By Muhammad Haseeb Khalid
Walking around the Islamic Relief camp established at Makli, Thatta, a crowd of barefooted children run past me. I hear a shout “moonkhe b diyo!” (Give me!) I follow the children and see a makeshift shop where children are buying sweets. It was a bit of a shock find of a man selling sweets, biscuits, sachets of shampoo and soap at his makeshift shop so soon after the camp had been set up.
I talked with the owner, Ghulam Hussain, who with his wife and six children having been displaced by the floods which have destroyed their house in Pangrio village, Badin District. They have taken shelter at the tent camp established by Islamic Relief.
When talking about his difficulties and losses, he criticized the local politicians and government for their lack of help. He added we “the community should resolve our issues ourselves instead of relying on others.”
“Before the floods, I was working as a laborer,” he continued
“After arriving in the camp, I found that as it was a long way from the town. People did not have easy access to the markets, so I decided to start a small shop with the little money I had with me. I earn between 200-250 rupees a day and I am thankful to God for giving me an opportunity earn my livelihood,”
“Even though we were displaced by the floods, I did not give up in despair but I found an opportunity in this disaster. There is always a solution to problems and it’s up to us how to tackle it”, Ghulam added as he returned to serving his customers and I started thinking about what people affected by such disasters really need. Yes, they need food, water and some basic utensils for the initial stage but they also need help to start earning a livelihood.
Ghulam Hussain is one of the many examples of people who have the will and ability to put their lives back together even after losing everything.
An Islamic relief aid team rescue a family trapped in a village surrounded by floodwater. The team, led by Fadlullah Wilmot, the director of Islamic Relief Pakistan, come across the family in the Badin district of Sindh.
Badin is the worst hit area of Sindh -- around 1 million houses have been damaged or destroyed -- and the village has been isolated since the recent flooding started.