water in our bottles froze,’ said convoy leader Sher Mohammad. ‘We had a few pieces of bread with us but we worried that our supplies would not last for long.’”br /div/divdivNot exactly a truckstop cookout, to say the least. Luckily, as the story goes on to report, “the people of nearby Aish village had seen the accident and came to help. One kind old man sacrificed a sheep, lit a fire by the roadside and cooked a warm meal while villagers baked bread in their homes and brought it together with warm cups of tea to the stranded drivers. Others carried blankets to help stave off the cold on this bitter night.”/divbr /divResidents in Kufab, hearing of the stalled convoy, then took it upon themselves to walk the seven hours through extreme cold and wintry precipitation to gather winter supplies to finish the haul, perhaps the most dedicated team of lumpers you could ask for. /divdiv/divli class=”social-digg”a onclick=”window.open(‘http://digg.com/submit?phase=2amp;url=’+encodeURIComponent(location.href)+’amp;title=’+encodeURIComponent(document.title), ‘digg’); return false;” href=”http://digg.com/submit”Digg/a/lili class=”social-facebook”a onclick=”window.open(‘http://www.facebook.com/share.php?u=’+encodeURIComponent(location.href)+’amp;title=’+encodeURIComponent(document.title),’facebook’); return false;” href=”http://www.facebook.com/share.php”facebook/a/lidiv class=”blogger-post-footer”Channel 19 is the blog version of the column of the same name featured in Overdrive: The Voice of the American Trucker. Todd Dills (tdills@rrpub.com) is its author./div