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News : Pakistan

Pakistan floods - one year update

Pakistan floods - one year update – 28 Jul 2011

In August last year, Pakistan was hit by its worst natural disaster in living memory. More than 1,750 people are thought to have died and an estimated 18 million people were affected by the floods. This figure represents more people than those affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the 2005 Kamir earthquake combined.

In Ireland, Tearfund raised over €100,000 for its Pakistan appeal. Here is an example of how your unswerving support rescued and restored…

The 19th October 2010 is a date seared into the memory of father-of-ten Rozi Khan from Pakistan.

The worst flooding in the country’s recent history swept into his village of Mangal Khan in Sindh and took away his possessions and livelihood. Within hours of the flooding, 16 hectares of his rice crop were obliterated: ‘When I remember those moments, I still find tears in my eyes,’ says Rozi, 38.

Losing this food was bad enough but its disappearance also left him with a sense of hopelessness. Previous natural disasters had made him impoverished, forcing him to resort to moneylenders to pay for crop seeds.

He confesses to being heartbroken as the flooding wiped out his ability to repay his loans on the back of crop sales. Tearfund was the only organisation to come to Rozi’s village offering help and hope to get out of the black hole of poverty.

Seeing the need to get him growing as soon as the floods subsided, Tearfund organised for a tractor to cultivate part of his land. He was also given high quality sunflower seeds and help via a seed drill to plant them. After a few months, the oil-rich crop was ready for harvesting.

‘I thank God for sending this team to help me,’ says Rozi, who plans to use crop surpluses to pay off his loans over the next three years.

Rozi is one of thousands of Pakistanis helped by Tearfund to restart their livelihoods after the floods. Long-term help continues. We’re now rebuilding homes and providing water and sanitation to the most vulnerable facing material and spiritual poverty.

Pakistan Floods - 6 month update

Pakistan Floods - 6 month update – 21 Feb 2011

It’s six months since Pakistan endured the worst flooding in living memory, affecting some 20 million people and damaging or destroying an estimated 1.7 million homes. Since then Tearfund has been helping tens of thousands of people and here we report on our recovery efforts. The flood waters may have long subsided in Pakistan but the basic needs created by last summer’s disaster still linger.

View this short film by our local partner to see how they are responding (Nov 2010).

On just one day last month in southern Sindh, 500 people queued up in the village of Sikander to receive a package from Tearfund containing various food items and warm blankets. Many of those in the orderly queue had clubbed together to travel to the distribution point, illustrating that six months on the needs of flood survivors remain pressing. Tearfund has been responding alongside four partners, SSEWA-Pak, the Diocese of Hyderabad, the Adult Basic Education Society and Partner Aid International.


Tearfund has supplied some 73,000 people with food since last summer. Crockery, mosquito nets, plastic sheeting for shelter, health and hygiene kits have been distributed too. Toilets and educational transitional centres have also been established, while more than 7,000 people have received help to restart their farming livelihoods.

Over the next 18 months, we’ll also be providing long term support to rebuild homes, livelihoods, health care, water and sanitation, as well as awareness-raising activities to reduce the impact of any future disasters.

Plans for the future

Ashraf Mall, Tearfund’s Country Representative for Pakistan, said, ‘We will be working with communities, rebuilding houses that are more resilient to future floods and helping to re-establish small businesses. This is the root of recovery and it is giving hope to many families.’

Working through local partners, Tearfund will be continuing with food-related projects until March as the need remains immense. The Sindh provincial government estimates that about 90,000 children aged 6 to 59 months are malnourished.

Pakistan floods update - three months on

Pakistan floods update - three months on – 22 Oct 2010

It’s nearly three months since the worst flooding in living memory struck Pakistan, killing 1,700 people and affecting 20 million others. As the waters slowly recede, we report on Tearfund’s progress to help survivors recover.

Janat’s story


Janat recently returned to her village which the flood waters forced her to flee. It was a grim homecoming. Her home was destroyed, her crops obliterated and her life was effectively ruined by the raging river Indus which left the community under four feet of water. Along with others from this Sindh province village, the 55-year-old labourer fled to the relative safety of a raised embankment to stay in a government school.Back in her village of Mohammad Khan Joyo, Janat is relying on Tearfund partner SSEWA-Pak. Staff provided the plastic sheeting under which she sleeps. They also gave her food, cooking utensils, cutlery, plates and hygiene kits. It will take many more months until her house is rebuilt.

