Category Archives: Emergencies in Pakistan

Pakistan 6 months after floods: Ariz’s story

Wrapped in a blanket given to him by Caritas partners, Ariz stands with his grandson in front of his shelter. Credit: Jessica Howell/Catholic Relief Services

By Jessica Howell, Programme and Advocacy Officer, Catholic Relief Services

A wizened man whose mirthful eyes suggest more mischief than age, Ariz smirks when asked how old he is.  “More than 50,” he said, to the chuckles of his friends and family standing nearby.

There hasn’t been a lot to smile about lately though. The floods that tore through his village in southern Pakistan last summer stole much from Ariz – his land, his livestock, and most painfully, his son, Nazeef, who was to be married in one month.  “I miss him very much.”
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Pakistan 6 months after floods: Soomri’s story

Soomri inside her new transitional shelter. Credit: Jessica Howell/Catholic Relief Services

By Jessica Howell, Programme and Advocacy Officer, Catholic Relief Services

“Ours was a love marriage,” said Soomri, a frail woman with almond-shaped eyes that seem to dance when thinks about her youth.  “He was the only literate man in town,” she said of her husband, “And we were both favored by our parents.”

The 75-year-old mother of five and grandmother of 23 lives in a small village in the northeast corner of Pakistan’s Sindh province.  Described by her extended family as easily distracted, Soomri seems like she’d just rather tell stories than worry about anything else.  With whoever will listen to her, she talks … about her village and the weather and her children.  But mostly she talks about her husband. Continue reading

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Pakistan 6 months after floods: Dulshan’s story

By Jessica Howell, Programme and Advocacy Officer, Catholic Relief Services

Dulshan Bajkani looks to be about 23 years old, but she says she doesn’t know for sure.  Regardless of her age, she’s endured more in the last six months than any woman in her twenties should have to bear.

Her nightmare began in early August, when record rainfalls throughout Pakistan caused the nearby Indus River to overflow its banks.  She remembers hearing about the floods on the news; some people the village left right away but many others thought the warnings were exaggerated and stayed.  But the water did come – in the middle of the night – and Dulshan, her husband, and her three daughters fled quickly.  Most people left everything behind in the panic that ensued, running away without shoes or scarves and having time only to grab frightened children. Continue reading

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Help must continue for flood migrants plead Caritas in Pakistan

A woman sewing together rugs in Gadap Town Karachi. Credit: Kamran Chaudhry/Caritas Pakistan

By Kamran Chaudhry, Communications officer, Caritas Pakistan

Sohni Bibi sat stitching the patches of her tent as evening approached. Her two year old son, barefoot, waited besides as she finished the needlework.

It is now time to push the hearth inside the tents to keep them warm as well as brighten them.

“Cold air gushes inside through the torn walls of our shelter. The blankets available are too short and we have to stitch them together to cover both head and feet”, said Bibi showing a multi-textured quilt spread on packaging material covering the cold grounds. Continue reading

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Homes for Pakistan’s flood survivors

CRS will help 2600 families in the north and 22,000 families in the south build transitional shelters. Photo by Maria Josephine Wijiastuti / CRS

Caritas is working in Pakistan through national member Caritas Pakistan, and Cordaid (Caritas Netherlands), Trócaire (Caritas Ireland), and CRS (a Caritas member based in the US). As Pakistan struggle to recover after the summer’s devastating floods, CRS has committed to help 2,600 families in the north and 22,000 families build transitional shelters in a southern area called Sindh. As of early November 2010, almost 250 households in Sindh had been helped.

CRS’s Maria Josephine Wijiastuti filed the following report from Pakistan.

Haran Dhanglo and her husband are farmers who work for a landlord in Noor Mohammad village, which was badly affected by the August 2010 flood. When the flood hit, she and her family moved away for two months. With their three children, they lived in tents with her neighbors and other people who were evacuated.

“It was really a difficult life, but we had no choice,” she says. “The flood washed away our homes and our villages—we lost everything. Now that the water has receded, my family has returned to the village.” Continue reading

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Caritas partners visit flood victims in Pakistan

Denis Vienot, of Caritas France, speaking to media in Charsadda. Credit: Kamran Chaudhry, Caritas Pakistan

By Kamran Chaudhry, Communications officer, Caritas Pakistan

A Caritas delegation, comprising of officials from various countries, says visiting camps of the flood victims was a learning experience.

“There is a real need to assist the internally displaced people as quick as possible. It was an opportunity to meet a number of survivors and understand their need”, said Denis Vienot of Caritas France.

He was speaking to media on a recent relief distribution of aid among flood victims in Charsadda, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Caritas Pakistan distributed 900 charpoys (beds), bedding and hygiene kits to 450 victims in a tent village in Charsadda, one of the worst affected districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Continue reading

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Cholera and malaria concern for camps in Pakistan

Caritas Pakistan Medical Camp at Basti Chanaawa, Punjap. Credit: Kamran Chaudhry/Caritas

By Kamran Chaudhry, Caritas Pakistan Communications Officer

Spreading waterborne diseases and pregnant women in relief camps are major concerns for Caritas Pakistan.

The World Health Organization has confirmed 99 cases of cholera and 300,000 suspected cases of malaria among displaced populations in the 62 flood-hit districts. Dengue fever has reportedly claimed 12 lives with 1,200 confirmed cases as flood waters recede in Pakistan.

“The health of children is at great risk due to outbreak of waterborne diseases especially cholera and dengue in the post-flood situation. Pregnant women deserve special attention as most of them are anemic and suffering from malnutrition”, said Dr Amjad Yaseen.

He was speaking at Oct. 28 medical camp organised by local unit of Caritas Pakistan Multan diocese at Basti Chanaawar, a village in Punjab province. Women, children and elderly appeared for the checkup as Caritas staff distributed hygiene kits, food and other items at an adjacent building. Continue reading

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