“We have just enough food to last for a few more weeks but after that I don’t know how we will cope” said Dhani Buksh a flood survivor from the southern province of Sindh in Pakistan.
“We have lost everything. Our home is gone. I am seventy and my wife is seventy one. She is ill and we are living in a tent at the side of the road,” he said. “I had planted a cotton crop which was due to be harvested soon. My whole family – sons, daughters and grandchildren, 35 people in all – were depending on the crop. Now it is under water. All of it is destroyed.”
“We borrowed the money for the seeds and fertiliser to plant the crop and now it is gone. We cannot pay back the money and have nothing with which to start again. We hope the government will compensate us but I think this is very unlikely. I don’t know what we will do.”
Dhani is one of millions who have lost everything in the floods. All of his neighbours from the village of Chhachhar are in the same situation. Trόcaire (Caritas Ireland) will be providing seeds and fertiliser for this community when the waters subside so they can feed themselves and their families.
This province is one of the poorest parts of Pakistan and there are real fears that because so many crops have been destroyed in the area there will not be enough food for people in the months to come.
According to Saleem Lashari who works for a local resource centre supported by Caritas, “We are not only trying to deal with the ongoing emergency but trying to think ahead to how we can help people start again. They have lost their houses, crops and livestock. It will take years to recover from this.”
This is an edited version of an article that first appeared on the Trόcaire website.