In the flood-swamped village of Balkana in Pakistan’s Punjab province, a Caritas building is housing women and children who fled their mud houses following heavy rains and flooding.
Located at the entrance to Balkana village near Chenab River, the shelter house — a distinctive blue color — is home to 25 women and children rescued during the disaster. Their salvaged household items lie in a corner. The 18 feet (5.4 meters) by 20 feet (6 meters) facility, constructed on land owned by a farmer, has a communal toilet, a water tap and two food storage drums.
While male family members spend their time sitting outside on charpoys (wooden beds) under the trees or looking for labor, the women remain busy stitching pillow covers, tablecloths and children’s clothing. CPM under AA project provided food storage boxes to various DMCs in target villages. Now DMC president of Balkana uses wheat to get flour for people residing in shelter house.
Under its disaster risk reduction project, CPM has been supporting these entrepreneurs with wool, knitting needles and a sewing machine since 2018. The project titled “Humanitarian Disaster Risk Reduction in areas particularly threatened by extreme weather events in South Punjab, Pakistan” is supported by Germany’s Foreign Office through Caritas Germany.
Six Caritas shelters are operating in villages of Muzaffargarh, one of the worst-affected districts where more than 700,000 people have been displaced by flooding of the Chenab and Indus rivers and breaches in tributaries and canals. CPM staff Mr. Amir Yaqoob DRR Coordinator and Mr. Laban Zia DPO distributed six life jackets among DMC members of Balkana and Behram Pur villages of District Muzaffargarh on Sept. 4.