Pakistan

Flood-hit Pakistanis move into new homes

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When the worst floods in Pakistan's recent history demolished her home, widow Bibi Sakina faced a precarious plight.

The 55-year-old had to flee her village of Yousaf Matchi seven months ago to escape the raging torrents that inundated this part of Sindh province.

More than 1,750 people died and 20 million others were affected by the flooding, which swept from the north to the south of the country after torrential monsoon downpours led to the mighty Indus River bursting its banks..

Bibi ended up in a camp miles away from her village along with thousands of other displaced people, enduring harsh conditions and struggling for everyday necessities.

Numerous problems

In the intervening months, Bibi moved from place to place, facing 'numerous problems' such as food and water shortages, more heavy rain and cold conditions.

'In a nutshell, you can say that I've had many problems beyond my expectation as a result of the floods,' said Bibi.

A few months ago, Bibi returned to her village and built a temporary shelter as she tried to get her life back on track.

On arrival, she received households goods through Tearfund

And thanks to generous support for Tearfund's floods appeal, she now has a decent roof over her head once more, built by fellow partner SSEWA-Pak, assisted by locals.

Ill-equipped

It's a far cry from what she has been living in for the last few months – a flimsy shelter comprising a patchwork of tarpaulin, plastic sheets and grass that looks ill-equipped to withstand any bad weather.

The mother-of-two's new wooden home, complete with veranda, has a decent roof and sits on a raised platform for greater protection from future floods.

Surveying her new abode, Bibi said, 'When I heard Tearfund was conducting a survey in order to provide shelter in our village, I was happy although I wasn't sure that they'd select me.

'But by the grace of God I was selected and I'm now living with peace of mind. I'm indebted to Tearfund for changing my life.'

Happy

Ashraf Mall, Tearfund's Country Representative for Pakistan, said Bibi was the first villager to receive a new home built with Tearfund's support and others were looking forward to getting theirs.

'The villagers are extremely happy that these houses are going to be built for them. They are made from quality materials and the finishing and raised platform are just perfect,' he said.

Along with other villagers, Bibi will also receive Tearfund's help to resume agricultural livelihoods.

This latest stage of work responding to the Pakistan floods follows emergency aid in the initial aftermath when partners provided food, water and shelter.