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Photo credit: www.bbc.com

Food insecurity, scarcity of water, drought and malnutrition remains a continuous threat for the lives and livelihoods of the people of Tharparkar district. Precious human lives have been lost and livelihoods stolen. The impact of these adversities may further escalate if timely action is not taken to control the situation.

According to  the local health department, eleven more children have died in Thar’s hospitals, during the past four days due to an outbreak of waterborne diseases and malnutrition. Since January this year over 172 infants have died in the district.

Dozens of unwell children were brought to six health facilities of the Thar district on Wednesday. Their parents complained of a lack of facilities in the hospitals to timely treat their children and unavailability of healthcare units in their remote villages.

They alleged that most of the dispensaries and basic health units in their villages  remained closed. Despite repeated attempts, no health official representing these health facilities were available to share their version of the story.

Since Justice Saqib Nisar, Chief Justice of Pakistan, has taken suo moto notice of the increasing number of infant deaths reported at the Civil Hospital in Mithi this April, the district health officials have stopped sharing details of the deaths of infants with the media.

Health and nutrition experts and rights’ activists working in the desert area of Thar have raised a dire need of nutritional provision and safe drinking water in the region to prevent further deaths.

They stated that the situation in the rain-dependent region have assumed alarming proportions due to increasing temperatures and delayed monsoon rainfall.

Community World Service Asia Response: Community World Service is in contact with local partners in Tharparkar for information on the ground and will plan a response accordingly.

Contacts:

Dennis Joseph
Associate Director – Disaster Management Program
Email: dennis.joseph@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 300 855 7414

Palwashay Arbab
Head of Communications
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Ph: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources: www.dawn.com

Photo credit: http://www.aljazeera.com

Widespread flooding and devastating mudslides brought on by Cyclone Mora and monsoon rains across southwestern portion of Sri Lanka have affected 15 districts, killed at least 203 people and left more than 600,000 people temporarily homeless.

The death toll is expected to rise as authorities’ battle to rescue those still stranded and warn of the possibility of crocodile attacks. The UN warned that with an increasing number of displaced people and a lack of space in temporary shelters, many people were at risk of disease.

Sri Lanka has seen a significant increase in mosquito-borne dengue fever this year, with more than 125 deaths.

Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford, reporting from Kalutara city, said residents were still without access to water and electricity and heavily reliant on voluntary services.

Foreign Minister, Ravi Karunanayake, met foreign envoys in Sri Lanka and appealed for assistance. He said 24 countries have already extended help.

The UN, India, Australia, Japan and Pakistan are among those that have donated supplies, including water purification tablets and tents. The United States and China also pledged relief. “In the capital, shops and supermarkets are running out of supplies as people are coming in and hoovering up items,” he said.

“While waters are receding in some areas, there are still some parts that are 10 to 12 feet under water.”

Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake said 16 countries had sent medicines and relief supplies to assist those driven from their homes.The Sri Lankan military is also doing all it can. Search-and-rescue operations are still ongoing. But residents are saying if it wasn’t for private organizations and people coming forward, the government and military would be finding it even harder to deal with this crisis

Mudslides have become common during Sri Lanka’s summer monsoon season as forests across the tropical nation have been cleared for export crops such as tea and rubber.

Community World Service Asia Response: Community World Service is in contact with the partners in Sri Lanka on getting the updated information on the latest situation. It is closely monitoring the crisis and will devise a response plan accordingly.

Contacts:

Karen Janjua
Senior Program Advisor
Regional Programs and Resource Mobilization
Email: karen.janjua@communityworldservice.asia
Ph: +92 51 230 7484

Palwashay Arbab
Head of Communications
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Ph: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources:
www.aljazeera.com
www.cnn.com
www.cbc.ca

Photo credit: http://www.aljazeera.com

An estimated 3,700 people were still trapped in Marawi, a municipality of 201,785 people in Lanao del Sur Province in Mindanao, on Thursday as clashes between government forces and members of the Abu Sayyaf and Maute group continued in the Islamic city, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which is working to ensure their safe evacuation.

In Manila, ICRC Philippine delegation head Pascal Porchet told the Inquirer that the humanitarian aid group has been able to communicate with members and persons “close to” and “directly involved” with the Islamic State-linked fighters and the Philippine military, requesting safe passage for those still trapped in Marawi. “But the most important thing is, we are here to work hand in hand with the parties involved to ensure the safety and well-being of the people,” Porchet said. “We just hope the civilians will be able to flee safely, and will soon be rescued.”

