I am currently working in the Parish of St. Francis Xavier Khipro in the Diocese of Hyderabad. I minister to almost 200 Parkari Kohli families in around 11 villages. These villages are the farthest from the Parish center. The majority of these people work as laborers in farmland owned by Landlords. Life is difficult for most of the families and it has became even more unbearable with the recent floods that have left many of them homeless and struggling for food and to access clean drinking water. Some have been forced to camp beside roads or elevated places for safety. The Interior Sindh stretches for miles and miles of flatlands which leaves flood water stagnant in many areas. Mosquitos are everywhere causing more and more people to contract Malaria. In my recent visit to one of the villages, children are getting sick because of water related illness. Their livestock has suffered and many animals have unfortunately died.
These families are in need of immediate aid which includes food, temporary shelters such as tents, and access to clean water. Long term responses such as assistance in building their homes and finding ways to make communities flood resilient will be needed when the flood waters recede.
So far, we have been able to distribute 246 food packages, tents, and mosquito nets to affected Christian families in the villages where I am working. There will be more that will be given to other families in the coming days including non-Christians as well.
Our fear is that this massive flood will be the “new normal” in the coming years. Pakistan is on the frontline of climate change. We need more than just efficient immediate relief response, these communities urgently need our help to tackle the climate crisis