Pakistan: Voices of flood-hit people from Southern Punjab
Pakistan is facing the worst floods of the century. Many have lost their loved ones, houses, crops and belongings. Oxfam's Tariq Malik presents voices of flood-hit people from Kot Mithan, a district of Southern Punjab.
Floods overflowed from the River Indus, and hill torrents from the Suleiman mountain range breached the earthen embankment in the south-east of Kot Mithan in Punjab Province on Friday night, inundating surrounding villages and the western part of the town and rendering thousands of people homeless.
"I am fifty years old and I have never seen Kot Mithan flooded. I never even heard of it," says Jam Bugho, a small cotton grower. "Scrabbling knee-deep through the water carrying two of my nephews on my shoulders I have made out of the village along with my wife. Before we [left] my son went to look for cows, just to see if he could manage to take a few with him, if not all, but he did not return. We decided not to wait for him and joined others."
"Is there any way to know what might have happened with my son? My buffalos, cows and my goats?" asks Bugho.
Mohammad Naeem, 27, of Wasti Kallar village, was also there with his whole family. "I got married just four years ago. I have three small children, an ailing mother and a blind father. My wife is pregnant. There is water flowing where my home was. I have lost 20 acres of cotton crop and two acres of sugarcane. The water has swept away all the grain we had stored. I have lost my cows and goats too.
"When I asked the boat owner to help me get my cattle and some grain from the house which had not collapsed yet, he asked for 10,000 Rupees. I had no money, not even one third of what he was demanding. I offered him a goat but he outrightly refused. Then I approached the government rescue agency people, who refused on account that my village fell beyond its area of operation.
"So now we are here, in front of you, empty handed. Look at the sky above and the hovering clouds - I have no place to hide these small innocent children and old parents if it rains now."