Floods in Pakistan for a second year
23 July 2012
“I still remember the night of 22 July,” said Shakeela Mohammad Bakhsh, who lived in Badin, Pakistan. “Suddenly we heard the noise of flood waves reaching our house. The water level was rising fast, too fast for us to carr y some household items. We heard the cries and moans of people around us calling for help and rescue.”
Flood survivors in Sindh, Pakistan
A second flood hit Pakistan in the summer of 2011, almost exactly a year after floodwaters devastated huge swathes of the country. After watching their homes, crops and livestock washed away in 2010, Pakistanis watched it happen all over again.
“I t seemed like forever until some rescue teams came for us and carried us to a safer place,” said Shakeela. “Before that, we were alone and had nothing to eat or drink. My brother fell ill and we did not know where we would find the money to arrange his treatment.”
Within a few days, a Caritas Pakistan team reached the area. They distributed food for a month, kitchen utensils, quilts, bed sheets and pillows.
The floods of 2011 were less deadly, but did plenty of damage. In a southern part of the country called Sindh, over 8 million people were affected and over 2 million bales of cotton, a key cash crop for impoverished farmers, were lost.
Caritas Pakistan gave food to over 5000 families. In the areas where Caritas worked, malnutrition rates remained low. Caritas provided 8000 tents or temporary shelters to the flood victims, making sure to work in accordance with local norms. Caritas ran over 100 free medical camps and helped at other health clinics, treating 250000 patients who had problems like scabies, respiratory tract infections, snakebites and fever.
To prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes and dirty water, Caritas distributed soap, antiseptic, detergent and mosquito nets to more than 5000 families. Caritas also led hygiene sessions for 45000 patients, giving families basic information about how to avoid becoming ill.
After their crops were washed away and their animals drowned, Pakistan’s villagers needed help rebuilding their farms. Caritas gave seeds to 2000 farmers and fertiliser to 1600, also helping them prepare their land in time for the next growing season. To keep remaining livestock healthy and because farmers earn money by selling milk and meat, Caritas treated or vaccinated 70000 animals like cows, water buffaloes and goats.