Punhal, aged 42, from a village near Ghari Khairo, Jacobabad, says, “Before the flood, we were doing ok. We were cultivating wheat and rice, and were able to produce enough to sell some and store enough for the year”
“The water came suddenly without warning. We used to have good houses here, but they were washed away. Now we are living in tents. We tried to save our animals, but we had to sell them to pay for transport to get to safety in Quetta.”
“When we first came back to the village after two months away, there was no clean water, so people were getting sick. Now that we have clean water again thanks to Mercy Corps, it is much better.”
“When returned, we had no means to make any money. Until the stagnant water drains away, we can’t plant seed again. I’m hoping to get some work on a cash-for-work scheme, so that we can buy some seed.”
UKaid funding from the British government’s Department for Intrernational Development is helping the NGO Mercy Corps deliver clean water and sanitation facilities to over 160,000 people in Sindh, as they return home to destroyed houses and partially flooded communities and agricultural land. In some parts of Sindh the water may take many months more to fully drain away, despite the flooding originally occuring in August and September 2010. More than 20 million people were affected across Pakistan, making the flooding possibly the single biggest humanitarian crisis the world has ever seen.