Since mid-June 2022, tens of thousands of people in Pakistan have been forced to flee their homes following deadly floods across Pakistan. The most recent inundation has resulted in the country’s prime minister warning that the “magnitude of the calamity is bigger than expected”. This statement was tweeted while he was being filmed in a helicopter delivering aid to deluge-hit areas.
Video: Evangelist Dharmoo Masih
at Goth Ibrahim Khan Mari where some 20 Christian families are living in mud houses, has appealed for support
Nearly 1,000 people have been killed in the floods since it began in mid-June, which have been triggered by heavy monsoon rains.
“Times demand that we come together as one nation in support of our people facing this calamity,” Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif wrote.
Sherry Rehman the current Climate Change Minister, has labelled the situation a “climate-induced humanitarian disaster of epic proportions”.
‘In excess of 30 million people in Pakistan have been affected by the historic monsoon rains and flooding over the last few weeks’, a government spokesperson said.
Though the Pakistan army is helping with an emergency response to the floods, an international appeal has already been made by the nations leaders.
Areas such as Sindh and Baluchistan have been worst hit. In a statement, the Chief Meteorological Officer of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), said:
“The unpredicted and excessive heat wave in the southern parts of the country during the month of May and June this year, have caused the massive rainfall in July and August.”
According statistics published by NDMA, unprecedented rains have caused the loss of 728 lives including 156 women and 263 children. In addition to this 116,771 houses, 129 bridges and 50 shops have been destroyed by the torrential monsoon rains in Baluchistan and Sindh province of Pakistan.
The inundation has swept away houses, killed livestock and devastated crops leaving people hungry, hapless, and forced to live under open sky till relief teams reach them for their help. Worse still the threat of waterborne illness is at a high and it is expected that a heavy death toll will occur in the aftermath of the flooding.
Video: A house had the mud washed away from all the walls and only sticks now remain.
Pastor Musa, whose community was affected by a recent flooding, spoke with BACA’s relief team, he said:
“On 17th August, in Tando Adam, a city in Sanghar district of Sindh, the heavy monsoon rain started began during late evening and continued to fall unceasingly till 19th August.
“I am a resident of Goth Ibrahim Khan Mari where some 20 Christian families are living in mud houses.
“The rain destroyed our houses – our livestock were killed by the collapse of the walls and through drowning.”
Danyal Masih (26 years), the son of Pastor Musa also spoke with our team, he said:
“The rains have taken away our houses.
“We spent a whole night without shelter in the pouring rain.
“It was cold and wet and no-one offered us any help – we had no access to clean water or food and most of us thought we would die.
“We could not stay in our houses but there was also nowhere else to go so we slept on the streets of the town on higher ground.
“Roads were blocked and transport stopped – the water around us was above our knees.”
On 20th August Danyal further explained that no relief team had yet approached them. For three days they had not had any food but since then they have been able to take a little food from shops who have agreed for them to pay later. The families are near starving point and BACA has sent across £200 to Pastor Musa who we worked with before in 2020 after a previous set of floods (click here). Pastor Musa will buy some emergency rations from local shops which are located in the city on higher ground. This amount is a bare minimum and will only feed these families for a short while.
Our operatives are still not able to get directly to the location of Pastor Musa because travel across Pakistan in still dangerous. But we hope to begin a restoration programme sometime this week.
The families have lost all their money and their ability to earn during this inundation. Normally these families would earn by collecting cotton or wheat but these fields have all been ravaged by the deluge. BACA would like to undertake a larger investment in the area, we would need to raise around £1000 to cover the cost of food for these families. We would also like raise £10,000 so that we can rebuild new homes made of brick and on plinths that will be surrounded with flood-coping mechanisms like drainage channels. Thsi would emulate a project we completed for a Christian community in Bikiwind Kasur back in 2015 (click here).
All twenty families, are currently getting their water supply from one village handpump attached to the house of Pastor Musa. We would also like to install a further pump and a toilet which will cost in the region £700. There is no existing toilet in the area and young women who are vulnerable have been using open fields to relieve themselves. We hoe that improved water access and sanitary facilities will bring safety to these young women and establish improved health and hygiene in an area known for its low human life span.
Video: Brother Ravi invites people into his home so he can illustrate the damage caused by the recent floods.
Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee for British Asian Christian Association, said:
“We have worked on flood relief programmes since our inception.
“But these current floods seem to be the worst ever and the rainfall in Pakistan shows no sign of ceasing.
“Commentators blame climate change and I am definite this will have had some impact.
“For certain an unusually hot summer has contributed to the current excessive rainfall.
“However, Pakistan is know for the damage caused by torrential monsoons of the past too.
“My parents and grandparents had many stories to share and I remember a few from my youth.
“Essentially, much of the flood damage could be reduced if Pakistani authorities spent more on better infrastructure to improve safety for their citizens.
“There is also a need for better relations with India.
“A coordinated approach to controlling the deluge in India is required, that does not involve dumping large amounts of water into Pakistan, at once.
“As Pakistan will not invest in improving the homes of Christians who are eternally overlooked in renovation programmes, BACA will begin our second such programme.
“Only good sturdy homes, built in brick on plinths in the worst hit areas can prevent the devastation our beleagured communities face annually.”
In 2020 BACA helped these same families in Sindh with food parcels and arranged a medical camp after similar monsoon rains, but this event is on a much larger scale and has caused huge damage. We want to provide a more long-term solution but it will need a lot of finance. Converting mud houses to brick homes will cost no less than £10,000 and a hand water pump and toilet will cost in the region of £700. In the short-term these families need tents (£250) and food (£1000). We will assess medical needs once we can arrive on site in the coming days. Our flood appeal will focus on these particular families and if you have been moved to help please donate (here).
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