When the floods began in Pakistan in late July 2010, the Columban fathers, Sisters and lay missionaries living and working there began to respond to the devastation. With the generous aid of Columban benefactors like you, they were able to begin the long work of helping people rebuild their lives.
Unfortunately, due to unusually heavy and destructive monsoon rains in the Sindh province, there has been even more flooding this year in and around the city of Badin, Pakistan. Columban Fr. Tom Cavanagh lives and works in the Columban parish in Badin and shared the following update with me.
We have had a constant flow of people coming to the parish center looking for food rations. Unfortunately the minority Christian communities say that they are being neglected in favor of the majority Muslim community. In some instances food rations have been taken back when it was discovered that they were not Muslims.
Then people began arriving who had not eaten since the previous day. At best they had had only one meal a day. Because of the water lots of mosquitoes are bothering people, and malaria is on the rise. I met a family who escaped with only the clothes on their backs. At one stage the main road to Karachi from Badin was under water. Among the people we encountered were ten families who had fled the rising waters. It can be very traumatic seeing such a mass of humanity suffering so much. The response can feel inadequate, but the parish team did as much as it could.
Even though the rain has stopped, there are still large tracts of land flooded. People are unable to return to their villages to rebuild their houses and to plant crops. Food ration distributions are likely to continue until the flood waters clear fully to enable crops to be planted and harvested. The usual format is a tour is made of villages; people in need are given tokens and they come to the parish center where the aid packages are distributed.
At this time, Fr. Tom and the parish team are busy responding to the most recent round of flooding. They are ever grateful for the kindness, generosity and compassion of people like you who make their work possible. We gratefully keep you and yours in our Masses and prayers.
We humbly ask that you continue to pray for the people of Pakistan affected by the latest rounds of floods and for the Columbans and others who stand with them, ministering to the needs of both body and soul.
To donate to the relief effort, or to support another Columban project, please visit: