By Kamran Chaudhry, Caritas Pakistan Communications Officer
As the winter slowly approaches, Caritas Pakistan is spearheading early reconstruction for the victim’s of floods in the country.
“We are now moving towards the rehabilitation phase. The relief phase was originally planned for six months but we don’t have the luxury to wait. The coldest months are approaching and we have to consider the situation as it is”, said Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad, Caritas Pakistan President.
The prelate was speaking in wake of slow reconstruction progress in Khushpur in central Punjab province. Khushpur is one of the 4600 villages damaged or destroyed by the recent flood disaster.
Ponds of black water are still lying stagnant over the fields covered by rotting crops around the village. Serious salinity problems have now surfaced here causing major concerns among the local farmers. Most of the mud houses here either collapsed or were badly damaged after recurrent spells of torrential rains.
These also included the shed of Firdous Shameem, a widow. Shameem now lives in a tent near her broken house.
“The children were sleeping inside when the heavy rains started midnight. After praying, I went out to check the water outflow when I saw the flash of lightning through a large crack in the wall. We moved to our neighbors same night and the house collapsed next morning. We cannot stand the heat at daytimes inside the tent. Likewise, the nights are getting colder”, she said.
To date, the local unit of Caritas in Faisalabad has provided such material to 166 families with construction material.