Families whose livelihoods were severely damaged by flooding in Pakistan are returning to agricultural productivity after help from Tearfund.
In the summer of 2010, monsoon rains led to extensive flooding affecting 18 million people.
Soon afterwards, Tearfund began distributing seeds and fertiliser to enable the most vulnerable to restart growing their crops after the waters subsided.
More than 1,000 families in the Thatta district of Sindh received rice seeds and fertiliser and the income generated from the resulting crops enabled many to repay loans from money lenders taken out before the flooding.
Income has also meant farmers can invest in their next crop without resorting to taking out loans and keep some to provide food for the rest of the year.
Khamiso Amro, 55, appreciates the help Tearfund has provided after his house, possessions and some of his livestock were washed away and his 11-year-old daughter became ill.
‘We were truly in shock and stranded without having a place to go,’ recalls Khamiso, who had to sell remaining livestock to afford to pay for rented accommodation. ‘When I came back after two months, I saw there was nothing and my rice crop was finished.
‘I got to know about Tearfund and am eternally grateful to them for helping my family. Without them, I couldn’t have looked after my family and up to now we live because of Tearfund.
‘I pray everyday asking God to look after Tearfund day after day for the work they do for poor people like us. Thank you very much.’
Ghullam Hussain, 40, echoes his sentiments: ‘Tearfund has helped us to restart our agricultural business which generates sufficient income to support our family.
‘This was a great relief for us because we suffered a lot, everything and every hope of our life was lost but now we’re back on our feet.’
Tarique Aziz, 27, relied on working the land for his livelihood before the flooding and says his crop losses also destroyed his hope.
Fertiliser and seeds from Tearfund enabled him to plant two acres of rice which earned his family 90,000 rupees (£650): ‘This is enough for us to live, for us to provide for ourselves with food to eat, to send my children to school and other necessary costs.
‘Now I have no problems as Tearfund has really saved our lives and I’m grateful for all the help they have given us.’
In the initial aftermath of the floods, Tearfund and our partners responded by providing food, health and hygiene kits, mosquito nets, blankets and plastic sheeting for shelter to those affected and ran mobile medical clinics to help those suffering from waterborne diseases.
Similar help was provided last year when flooding struck once more, mainly affecting Balochistan and Sindh provinces.