As the violent clashes on 23rd May erupted, residents of Marawi soon evacuated in large groups to safe zones in surrounding areas, including Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental. Strict checkpoints by both Maute groups and government forces, long traffic lines and lost documentation has slowed the evacuation.

The fighting has made it difficult to reach areas where civilians had sought refuge but the ICRC said it was able to rescue 500 civilians following dialogues with those involved in the fighting, which left large patches of the city in ruins. “We are extremely concerned about the impact of the hostilities on the civilians. Our priority is to address the humanitarian needs of the affected people,” the ICRC said in a report. “We are seriously concerned about reports of civilians who were killed or deliberately targeted, or being held against their will. Civilians are not part of the fighting; they should be protected.”

Only 30,645 individuals or 6,129 families have taken shelter in evacuation centers in nearby cities such as Iligan and Cagayan de Oro and as far away as Davao City. Majority of the displaced have sought refuge in homes of relatives.

The latest information from OCHA and ARRM-Heart on 30th May indicate that estimated 90% of the population of Marawi City has been affected. Marawi residents have left the city without necessities, such as extra clothes, livelihood assets or basic hygiene items. It appears that the Christian community (who represent less than 20% in Marawi) has been particularly targeted by the Maute group.  Around 20 Christian civilians were killed when they tried to escape Marawi city at a Maute check point.

Unicef Philippines has called on involved parties in the Marawi conflict to ensure the safety and protection of children affected by the ongoing fighting there. Unicef estimates around 50,000 children have been affected by the conflict by being displaced within Marawi or to other cities in Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte; unable to return to their homes; or are in dire need of basic health and sanitation facilities. “We are deeply concerned about actions that may put children’s life and safety at risk and disrupts their overall development or access to basic social services such as education and health care. The estimated tens of thousands of children who, along with their families, have been displaced in and out of Marawi, could face severe long-term impact on their psycho-social health, their physical health as well as having their education disrupted,” warned Unicef Philippines Representative Lotta Sylwander.

As violence continues in Marawi City, there is uncertainty around when the displaced people will be able to return home, placing a serious strain on the resources and facilities available in evacuation centres (ECs) and on the capacity of the local government to accommodate the large influx of IDPs, particularly if the conflict intensifies further or expands.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who declared martial law on Mindanao Island, has approved the creation of a “peace corridor” to hasten the rescue of civilians and delivery of humanitarian aid for displaced people, said presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella.

He said the corridor will be implemented by the government and the main separatist group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which has signed a peace agreement in exchange for Muslim autonomy in Mindanao, the southern third of the Philippines.

Community World Service Asia Response: Community World Service is in contact with local partners in Philippines on updated information on the ongoing conflict. It is closely monitoring and will devise its response plan accordingly.

Contacts:

Emmeline Managbang
Deputy Director
Disaster Management Program
Email: mae.manags@communityworldservice.asia
Ph +93 78 635 0703 / +63 908 102 1016

Palwashay Arbab
Head of Communications
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Ph: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources:
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/05/mindanao-churchgoers-hostage-marawi-siege-170524085829461.html
Start Network Alert – https://startnetwork.org
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/901709/marawi-conflict-unicef-calls-for-efforts-to-keep-children-safe-protected
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/901862/3700-still-trapped-in-marawi-city
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/01/1705747/civilians-seek-food-water-marawi-clash-continues

 

Photo credit: Dawn News

At least five hundred mud houses were destroyed when a fire broke out on the afternoon of May 10th, in village Vakrio near Islamkot town in Tharparkar district. The reported fire broke out due to a short circuit and immediately engulfed a thatched house in the village Vakrio. Due to strong winds, the fire spread to more than 500 thatched and cemented houses, reducing them all to ashes and rubble within minutes.

Luckily, at that time that the fire erupted, village residents were out working in the fields, saving them from the ravenous fire. Seven people from the village have however been reported injured. Most of the village livestock was also grazing in the fields at that time of the day, yet around 100 cattle have reported been killed in the fire.

Vakrio residents ran out their houses to save their lives, but did not have ample time to save their livestock or their belongings. All their ornaments, clothes, crockery, seeds stocks for next cultivation, stocks of fodder, food, were all burnt to ashes in front of their eyes.

