Victims of floods in Pakistan

Many Pakistanis have lost their livelihoods, others their homes, and in some extreme cases, their lives.


    This is the second time I have covered widespread floods in Pakistan.

    I spent a month here last year when more than 20 million people were affected by the worst flooding disaster in the country’s history.

    The high waters are back, and although different from the 2010 disaster (heavy rains inundating low lying areas, rather than monsoons causing rivers to overflow their banks) and a smaller area affected, nothing can ever prepare you for the devastation it causes.

    I’m currently in central Sindh. It’s by no means the worst hit area, but people here are still badly affected. Many have lost their livelihoods, others their homes, and in some extreme cases, their lives.

    We drove around the area for hours, surveying the widespread damage and talking to many people. After a while, we came across a tiny village called Jamal Shah, in the Naushero Feroze district.

    All of the 40 houses there were destroyed by the heavy rains and resulting floods. The destruction was astonishing to see.  A few walls remained here-and-there but, not much else.

    In fact, there was no way of getting close to what was left of the village apart from swimming through murky flood water that is nearly a metre and a half deep.

    While we viewed the devastation, I noticed a group of people sitting under a tree taking shelter from the blistering heat. One of them, a young man not older than 21, seemed to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. I sat down with him and he introduced himself as Jamshed.

    Jamshed told me that his wife was killed a few days ago, after heavy rains caused their mud and brick house to collapse in on itself while they were having dinner during a particularly powerful storm. She was pregnant with their second child, who also died.

    While he was telling me his story, I could see in his eyes that he wanted to cry, but he didn’t. I can only imagine it’s because he felt he needed to be strong for his surviving daughter, 10 month old Mina.

    Mina, a small baby, is clearly malnourished. Without a mother to nurse her, and very slim chances of receiving baby formula, her future looks bleak – and Jamshed seemed to know that. 

    As we left the village Jamal Shah, I couldn’t help but look out the back window of the truck we’re travelling in.

    In the distance, I saw Jamshed sitting back under the same tree with his daughter - the same pained expression on his face.

    Lately, we’ve been hearing reports of aid agencies slowly reaching badly affected areas. But I can’t help but feel that the residents of the all but washed away village of Jamal Shah won’t be receiving any outside help.

    And nor will Jamshed or his baby daughter Mina.



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