A Christian community in Pakistan is reeling from the devastating impact of flash floods that have struck the region from 19th July to 24th July 2023.
With over 159 lives lost, including many innocent children, the floods have caused significant damage across Pakistan, leaving families starving and homeless.
One of the worst affected is a Christian enclave in Sindh, which has once again borne the brunt of nature’s fury.
The flash floods have obliterated the mud houses of Christians at Khawaja Goth, Tandoallayar Sindh, a community that had previously survived the record-breaking floods of 2022. Despite being a vulnerable group, this community has been overlooked by aid agencies and the government, receiving no assistance last year or this year.
Watch our TikTok video here:
The Christian residents of Khawaja Goth, who were already living in poverty, have lost everything and are now living in makeshift tents, exposed to the elements. Prabhu Das, a local evangelist, described the harrowing experience of watching their homes ‘collapse in the face of relentless rains, forcing families to spend nights in the open air, shivering from the cold and wet weather’.
Mr Das, further explained, how bad things have got, he said:
“The inundation has destroyed the cotton fields the community worked on.
“This means most families have now lost their source of income and cannot replace the food they have lost and many are now starving as a consequence.
“Families are now living in makeshift tents that are prone to the weather and still face further heavy rain.
“We lost are houses entirely last year which took months to replace and now our new mud homes are gone.
“No Government agency or NGO helped us last year nor this year
“We will struggle to rebuild, it will take our every effort to toil even harder in the fields, to raise funds again to replace what we have lost.
“Our community is in despair
“it’s hard to be hopeful when these floods have become so regular.
“We are praying for our Government to take action to protect us from further floods.”
The situation is exacerbated by the fact that the Christian community heavily relies on working at cotton farms, earning meager wages. With the fields now destroyed by the floods, families have lost their source of income, leading to widespread starvation. Furthermore, the inadequate living conditions in makeshift tents pose additional health risks, as diseases like dengue, malaria, acute diarrhea, cholera, and skin infections spread unchecked.
Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee for British Asian Christian Association, expressed grave concern over the lack of support received by the Christian communities affected by the floods. “While billions in aid have been sent globally, none seems to have reached these vulnerable Christian families,” she said.
“We provided support to several communities in Sindh last year, including tents, food, medical camps, and infrastructure rebuilding. However, it is heartbreaking to witness that the Christian communities remain neglected and without any government assistance or aid from other NGOs,” said Mrs. Chowdhry.
BACA has interviewed victims from all the Christian communities we supported last year and all of them have confirmed that they remain bereft of any Government or NGO support.
The recurring floods highlight the urgent need for improving local infrastructure and disaster management strategies in Pakistan. The country is highly vulnerable to extreme weather events caused by global heating, despite being responsible for less than 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Last summer’s flooding in Pakistan killed at least 1,700 people, destroyed millions of homes, wiped out swaths of farmland, and caused billions of dollars in economic losses. All in a matter of months. At one point, a third of the country was underwater. Pakistani leaders and many scientists worldwide blame climate change for the unusually early and heavy monsoon rains.
British Asian Christian Association has initiated an appeal to address the immediate needs of the flood-affected Christian community in Pakistan. The organization aims to provide essential supplies such as food, medicine, and sturdy tents to offer some respite during this challenging time. We will be travelling to flood hit areas on 2nd August having received clearance for travel.
To support the relief efforts and help save lives, donations can be made through the British Asian Christian Association’s website donation page (click here)
About British Asian Christian Association: British Asian Christian Association is a non-profit organization committed to providing assistance and support to marginalized and vulnerable Christian communities in Asia. Through various programs and initiatives, the organization seeks to uplift and empower individuals and families in need, irrespective of their religious background.
BACA has organised food programmes, medical camps and free tents and mosquito nets at all previous flash floods in Pakistan since 2010. During the 2023 flood we helped 13 villages (not the one in article above however). We raised awareness of climate change (click here), Distributed food, mosquito nets and tents (click here) organised free medical camps (click here) and Installed water pumps (click here). You can find more examples of last years aid programme and previous disaster recovery articles on our web blog.