The village residents all tried their best to extinguish the fire together by throwing barrels of water and sand on the blazing fire, but despite their efforts, they were not able to save the hundreds of homes. Only two hundred houses in the entire village were unharmed from the fire.

This is  the tenth such incident this year, on an average around three houses have been burned in each incident, but there has been no immediate solution to this recurring tragedy.

The people of Vakrio spent the night in the open land and appealed to relevant authorities and welfare departments to help them rebuild their houses and rehabilitate back to their usual life.

Emergency shelter kits, food package and nonfood items such as cooking utensils to cook their food are immediate requirements of the affected communities.

Community World Service Asia Response: Community World Service is in contact with local partners in the area on the updated information of the tragic event. It is closely monitoring and will devise its response plan accordingly.

Contacts:
Felix Dennis Joseph
Associate Director
Disaster Management Program
Email: dennis.joseph@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 300 8557414

Palwashay Arbab
Head of Communications
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Ph: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources: www.dawn.com

The people of Sindh are likely to experience another wave of extreme heat for the third consecutive year – albeit 2 months earlier than in previous years –  as the mercury surged to unseasonably high temperatures on Monday, April 10, 2017.

The Met Office reported that Karachi would experience hot to very hot weather on Tuesday (today) and the maximum temperature would range at 42°C, with humidity, and a “real feel” averaging in at 44°C.    In view of the forecast, the mayor of Karachi announced setting up 12 centers in the city’s hospitals for heatstroke patients and the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) is spearheading contingency plans across Sindh.

In other parts of the province, Sukkur, at 46°C, as well as Hyderabad and Nawabshah at 45°C are recorded among the hottest places in Sindh today.   Government officials fear that the coming three days would be highly critical and have ordered all hospitals across the province to be on high alert.

Weather forecasts for the coming 10 days indicate that temperatures are expected to soar even higher. In districts Tharparkar and Umerkot of Sindh, expected temperatures will be 44-45°C from the 12th through the 16th, accelerating to 47°C from the 17th through the 19th. Temperatures in Shaheed Benazirabad District (formerly Nawabshah) are predicted to increase to 45- 46°C from the 11th through the 14th, rising to 46 – 47°C from 15th through the 19th. Temperatures are predicted to begin to decrease steadily from the 20th through the rest of April.

When the human body’s core temperature exceeds 40 degrees Celsius it becomes very difficult for the body to cool itself.  This can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke — and often even death.   Young children, the elderly, persons with pre-existing conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, and, persons working outdoors are particularly vulnerable to heatstroke.  Women are more susceptible than men, and the obese are also more susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.   Contrary to popular belief, electric fans are more harmful than do good during periods of extreme heat, as blowing hot air decreases the body’s ability to cool itself.

A severe heat wave with temperatures as high as 49 °C (120 °F) struck southern Pakistan in June 2015, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,000 people from dehydration and heat stroke, mostly in Sindh province and its capital city, Karachi.  The heatwave also struck the same region in 2016; however, due to good coordination and anticipatory response, mitigation measures and awareness raising campaigns, few human lives were lost.

Community World Service Asia Response:

Community World Service is closely monitoring the situation through close contact with the local authorities and will react accordingly. Community World Service Asia provided preventive and curative support to people affected or at-risk of the heatwaves in 2015 and 2016.

Contacts:

Karen Janjua
Senior Program Advisor
Regional Programs and Resource Mobilization
Email: karen.janjua@communityworldservice.asia
Tel: +92 51 230 7484

Palwashay Arbab
Head of Communications
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Tel: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources:
www.tribune.com.pk
www.dawn.com
www.accuweather.com/en/pk/pakistan-weather

photo credit: ROUF BHAT/AFP/Getty Images

At least fourteen people have reportedly died in an avalanche in Chitral’s Sher Shal area in Pakistan this Sunday. According to the Chitral Scouts Commandant, Col Nizamuddin Shah, bodies of fourteen people, including women and children, have been recovered from the debris so far. He added that twenty-five houses have been buried under the snow and five have been totally destroyed.

The same region has been hit by heavy snowfall, reaching as deep as four feet in some areas.

A Frontier Constabulary soldier has also died and six others have been injured when a Chitral scout post was directly hit by a second avalanche in Chitral’s Pishotan area near the Pak-Afghan border. The injured soldiers were rescued early morning, announced ISPR.

