“G od answered my prayers,” said Ramson, a poor Pakistani Christian farm labourer.
Ramson, his wife Anbo and daughter Aneeta were among 50 Christian families made homeless by devastating floods in southern Pakistan who have been provided with new homes in the first phase of a Barnabas-funded building project. Work is shortly to begin on building more than 50 new homes in the project’s second phase.
Our local project partners say the homes project has become a “light of hope” for impoverished Christians, who even before the floods were struggling as a result of inflation, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the damage to crops caused by locust attacks.
New homes are more resilient to flooding
“My whole family is happy and thanks Barnabas Aid for their wonderful effort, which led us toward a happier life,” said Ramson.
The mud house where they lived before was washed away when unusually heavy monsoon rains caused widespread flooding in July and August 2022 in the largely agricultural Sindh province.
The new Barnabas-funded homes have brick pillars between the mud walls, and iron girders supporting the mud roof, which is lined with plastic sheeting. These measures make the dwellings more resilient to flooding than the old houses.
Each home cost around £760 ($910; €880) to build, including all the materials.
Ramson is confident his new house will be better able to withstand weather extremes than his old homes that were wrecked by floods in 2010 and 2011 as well as in 2022. “This [new] shelter is far better than we had previously,” he says.
Thousands of poor Christians like Ramson lost their homes and livelihoods in the latest floods. Some squeezed into the tiny dwellings of their equally poor relatives. Others set up makeshift shelters, usually set on higher ground beside roads.
With generous help from our supporters, Barnabas provided 2,000 Christian families with food, drinking water, mosquito nets, tarpaulins and other emergency items as well as medical care in the weeks following the disaster.
Widow gives prayers of thanks for Barnabas
Widow Mrs Suraj lives with her 18-year-old son. She thanks God that they have been given a new home by Barnabas.
Mrs Suraj’s husband died of tuberculosis 15 years ago. She and her son are agricultural labourers and each receive 1,000 Pakistani rupees (£2.80; $3.50; €3.25) a month, as well as an allowance of wheat flour from their employer.
Their home and few possessions were destroyed in the flood. For many months Mrs Suraj and her son lived on the roadside, and food and practical aid from Barnabas helped to sustain them.
“She was always thinking and becoming sad because they do not have enough resources to rebuild their home again,” said our church partner.
Now Mrs Suraj and her son are settled in their new Barnabas-funded home. She says she will always remember Barnabas for providing them with support at a difficult time.
“I will pray for blessings for Barnabas Aid my whole life,” says Mrs Suraj. “Thank you for providing us with a house.”
Project reference: 41-919 (Christian flood victims in Pakistan)