Mosquito threat

Bashira is a widow who has a three-year-old son in need of ongoing medical support. Since the floods, she has suffered food shortages but that’s eased thanks to supplies from our partner. Mosquito nets are also proving valuable to Bashira and her son.

The floods in Mohammad Khan Joyo did not discriminate between rich and poor. Akhtar Ali, 30, used to farm two acres of cotton, sugar cane and rice but all were destroyed by the floods. His five-room house was taken too and all possessions were lost as Akhtar’s family had no time to save anything during the desperate 4am rush to safety. He too has been assisted by SSEWA-Pak.


Basic essentials from SSEWA-Pak represent the only outside help Janat, Bashira, Akhtar and their fellow villagers have received. No aid has been forthcoming from the Pakistani government.

Rob Schofield, Tearfund’s acting Disaster Management Director, who met villagers being helped, said; ‘People were very happy to receive the goods from SSEWA-Pak but it’s clear that they face long term challenges to restore their lives.’


With many people losing their homes and now sleeping out in the open, there is a widespread sense of vulnerability. Large parts of the Sindh country side are still flooded. There are other problems too. Handpumps to access water no longer work and the road into the community is still cut-off by the water.


SSEWA-Pak, which has provided emergency aid to more than 25,000 people from the north to south of Pakistan, will be helping communities like this get back on their feet but this will take time due to the widespread damage to lives and livelihoods. Other partners, such as the Adult Basic Education Society (ABES) are also assisting the post-flood recovery effort.

Trauma help

ABES has set up transition centres in six Punjab villages offering free check-ups, medicines, nutritional supplements, psycho-social support and ways of purifying water.

Staff are working with children, teaching them about hygiene, and offering play and other learning activities to those who have been left traumatised by the flooding. The Association of Humanitarian Development (AHD) has also distributed 2,000 kits of food, cooking goods, shelter materials and hygiene kits in Thatta district of Sindh.

Another partner, the Diocese of Hyderabad, is distributing food to flood affected people in their target villages and also repairing school buildings that were damaged due to flooding.

You can continue to support the ongoing rehabiliation and recovery work in Pakistan by donating here.

Pakistani flood-hit children get medical aid – 3 Sep 2010

Children in one of the poorest areas affected by the Pakistan floods are to receive free health services from a Tearfund partner.

Disruption to clean water supplies and sanitation has led to widespread outbreaks of illness, notably diarrhoea, gastroenteritis and skin conditions. To combat this, transition centres are to be set up in six villages in Punjab by staff from the Adult Basic Education Society (ABES).


Helping the most vulnerable

These communities are based in the district of Mianwali which has high levels of poverty, unemployment and illiteracy. The Indus river also flows through the area and the floods have caused considerable damage to homes, livelihoods, roads and bridges. The new transition centres will offer free check-ups, medicines, nutritional supplements, psycho-social support and ways of purifying water. Partner staff will work with district health officials on this project, identifying the worst cases of need. Where severely ill people are found, patients will be referred to the district hospital.

Health education will be another key part of ABES’ intervention, particularly teaching children who’ve seen their schools destroyed about cleanliness and hygiene. The disaster has left a traumatic imprint on the emotional health of youngsters and so ABES will be using play and learning activities to restore a sense of normality.

Support for mums

ABES staff are also looking to create Mother Support Groups which will help women as they restore their family life and livelihoods.


Up to 20 million people have been affected by the floods, which started at the end of July and have swept from the north to south of the Pakistan, caused by exceptional monsoon rains. With generous support for our floods appeal, fellow Tearfund partner SSEWA-Pak has been providing food and other essential items to thousands of survivors in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa provinces. A team from SSEWA-Pak are working with Unicef to address the needs of children affected by the floods.

Click here to Donate now

  • €107 could pay for a food package for four families for 30 days
  • €53 could pay for a health & hygiene kit to protect 10 families from disease
  • €21 could pay for eating utensils for 4 families so they can cook for themselves
Pakistan flood aid gets to families in remote areas

Pakistan flood aid gets to families in remote areas – 27 Aug 2010

This week food, plastic sheets for shelter, hygiene kits and cooking utensils were among the items distributed to another 500 families in the Kashmore district of Sindh.