“There is no way to rush the injured persons to the Chitral hospital [either] because all roads in the valley have been blocked due to heavy snowfall, while evacuation operations were also delayed by the weather” Chitral Deputy Commissioner Shahab Hameed Yousafzai shared.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has activated the National Emergency Operations Centre to coordinate rescue and relief efforts in the avalanche-hit area.

Community World Service Asia is in contact with Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and local partners in the area and will devise its response strategy, should there be any need of emergency response.

Contacts:

Karen Janjua
Senior Advisor
Regional Programs and Resource Mobilization
Email: karen.janjua@communitryworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 51 5496532

Palwashay Arbab
Head of Communications
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources: www.dawn.com

source: aljazeera.com and AFP

More than a hundred people have been killed as a series of avalanches triggered by days of heavy snowfall around hit Afghanistan. In one village alone, more than fifty people have died in the avalanche. Officials warned on Sunday that the death toll may rise further.

The avalanches struck after three days of heavy snow fall, destroying many homes and blocked roads in central and northeastern provinces. The ruthless weather and high snow levels hampered rescue efforts to reach isolated villages, thus, raising fears about the toll rising sharply.

Most of the casualties  are however reported in remote Nuristan province, where at least fifty people were killed in a single village. Two entire villages were buried in Bargmatal district; 50 bodies were recovered from one village while rescuers are  currently trying to reach the other village.

Elsewhere 54 people were killed in northern and central Afghan provinces, where officials said massive avalanches destroyed 168 houses and killed hundreds of cattle.

At least eighteen people, including three women and two children, In the northeastern province of Badakhshan, have reportedly died and dozens are still trapped under the rubble and snow.  The blockage of roads has made it difficult however for rescue workers to reach them said provincial spokesman Naweed Frotan.

According to provincial spokesman Zabiullah Amani, five more have died in the avalanches in the Balkhab district of Sari Pul province in northern Afghanistan and at least seventy people are trapped under snow are being rescued at the moment.

Two people and over a hundred farming animals have died due to the extremely cold temperature in the western province of Badghis. Whereas in the Parwan province,  just north of Kabul, sixteen people have reportedly died.

The government declared Sunday (which is otherwise a working day in Afghanistan), a public holiday to deter non-essential travel and to ensure schools are closed[1].

Community World Service Asia is collecting information from different sources. Its emergency response teams are ready and will formulate the strategy, should there be any need of emergency response.

Contacts:

Nejabat Khan Safi
Associate Director
Email: nejabat.safi@communitryworldservice.asia
Cell: +93 78 468 6250

Palwashay Arbab
Head of Communications
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources:
www.samaa.com

[1] AFP

 

Blood feuds handed down through generations are very common in parts of Afghanistan, and revenge is regarded as a necessary redress of the many wrongs of the past no matter what the present circumstances. Many are left to fend for themselves regardless of their role in such legendary feuds. Gullali, mother of five children, was a victim of one such incident that changed her life dramatically.

Living a happy and content life with her husband, an experienced mason, her four sons and a daughter in Pashaiee Village, Mehterlam, Gullali and her family were blessed with all the comforts of a basic life;  adequate food, healthcare, education, clothing and other household needs. A tragic turning point in the life of Gullali came when her husband was killed in October (2016) by an unknown assailant in front of their own home. Gullali was left alone and in a state of worry and fear for the lives of her children and herself.  She was therefore forced to leave everything behind and move to Samtado Village, Mehterlam, where her parents lived.

In Samtado, Gullali’s living conditions deteriorated from what they were at her lovely home. Gullali and her children temporarily lived within an old, mud built room at her parent’s house. She had very little family support as her parents did not earn very well and she was unable to bare the daily expenses of her five children. Some of their fellow villagers, helped Gullali on and off financially while most other time she earned a meagre income through cleaning the houses of their neighbours in the village.

The Directorate of Returnees and Refugees Office in Afghanistan knew of Gullali and her poor state of affairs through their assessments and introduced her to Community World Service Asia. As Community World Service Asia had recently launched a project with the support of Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and Church of Sweden (CoS), to respond to the needs of Afghan returnees and internally displaced people (IDPs), the team was happy to support her through the project.

