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Eric Dayal, National Coordinator for Disasters at Caritas Pakistan
I’ve been to many of the affected areas since the floods and things have changed. People have started moving towards normal life in many respects.
Now there are almost no camps and people have gone back to their villages. Many lives have been saved and people are getting food, medical facilities, clean water and shelter.
There are still some people living in tents but many are making permanent houses. Caritas Pakistan has been providing roofing and construction materials to help with this.
However, there are areas which still need work. Not everyone has access to water. Caritas Pakistan has provided many filters to affected communities but the need for clean drinking water is still there.
People are still without jobs and are seeking help.
As for food, many crops were wiped out and also the roads which took people to markets. People can now access the markets and in some areas there is cultivation and harvesting. Caritas Pakistan has been training women in kitchen gardening to help them feed their families. Much has improved but hunger still exists.
The floods hit people’s health hard and in some ways they are still recovering. We set up medical camps directly after the floods and they are still receiving people with flood-related health problems such as skin and stomach diseases and eye infections.
Communities have still not fully recovered from the psychological trauma. Caritas Pakistan has started a training program on counselling with the collaboration of the Camillian Task Force* from Rome in which not only the staff of Caritas Pakistan have participated but people from other organisations.
People are afraid of further flooding this year. Pakistan is very prone to flooding and the monsoons have already started again. Caritas Pakistan has been working with communities to make them more prepared for disasters and has set in place some safety measures.
* The international disaster relief network of the Ministers of the Infirm (Camillians).