AsiaNews helping flood victims left only with mats after two months of rains
Survivors in Sindh province speak about the devastating impact of monsoon rains not seen for decades, and the season is not over yet. Meanwhile, some 30 million Pakistanis have been forced to leave their homes. For Fr Yousaf, “just staying alive is a real miracle.” People urgently need help. Our agency is raising funds to help a village not far from Hyderabad home to 150 families.
Sindh (AsiaNews) – A monsoon of this magnitude has not been seen in Pakistan for at least 61 years. Some 30 million people have been affected, forced to leave their homes, live outdoors, and rely on rescue services for survival.
Rains over the past week have hit hard the districts of Sargodha, Peshawar, and Kohat, Dera Ismail Khan division in Punjab, and Baluchistan, including the upper basins of the Indus River.
Children, girls, and women in the southern and central parts of Punjab province and in hundreds of slums of Sindh province are the most affected segment of the population, this according to our own direct account, since they lack adequate food, proper medicines and hygiene kits. This is making them vulnerable to malnutrition and disease.
In light of the situation, AsiaNews has launched an appeal to everyone for solidarity, setting up an Emergency Pakistan fund to help flood victims through direct online contributions or other methods indicated at the end of this article.
In Nawab Shah a church ended up under water, while a local school and a knitting centre for women were demolished.
The month of September will be decisive, as the government expects three more spells of rain in the coming weeks.
After the Indus River overflowed, the authorities imposed a state of emergency in affected areas while Pakistani military vehicles patrol to prevent any accidents.
People who live on the bank of a canal at about a kilometre from the Indus River are in permanent danger, 24 hours a day.
Majeed Masih is a catechist who spoke to AsiaNews about the situation in Allah Bachao Shoro, a small village in Hyderabad Division that AsiaNews wants to help through its fundraising campaign.
About 150 families, 45 of them Christian, live here but lost everything. “We no longer have anything to survive on, our house, utensils, and furniture have been swallowed up by the heavy floods and rains,” Masih explained.
“My wife and I worked to spread the gospel of Jesus; we led meetings for local children. But this year has proven to be terrible for all of us. It has been raining for two months, and the water has ravaged the crops. We cannot even work in the fields of the landowners due to the rain.
“We are forced to stay on the banks of the canal, without proper tents. Some people from nearby areas have provided us with plastic mats, which we laid on wet grass, but due to the rains these mats are quickly spoiled.
“There are 150 families here with at least two or three children suffering from malaria. People from different organisations and government officials visit us, take pictures and videos, but no one has supported us so far.
“We all pray to God to send us support because we cannot survive and save our children without the support of his people.”
Father Yousaf, a local priest, also spoke to AsiaNews. “One must have a big heart to look into the eyes of flood victims. They fight every day with viral diseases, but there is no one to help them.
“They barely eat one meal a day, thanks to residents from nearby areas who bring cooked food once a day. For drinking water, they have to swim across the canal or go by boat to get water from hand pumps .
"The torrential rains have created mayhem, and just staying alive is a real miracle. They urgently need tents, food rations and mosquito nets to survive.”
Donations can be made online here or through the methods below, ALWAYS INDICATING AN05 PAKISTAN EMERGENCY as the reason:
- Online payment by credit card (Visa, Cartasì, Mastercard, American Express) or PayPal
- Bank transfer payable to Fondazione Pime Onlus, Crédit Agricole – IBAN IT89M0623001633000015111283
Please always send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm the transfer, with your name, address, fiscal code if a resident of Italy (or social security/national insurance number in other countries or equivalent), as well as place and date of birth. This information is needed to obtain a tax credit receipt.
- Cheque or bank draft made out to Fondazione Pime Onlus, mailed to Fondazione Pime Onlus, via Monte Rosa, 81 – 20149 Milan, Italy