The team assessed Gullali’s living conditions and was soon provided with assistance and support as she was going through a very hard time. Gullali was initially provided an emergency shelter (tent) for her children and her to live in safely as her temporary residence, due to its weak structure, could possibly collapse any day. Gullali was very pleased to move in the tent as she was also provided with additional facilities that would keep her children warm in the coming, freezing winter. The family was also able to access to the health facilities set up by Community World Service Asia for all returning refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in the emergency shelters. Gullali’s children are also attending school in makeshift schools near their present home and are living a comparatively comfortable life.

This project is successfully being implemented running in the Laghman and Nangarhar provinces of Afghanistan under which basic health facilities are also provided to families residing in the emergency shelters.

Mithal, a 45-year-old widow and mother to a 13 years old son, lives in Phul Jhakro village located in Thatta district, Sindh. Her son and her live with her mother and brother, who is often unwell and unable to bring home a regular income. The family is therefore faced with severe financial crises throughout the year. As a means of income, Mithal worked in the agricultural fields picking chilies and cotton and grazed crops.  The floods that hit southern Pakistan in 2010 destroyed those lands and its crops, shrinking the earnings of the family even further, forcing them to live in sub-standard conditions.

Responding to the floods, Community World Service Asia initiated relief and recovery projects in Phul Jhakro village and conducted Disaster Risk Reduction(DRR) Trainings in 2011.

“Many villagers attended the DRR training and I was one of the participants as well. The trainings were very helpful as various exercises were conducted in order to minimize the devastating effects a disaster leaves behind. These trainings have made us more aware and prepared for any kind of disaster including fire, floods and earthquakes,”

added Mithal.

Mithal proudly added that after the informative and life-saving DRR interventions, many of her fellow villagers started to become more open-minded and started welcoming new ideas and learnings.

“We established a school in our village in order to promote education amongst our children. The teacher belonged from our village as well. Disaster Risk Reduction Trainings are given in schools as well which has built an additional knowledge and has made our children more aware in relation to disaster management.”

Observing the keen interest and rapid learning of the people of Phul Jhakro, soon after, a vocational training center, conducting Adult literacy classes for women for the first three months, was established.  Earlier, Mithal gave thumb impressions as her identification as she was unable to read or write. At the Adult Literacy Trainings, she learnt to read, write, and calculate basic mathematics. She could also sign her name now. Mithal was appointed as the monitor of her class which gave her even more confidence and motivation.

“This training enhanced my educational skills giving me the confidence to speak to other people and negotiate while taking handicraft orders.”

Mithal said that many women in her village were unable to read and write as most did not go to school for basic education but now things have changed.

“The center conducted a three month Vocational training which focused on enhancing our stitching and designing skills. We were taught about family colors and how to use light and dark colors together to form vibrant designs which are both appealing and beautiful. A variety of new techniques were also taught, including appliqué work and cushion embroidery. Different stitches were practiced including Kacho Stitch, Lazy Dazy Stitch, Moti Stitch and Pakko Stitch. I enjoyed working on the cushion designs as it was new to me and I found the work to be very elegant.”

Establishing and promoting the indigenous and national handicraft industry has benefits for all. Not only does it provide additional employment locally but also raises the living standards of both rural and urban populations. As part of the livelihoods and Women empowerment projects supported by Community World Service Asia and its partners, exposure visits were conducted where rural artisans met with urban buyers of Bhit Shah and Karachi. Mithal was among those who were an active part of these visits.

“The exposure visits to Bhit Shah and Karachi further developed my understanding and broadened my knowledge about the handicrafts market. In Bhit Shah, I experienced the work of block printing on Ajraks which was completely new to me. Initially we did embroidery on the neck lines of shirts only. The exposure visit to Karachi enhanced our perception and we learnt to do embroidery on shirt borders, waist coats, bags, cushion covers and other open pieces of cloth. We now know how to keep samples of our work for future use and display for buyers.”

Mithal also attended the training conducted at the campus of Textile Institute of Pakistan in Karachi, where she learnt how to make high fashion shirts, jeans and different designs of Kurtis.

The same artisans were then given an order of products to produce for a Fashion Show that would launch their handicrafts brand to the fashion and textile market in Lahore. Working on the production of those products was a completely different experience according to Mithal.

“We made laces with various designs of embroidery, Muko and Zari work. We were not aware of what the final product, using our designs and embellishments, would look like. On my way to Lahore for the Fashion Show, I kept wondering what our pieces will be used for and how it will look, what kind of response our work would get. When we got to the venue of the event in Lahore (the Pakistan Fashion Design Council), we saw the finished products for the first time; those included sarees, shirts, kurtis, lehngas (long skirts), long coats, waistcoats, trousers, bags and scarves. We were amazed to see the complete products and how the laces and embroidery pieces were used to make such a beautiful collection. We did this I thought to myself in disbelief!”