It’s nearly a month since the monsoon rains brought devastation to Pakistan, affecting around 20 million people and claiming the lives of 1,600 others.

Lost everything

As the flood waters have moved from the north to the south, Sindh province has increasingly been deluged. Ashraf Mall, Tearfund’s Country Representative for Pakistan, said, ‘There’s been no let-up in the flooding situation. More and more areas are being flooded.’

So far Tearfund partner SSEWA-Pak has provided aid to more than 8,000 families in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province and is currently working in Sindh to help people who in many cases have lost everything.

In the village of Saiful-Mirani in upper Sindh, a man called Gulab told how his house was virtually destroyed and his family only just managed to escape injury: ‘I have nothing left at all,’ he said, adding that they had received no outside help.

Solomon Khurrum from SSEWA-Pak, speaking from what looked like a vast lake, said, ‘There used to be a nice village here where people cultivated their lands but now there’s nothing left; no medical help has been provided to the people who are affected and no food either.’

Illness spreading

One elderly villager said, ‘Our crops were destroyed by the floods. We have nothing, we have lost the wheat which we had – what will our children eat now? This is the third day our children are hungry, we don’t have anything to eat or drink.’ Waterborne illnesses are adding to the suffering. Diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, rashes and other skin complaints are increasingly evident as the flooding affects access to clean water and disrupts sanitation. A team from SSEWA-Pak are working with Unicef to address the needs of children affected by the floods.

Click here to Donate now

  • €107 could pay for a food package for four families for 30 days
  • €53 could pay for a health & hygiene kit to protect 10 families from disease
  • €21 could pay for eating utensils for 4 families so they can cook for themselves
Survivors tell of flood’s nightmare

Survivors tell of flood’s nightmare – 12 Aug 2010

Survivors of the Pakistan flooding disaster have been telling Tearfund of their terror as rising waters destroyed their homes and forced them to flee for their lives.

Vast swathes of the country from the north to the south are under water after heavy monsoon rains, which have affected 14 million people and claimed the lives of 1,600 others.

Younas John, 48, was asleep when the deluge struck his village in north west Pakistan. He said, ‘It was midnight and I heard voices outside. I went out and everyone was running to save their lives. I took my family to higher ground.’



‘Thank God my family is saved but now we have no shelter or food. The water level rose to ten feet and our homes were completely destroyed. We’ve lost all our belongings, including clothes, utensils, everything.’

Staff from Tearfund partner SSEWA-Pak are assisting Younas’ family, who as well as needing food and other essentials have been left traumatised by the flooding. Our partner has supplied 1,100 families in the north west with food, plastic sheeting for shelter, stoves, plates, cups, pots, soap, towels, tooth paste and antiseptics.

Staff are also responding to similar needs further south in Sindh province which has been affected by the flood waters moving downstream. The water is passing through Sukhar in Sindh and a barrage there is, like many dams, feeling the stain so the area’s canal system has been opened up to reduce pressure on it.


Ashraf Mall, Tearfund’s Country Representative for Pakistan, said, ‘The whole of the upper Sindh and some parts of the lower Sindh are now under water.’

The country’s army moved some people living near the swollen river Indus to higher ground but the district of Kashmore in Sindh has been inundated after an embankment was breached.

In some parts, water levels rose 12 feet. Umer Hazrat, an agricultural labourer, is among those affected. He lost his home, his fields and his cattle, but with his family managed to save some domestic utensils. ‘My wife hardly had time to save anything because the water level was rising so fast. I’ve lost everything but I am thankful to God that my family is alive,’ he said.

Huge misery

Home, for now, for Umer is on the side of a road, its raised position offering the only dry piece of land in the area. SSEWA-Pak is providing him and his family with emergency aid.

Solomon Khurrum, from SSEWA-Pak, appealed for more help via Tearfund’s Pakistan floods appeal: ‘I urge you (Tearfund supporters) to come forward and contribute to the aid effort and to help people who are suffering such huge misery,’ he said.

Please give what you can today

But we must act quickly. Tens of thousands of people are injured and homeless. And floods are an ideal breeding ground for water-borne diseases such as cholera. Donate now

  • €107 could pay for a food package for four families for 30 days
  • €53 could pay for a health & hygiene kit to protect 10 families from disease
  • €21 could pay for eating utensils for 4 families so they can cook for themselves

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