On September 2, 2014 a torrential downpour fell on Pakistan’s twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The flooding that ensued filled people with worry as they were reminded of the horror that occurred back in 2010 - when one fifth of Pakistan’s land mass was flooded, 20 million people were affected and families struggled for years to recover.
This month’s rains have already resulted in significant flooding and landslides. More than 700,000 have been forced to flee from their homes and 160 people have been killed. Today, the flood waters are moving slowly towards Sindh, leaving a path of destruction that will cause devastation similar to that of 2010.
World Renew and its local partners the Interfaith League Against Poverty (I-LAP) and Church World Service (CWS) spent two years responding to the 2010 and 2011 floods and were able to help 8,000 families (including 250 Christian families)
World Renew and its local partners the Interfaith League Against Poverty (I-LAP) and Church World Service (CWS) spent two years responding to the 2010 and 2011 floods and were able to help 8,000 families (including 250 Christian families) receive food, water, shelter, goats, other supplies. With its other partner Tearfund Pakistan, World Renew helped to restore livelihoods with animal husbandry and agricultural program for 400 households.
Today, these partnerships are once again at work responding to this most recent crisis.
World Renew and I-LAP are initially focusing their attention on Sharoon Colony in Rawalpindi, an area in which many Christians live. This area is located at a low lying plain, and was flooded with rain water of up to 24 feet. All houses in Sharoon colony were submerged in water while the residents took refuge on their roof tops.
“120 families are being assisted with immediate food assistance through cooked food rations as well as other emergency supplies including tents, kitchen kits, hygiene kits, mattresses, blankets, jerry cans, and aqua tabs to enable them to purify water” explained Wayne de Jong, World Renew’s Director of Disaster Response and Rehabilitation. “We are initiating this response to assist this very vulnerable group that has not yet received assistance from other humanitarian organizations.”
The army and other civil society organizations have not reached this location and the families living in the colony are in dire need of assistance as their household possessions have been destroyed by the flooding. Some of the affected families are seeking refuge at their relatives while the remaining families have been on their rooftops, waiting for assistance.
I-LAP’s Chairman, Sajid Ishaq recently visited the colony as part of the initial relief efforts. “The people of Sharoon Colony were so thankful to World Renew and I-LAP for addressing their immediate needs” he explained. “Special prayers were offered by these families for World Renew, I-LAP and those who donate, before they received the food assistance and emergency supplies. We are grateful to have been the first organizations to reach these affected families with such a practical and substantial relief package.”
Tearfund Pakistan has operations further south along the river systems, and is preparing in anticipation of the flooding that will be coming from the north. Country Team Leader, Ashraff Mall said they are engaged in preparation activities including infrastructure preservation and addressing people’s concerns. Tearfund is following the monitoring systems and have some idea of how this will develop as the water courses its way to the sea.
To support World Renew as it responds to vulnerable populations in different parts of Pakistan and helps communities prepare for destructive flooding, please donate online.
Checks marked “Pakistan Flood 2014” can also be sent to:
World Renew US
1700 28th St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508
World Renew Canada
P.O. Box 5070 STN LCD
Burlington, Ontario, L7R 3Y8