Pakistan update: Some good news, with hope for more

Fr. Tomas King
September 8, 2010

Greetings to All,

Following is a brief update about the ongoing flood situation;

There is still serious flooding in Sindh, as you probably see from pictures in the news. The good news is that the water level is receding, though it is still very high near Kotri barrage on the opposite side of the river from Hyderabad city.

Hyderabad is out of danger. But further south, waters continue to flood from the river near Thatha. This has flooded the towns of Sajawal which is in Badin parish. Waters have reached to within 50 km of Badin city and at this stage it looks like the city will escape. The government has set up relief camps around Badin city.

Nearby is Jati, a small parish which is administrated from Hyderabad parish. It is where Columban Fr. Robert McCulloch does some of his ministry. Fr. Sabir Sadiq, diocesan priest based in the Cathedral parish in Hyderabad, is from Jati. For the past week, before the flood waters arrived to engulf the town of Jati and the surrounding lands, Fr. Sabir has been helping with the evacuation. The crops and homes of his family and all his Christian and Muslim neighbors have been lost. They did manage to get their animals out. Tragically, when people were evacuating through the flood waters, four young children of one family were drowned when they fell into deep waters. So far their bodies have not been found. Jati people estimate that it will be at least two weeks before they can begin to move back, as the flood waters are expected to linger that long. Most of the Christian community in Jati have evacuated to relatives in Karachi.

Emergency relief and medical help are being provided by many sources. These include the parish team in Kotri parish led by Franciscan Fr. Mohan Victor, St. Mary’s Girl’s High School in Hyderabad ,where both staff and students are helping out, Columban Sisters and their team, Columban Fr. Felisiano Fatu and the Badin parish team, Sr. Rosey Yaqoob, FMCK, in Sukkur parish and the Outreach team from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Hyderabad, where Fr. Robert McCulloch is director.

All of these have received funding that has come in from Columban sources. This relief work will continue for some time. According to the Prime Minister, from the government side of things, this first phase of relief work will continue until the end of October.

That is a brief summary of the present situation. The attached photos are from Fr. Mohan Victor showing the relief work being carried out in Kotri area.

Sincere thanks for your help and support.

Peace,
Columban Fr. Tomas King