Naveed Aziz our Pakistan officer visited Kasur to meet with victims of the massive deluge in Pakistan earlier this month. Christians living here have received no help or response from the Government of Pakistan or any charities. They have been affected by the Pakistan floods every year since 2010 and yet no disaster recovery plan or infrastructure has been put in place to enhance their safety or security. Our work itself was delayed due to the fact that our officer had travelled to Layyah and Gilgit first, both areas where all the Christian communities have survived quite miraculously and remain unscathed. Government agencies and Muslim charities have set up temporary shelter in the form of tents and are providing clean water, food and medical aid to these regions. Christians of Kasur, as in previous years, have been overlooked and forgotten.
When Naveed arrived he immediately noticed the dishevelled existence of the communities in the area. Victims had lost most of their possessions which had been washed away with their homes or irretrievably ruined by water damage and bruising carriage via the water surge.
"I was shocked at the immense devastation before me it was a lot to take in. People are in real desperation and children are starving - I am surprised and shocked at the lack of help from Pakistani authorities."
Naveed spoke to local residents and was encouraged by their bravery, fortitude and resilience. They spoke of their faith in God and that He would find provisions for them. The families had been working together to arrange boats to get people to safety during the floods and since it has dissipated they have returned to find much of their livestock and crops have not survived. Although they are worried about how they will see themselves through this lean spell, they have placed their trust in God. There is a desperate need for clean water and we have asked for the funders of our Jaranwala pump project to allow us to build a clean water pump for the community as they have none. We will start this project as soon as Mehwish returns from her training in Uganda.
In the meanwhile we only raised £220 from our flood appeal. This is woefully short of the level we need and we call urgently on our faithful supporters to please give to this necessary work. This community needs food, clean water, medical support and new clothes and furniture. Many have lost their mud homes and we need to help build new properties.
For some downtrodden families the whole devastation was simply too much and we have been told that they have given up their freedom and signed bonded labour contracts, with a thumbprint, simply for food and shelter as they felt they had no option. This is the same area where the Christian couple Shama and Shazad were brutally beaten, and burnt alive in a brick kiln (click here)
. Now more of our brothers and sisters face a torturous existence. Please help us prevent further families turning to a life of modern slavery and help us to help them rebuild their lives.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the BPCA, said:
My heart bleeds for this community, young children are starving and families choose to sell them selves into slavery for survival, illustrating that humanity has left the nation of Pakistan. I shed tears when I heard the story of this repeating plight and hope others are moved by the tragic lifestyle these families face daily. I hope hearts are stirred to offer help to these victims, as I believe one day we all have to answer to our maker."
Pray that the Government of Pakistan builds infrastructure to prevent the huge annual loss of life to inundations.
Pray that the nations of India and Pakistan are able to put aside differences and are able to coordinate a mutually beneficial flood prevention/reduction programme.
Pray for Christians to no longer be overlooked when flooding occurs and that they can afford to rebuild their homes and replace what they have lost.
We are working tirelessly to help end injustice for Christians in Pakistan, but we can't do it without your help.
Please help us by giving financially, that we might continue our work for the innocent. Any donations can be sent using these bank details:
Sort Code: 20-44-22
Account number: 43163318
Ref: Love for Pakistani Christians
For international donations please use these details:
IBAN: GB62 BARC 20442243163318
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Any cheques should be made payable to the BPCA
This former mud house is no longer habitable.
Many crops have died from over flooding.
A years toil and effort gone to waste.
Our officer Naveed lists the needs of families
Despite their poverty families pin their hopes on their Christian faith.
Water refuses to leave these communities.
Battle-worn BPCA banner leads the cavalry
Urgent help needed.
Naveed and colleagues travel from village to village by boat. Land travel simply is not possible.