Six months ago “Karam” was happy and hopeful. His cotton and rice crops were doing well and he expected a good harvest. Even as a Christian, despised by society and often discriminated against, Karam could look forward to earning enough money to support his family. Then came the disastrously heavy monsoon rains which flooded southern Pakistan in July and August 2022.
For ten weeks over a metre of water covered Karam’s fields, destroying his crops. The mud house where he and his family lived was also completely destroyed. The family moved to raised land beside a road and tried to eke out an existence there. It was a time of hunger and hardship.
Thousands of other Christians like Karam lost their homes and livelihoods in the floods. Some squeezed into the tiny dwellings of their equally poor relatives. Others created makeshift shelters, usually set on higher ground beside roads; this is a very vulnerable situation for children, women and the elderly, and completely inadequate during the cold months of winter.
With generous help from our supporters, Barnabas Aid provided food, drinking water, mosquito nets, tarpaulins and other emergency items as well as medical care in the early days of the floods.
New homes bring joy
When the waters at last receded, we began to provide homes for the homeless. Karam’s is already finished and he is happy again. “I am thankful to the people of God who have been sharing the love of God to the families who are neglected in society,” he says.
The new houses are semi-permanent structures, with pillars of proper kiln-fired bricks between the mud walls, and plastic sheeting under the mud roof. This construction will make them more resilient to future flooding.
The cost to build one new house like this is around £760 ($910; €880) and includes the bricks, cement, sand, girders, bamboo and plastic sheeting.
Many houses were only partly damaged and they can be repaired, the typical cost being just £300 ($360; €345) per house.
Will you bring joy to homeless Christians in Pakistan?
Ten gifts of £30 ($36; €34.50) could repair one flood-damaged house, making it fit to live in again.
£760 ($910; €880) could build one complete new house, like Karam’s