Pakistan floods: Two testimonies from Sindh
Mitthal and Shahul have lost their homes in the Pakistan floods and are now living in camps in Sindh Province. We asked them about their experience, their most urgent needs and their hopes for the future.
Mitthal Bruei (50) is a father of five and lives in a tented camp in Khairpur, Sindh Province with his wife and children.
"We need money, medicine, clothes and shoes. We need money so we can buy all those things to meet our basic needs because we have nothing but the clothes we are wearing, and we need these things to help use continue our lives. This is not our land (where they are living in a tent). Everything we had was destroyed, there is nothing left.
"Sometimes you distribute these things later but we need things urgently. If we had the money we could go immediately to buy the things we need, like cutlery. Few of us have shoes... who is going to give us shoes? If we had money we could buy shoes. Some people are very sick and we need to be able to buy medicine.
"All our livestock has drowned. We had goats, we had buffaloes, we had cows... we had milk to sell but now we have nothing. If we could buy goats we could start to rebuild our lives.
"We have been given no hope from anyone. We don't know what we are going to do, and you can't give us everything – we are not hopeful that someone will help. The government is providing what it can but it's a poor government and it can't help us with any more. They don't have much money and they have to look after a lot of affected people. This is a government tent. But we are worried that the government will ask for it back. We need the government to tell us this is our tent.
"We have nothing else to wear. It's difficult when we want to wash our clothes... and no shoes to walk in. The ground is hard and painful to walk on.
"We are grateful to you (Oxfam) that you come here and talk with us, ask us our problems and what we need."
Shahul lives in a camp in a high school in Shikarpur District, Sindh Province. She thinks she is around 70 years old.
"We were living happily in our village when the water came. We had to run and take refuge here at this school. We had some livestock but they drowned. We were tenant farmers and were cultivating land, although it was barren land and so we grow a little wheat and sorghum.
"We didn't know the flood was coming. The water started coming into the house during the night and we just had time to get the children out. Everything else drowned or was destroyed in the flood.
"There are nine people in my family: Myself and my husband, four sons and 3 daughters. The eldest is 32 and the youngest is 15. All our livestock drowned: six cows, six sheep and two oxen. The only one to survive was a buffalo but now that is sick because there is little for it to eat.
"We came here by foot. It took one and a half days and we have been here for a month. We are fine here, we are safe but we are waiting for the water to go down and then we can return home.
"We received a cheque from Oxfam last week, around the 31st, I felt very happy when we got the money because we've been able to buy food, pay for medicines and health and hygiene items like soap and towels. We spent all the money."
Cash or food?
"We prefer to get cash because you can buy food with it but we could also get other necessities like medicines and food for the buffalo.
"The two most important things for the future are... first our home collapsed but we have no money to rebuild it, and the other is we no longer have a source of income – our land and livestock have gone – we have no means to rebuild. We are praying for those who have already donated things to us to help us. We have no other resources. We are completely reliant on the government and other organizations to help us.
"We are now receiving some uncooked food and cooked food twice a day. The government has given us gas cookers, milk, ice to make water cold but at the moment we are really concerned about the health and welfare of our children. The children have a lot of skin diseases due to the water, fever and diarrhea, so we need to spend money on medicines.
"I don't have any questions... just prayers to the donors. We need more assistance – like what? – money, food medicines... things for our daily needs. And we need help to rebuild our lives because we have no resources to do it ourselves. All our income sources have gone."
Pakistan floods: The situation and Oxfam's emergency response