 Mithal had never in her life gotten the chance to showcase her work and talent at such a high profile event which made her even more nervous regarding peoples’ expectation and response to her work. Mithal excitedly expressed,

“It was a wonderful feeling to see our work on the ramp. The zari, muko and embroidery work on the laces was immensely appreciated by the designers and guests at the event.”

As Mithal shared, the women of their area have always been entirely dependent on the men in their family to go out of their homes.

“This concept has changed and I now travel independently on my own. I have travelled to Karachi and Lahore. My first airplane trip to Lahore was one of the best experiences of my life. I was extremely excited to travel so far from home to promote my work further. My brother has been very supportive throughout my journey. Many villagers discouraged him not to allow me to travel on my own and promote my work. But my brother always encouraged me to move forward with my talent as I was working for a positive cause and change, for the betterment of our lives.”

Mithal now receives many orders as the demand for her designing and embroidery has increased. She has received orders of various products including rillis, laces, shirts and jewelry.

“My land was destroyed due to the flood of 2010. After receiving two orders of PKR 11,000, I utilized that money on replenishing the land and bought seeds to grow crops on the land again. My brother was very happy with this progress and we now grow wheat on our land which has increased our source of income further.”

Mithal also now conducts DRR trainings on her own in her village to expand and strengthen women’s knowledge, empowering them in decision-making processes at times of calamity.

“The villagers address me as an officer as I have travelled to Lahore and Karachi to progress my hard-work. Even my son calls me a professional officer and proudly walks in the streets of our village.”

Most women in the village are more encouraged now as they see Mithal’s courageous change by stepping out in the world to play a better role in the socio-economic development in her respective community.

Mustufa and Zainab, parents to a young son and daughter, lived in Khamiso Dal Village located in Union Council Tando Hafiz Shah in Thatta, Sindh. The couple was living a troubled life since the floods in 2015 hit their house and their lands severely. The house was left totally damaged and all their belongings were washed away.  Zainab also suffered from a mental illness which made things further difficult for the family

Saving the lives of his family being the only thing on his mind, Mustufa, fled Khamiso village and the flood, and made it to Hameed farm. He stayed there for two and a half months with his family and was barely earning for the family by cracking stones.

When the flood water left, Mustufa returned back to his village with this family. Nothing was left of the village though. It was a land of ruins. No house was left undamaged and there was no land left for cultivation. Everyone’s life savings and belongings had gone too. The flood had taken everything along with it.

With nothing else left to depend on, Mustafa started to cut wood and sell it off for a living. As soon as the water in the village fields dried up, Mustufa started to think about re-cultivating his 4 acres of land. Before the floods, he used to produced cotton and chilies on his fields.

“I started to have some hope when staff of Community World Service Asia came to our village and distributed various vegetable seeds for sowing and harvest. I was hopeful that the golden days of my life would return and I began to cultivate those seeds in the back yard of my home,” narrated Mustafa.

As his land had become saline, the harvest result was not as good as it was expected. Mustufa, then went to his landlord and asked for his permission, to cultivate the remaining seeds on his land. The result of the second harvest was amazing. Only in thirty to thirty-five days there was produce in the lands. Spinach and coriander leaves were the first to sprout.

Filled with content and gratitude, Mustufa and his family cooked the first produce and had a good meal. They also distributed some among neighbors as a gift of happiness. Mustufa started selling the vegetables too. He sold 45kgs of spinach for 70Rs/kg and 15 kgs of coriander for 40Rs/kg. After a few days, okra, ridge gourd and bottle gourd were also produced. He sold 30 kg of newly harvested spinach for Rs.70/kg and earned a profit of PKR 2100. Whereas, the total profit he earned from selling 25kg of ridge for 50Rs/kg and 30kgs of bottle gourd for 50 Rs/kg were PKR 2750.

“I earned PKR 8600 (equivalent to DKK540) by selling these vegetables”,

says a proud Mustufa. With the profits earned, he bought Eid dresses for his family along with fruits and meat to eat. He used some savings of that revenue for the treatment of his wife as well. Mustufa has now planned to set up a tomato nursery and has high hopes for a good income generation of it.