The monsoon rains that brought raging torrents to the village of Habibullah Jamali took just a few hours to wash away homes, crops, livestock and livelihoods.
The 45 families who lived there did well to escape with their lives, yet it was three months before the flooding subsided and they could return to working their fields.
But the big irony of the 2010 disaster was that the floods had left them without any drinking water. No decent water meant any viable hope of rebuilding their lives was going to be stymied by disease and bad health and the villagers knew it.
‘I don’t have words to describe the very difficult time we faced,’ recalls Mr Jeevan, a 50-year-old tenant farmer.
Diarrhoea and bacterial infections were plaguing his family and neighbours and having lost cotton crops, livestock, food stores and houses, there was no income or assets to pay for treatment.
Change came with the arrival of a Tearfund flood response team, which worked with residents to form a village development committee to work out the reconstruction priorities and to get locals involved in making them a reality.
Having clean water was high on the list and Tearfund worked with them to install two hand pumps to get supplies from underground. Villagers were trained about how to maintain the pumps to ensure that Habibullah Jamali would have clean water for years to come.
Tearfund helped locals build a septic tank and concrete latrines to ensure sanitation posed no risk to the new water supply. This was backed up by training about hygiene and hand-washing.
‘Now I have my own proper house and my children are safe from the cold in winter and from mosquitoes. Thank you Tearfund for your support.’Mr Mansingh, Sindh Province, Pakistan
For a lot of rural residents, working for daily pay is the norm and after the floods that meant not being able to take time off to repair their homes.
Mr Mansingh from a village in Sindh Province was in this category: ‘If we had rebuilt our houses we couldn’t have eaten that day because we would have had no wages,’ he explained.
When a Tearfund team visited his community after the 2011 floods, they set out to address these difficulties that Mr Mansingh and his neighbours were facing by introducing a cash-for-work scheme, where Tearfund paid the villagers their wages for each day they rebuilt their homes.
Mr Mansingh said, ‘Now I have my own proper house and my children are safe from the cold in winter and from mosquitoes. Thank you Tearfund for your support.’
Tearfund helped more than 280,000 people after the 2010 floods and provided similar types of support after flooding in 2011 and 2012.
A little history...
Tearfund has been working in Pakistan since 1973 and today we support eight partners whose work ranges from responding to disasters to tackling drug addiction.
Where appropriate we are strengthening the ability of local churches to meet the needs of their communities - and working through other Christian groups where there is no local church.
Tearfund has a track record of responding to disasters in Pakistan, notably the 2005 earthquake and the floods in 2010, 2011 and 2012.