“They are in a state of deep shock and despair,” wrote our project partners in Sindh to Barnabas Aid on Thursday 25 August. Who is so traumatised ‒ and why? It is poor Pakistani Christian farmers who have lost not only their crops but also their livestock in devastating floods, leaving them nothing but debts.
“Samuel” grows cotton to sell and support his family. On the night of 17 August his son came knocking on the door to warn that the rising waters were threatening his crop. Father, son and two other villagers tried all night to hold back the water, but it was impossible. In the early morning they had to abandon their cotton field and their five goats, and the entire family fled to the city to save their own lives.
But more bad news followed. Their relatives in the city were also struggling with flooding while, in the village, Samuel’s mud-built house collapsed and the goats died when their shelter collapsed on top of them. Like other poor Pakistani farmers, Samuel normally borrows money to buy the fertiliser, seeds etc. that he needs, paying it back after harvest-time from the profits of what he sells. But how can he pay his debts when he has lost his entire crop? How can he rebuild his house? How can he even feed his family?
The annual monsoon rains have been exceptionally heavy in Sindh province this year, wreaking havoc in both rural and urban areas. As so often, official government relief does not seem to reach Christians, who turn instead to their churches for help. And the churches have turned to Barnabas Aid, asking for money to purchase desperately needed food, hygiene items and medicines to deal with diarrhoea, malaria and dengue fever. Funds to repair their ruined homes will be needed when the flood waters recede.
Will you help?
500 Christian families
Our first target is to support 500 Christian families, including Samuel, 54 other farming families and 30 church pastors and their dependents. There could be many more in need because the floods are so bad that our project partners have not been able to reach some areas yet to find out their situation.
Your gift will help farmers like Samuel move from despair to hope.
£2.50 ($3.00, €3.00) could pay for a mosquito net for one family
£20 ($24, €24) could provide an emergency food package for a family to last 25-30 days
£23 ($28, €27) could pay for a 3-day course of medicine to deal with initial symptoms for 10 people
£38 ($46, €45) could pay for clean drinking water and water purification tablets for 50 families