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01 May 2014 description

April 29, 2014 by Jim Stipe

Some 894 million people worldwide do not have access to clean water, like Ismael. He lives in a small village in Pakistan with his wife and nine children. The nearest drinking water was more than a mile away and meant losing valuable time tending to his livestock and fields. But then, Ismael was invited to work on a clean water project.

Listen to his story by clicking on the media player below.

23 Apr 2013 description

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is bringing emergency shelter and medical aid to victims of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck eastern Iran and Pakistan’s Balochistan province last week. High levels of damage to houses were reported with some 2,220 homes completely destroyed. Ninety five percent of the population in this mountainous area is now sleeping in the open air.

13 Mar 2013 description

Some 894 million people worldwide do not have access to clean water, like Ismael. He lives in a small village in Pakistan with his wife and nine children. The nearest drinking water was more than a mile away and meant losing valuable time tending to his livestock and fields. But then, Ismael was invited to work on a clean water project.

Listen to his story

12 Sep 2012 description

LAHORE, Pakistan (CNS) — As rains and flash floods continued drenching Pakistan, Caritas Pakistan workers entered the worst areas to assess damage and determine what type of aid was immediately needed.

A month of monsoon rains devastated several communities, claiming at least 78 lives, injuring dozens more and damaging or destroying 1,600 homes, the National Disaster Management Authority reported Sept. 10.

15 Sep 2011 description

By Jennifer Hardy, CRS digital and new media communications officer

While 6 to 8 feet of water submerges homes in Orissa province in India, floodwaters are also packing a second punch to people in Sindh province, Pakistan. Still rebuilding their homes and farms after deadly flooding in 2010, half of the people Catholic Relief Services plans to assist in Sindh are losing ground in their recovery efforts.

29 Jul 2011 description

When massive floods engulfed many regions of Pakistan in summer 2010, existing water and electrical systems were brought down. With funding from Catholics in the United States, Caritas partners, and other donors, Catholic Relief Services has built or repaired water systems that serve thousands of people. CRS is also creating a small, water-fed power plant to bring electricity to remote areas.

Engineer Abdul Rashid, Senior Technical Advisor for CRS Pakistan, spoke about the project while in Besham, a city in mountainous northern Pakistan.

25 Jul 2011 description

On a day in September 2010, a group of white-bearded men left their mountaintop village in Pakistan and wended their way down 5,000 feet of steep, rocky slopes. None of them were young; one used a cane. At the base of the mammoth mountain, a river had burst its banks and destroyed the only bridge leading where they needed to go. The men waited hours to make a precarious journey across the water on a hastily-constructed rope trolley—a tiny open crate that swung and wobbled each of them over the river.

19 Jul 2011 description

“The water got so high that I carried my two-week-old grandson up the ladder to the roof,” says Marhaba Ahmad, a woman living in mountainous northern Pakistan. It was summer 2010, and floodwaters were about to engulf the house she’d lived in for over 30 years. As the rains poured down and the white water rose higher, the grandmother of eight started scrambling up the steep slopes of a 9,000-foot-high mountain.

23 May 2011 description

In summer 2010, the most devastating flood to hit Pakistan in decades swept away thousands of houses. With years of experience in creating shelters after natural disasters, CRS was prepared to take on this massive challenge. Leading CRS Pakistan teams is emergency expert Gulwali Khan, who talks here about what it took to help build over 20,000 homes in eight months.

How did the flood affect people’s houses?

20 May 2011 description

By Mariely Neris Rodriguez, CRS Pakistan

In mid‐August, 2010, heavy rains caused waves of floodwater to travel down the Indus River, causing unimaginable devastation throughout Pakistan’s northern Sindh Province. Hundreds of thousands of people in Sindh had to flee from their homes, leaving behind everything they owned. Most people returned to find their homes and lands destroyed and still under water, and their few possessions, including livestock and homes, gone.

18 Feb 2011 description

By Jessica Howell, Catholic Relief Services (CRS is a Caritas member)

The early days of last August seemed fairly unremarkable for the small Pakistani village of Rajo Bhayo, until the Indus River - swollen from days of unending monsoon rains in the north - breached a protective embankment nearby and came swirling towards the village.

Villagers had about an hour to prepare before the flood hit them. "We did not understand what was happening to us when the waters came," says Soomri, a 75-year old mother of five and grandmother of 23.

23 Dec 2010 description

Executive Summary

At the end of July 2010, heavy rains caused catastrophic floods across large sections of Pakistan.

29 Oct 2010 description

Executive Summary

At the end of July 2010, heavy rains caused catastrophic floods across large sections of Pakistan.

15 Sep 2010 description

There's a joke making the rounds of cell phones at Pakistani universities these days. The professor asks, "What's the chemical formula for water?" A student writes 'H2MgClNaClHNO3' on the board. "You idiot," snaps the professor, "The symbol for water is just H2O." The student: "Not if it's floodwater."

Far from university classrooms, in remote villages of Pakistan, the joke is a grim reality.

07 Sep 2010 description

As CRS employees in northern Pakistan stood on the office porch watching the floodwater rise, they also videotaped a nearby building. Through the pouring rain, I see a ragged chunk of the wall being eaten away, as if the water were taking bites out of it. Then, within the space of a few minutes, the roof began sliding down. It was all over in a half hour.

After a day of waiting, the staff eventually made it home, using ropes as they walked through waist-high water to get to safer ground. The CRS office survived undamaged, but across the region, hundreds of houses collapsed.

09 Aug 2010 description

Baltimore, MD, August 10-Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is providing newly homeless families with water purification tablets, plastic sheeting, cookware and more as floods continue to ravage Pakistan.

02 Aug 2010 description

Baltimore, MD, August 2, 2010--Catholic Relief Services teams are hiking through mudslide areas to reach survivors of massive floods that have killed more than 1,200 people and affected an estimated 1 million people in Pakistan.

"For tens of thousands of people, these floods have been a catastrophe,"says Carolyn Fanelli, Head of Programming and Acting Country Representative for CRS Pakistan. "In some areas, whole villages have been wiped off the map.

16 Aug 2009 description

By Laura Sheahen

In early May 2009, bombs started falling in cities in northern Pakistan. Millions of people fled their homes to escape the intense fighting. Most ended up in camps, public buildings such as schools, or outbuildings of host families farther south.

To combat the overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, Catholic Relief Services quickly began distributing materials, like bamboo poles and thatch to construct shelters.

17 Jul 2009 description

By Joe Lapp

Taroo Mall stands in a muddy pond, scooping water into a much-used bucket. Though his face is worn from a lifetime of working in dry fields, he still moves with ease.

He throws a bucket of water into a large metal pipe, priming a diesel pump that draws water from a reservoir to irrigate his village's fields.