Written by

August 3, 2022


In the ‘Need of the Hour’

Around 80 kilometers from Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan lies the last union council Panjpai. The recent flash flooding has left a trail of destruction everywhere in the area.

With houses and villages destroyed by the 4 hour continuous rains, the rugged terrain is still strewn by debris and muck. With most of the inhabitants living below the poverty line, the local communities are in a state of shock and disbelief.

Figure 1 Destroyed houses in Mian Khanzai village of Panjpai, Balochistan

With most of the infrastructure like houses, schools and roads damaged, the locals are in dire need of support to survive these unforeseen circumstances.

Figure 2A woman walking besides a fallen wall of a damaged house

Islamic Relief Pakistan with two decades long association with the people of Balochistan was one of the first organizations to reach the ones in need. With another rain spell predicted in the coming week, the affectees are facing multiple challenges.

The Daily Wager

The water receded from the area but the damage strains are still visible and fresh. Standing beside the rubble of his damaged house in the Mian Khanzai village, Naseeb ullah who is 45 years old told us

“Rain is usually a relief in our area but this was terrifying. As I saw the water level increasing in my village, I shifted all my family members to a mosque that is on a safe place.”

Looking for buried valuables with his mud clad hands, Naseeb ullah continues to tell us

“I work as a daily wager and I had a kitchen garden as well where I used to grow vegetables, it was a big support for a poor person like me. Flood water took everything with it”.
“I have no home now, we spend our days and nights under the open sky”

The Centenarian

“During the last 100 years, I don’t remember seeing a downpour like this in Panjpai.”

105 year old Khan bibi is the oldest in all of the Mian Khanzai village. Slowly walking with the help of a cane, the centenarian sat on the green grass patch outside the damaged house along with her son

“My grandson got trapped under one of the fallen walls of the house for fifteen minutes and then my son rescued him. The rains have brought destruction which might need years to overcome”

After the rains, the temperatures have risen and staying out without a roof is a challenge for children, women and elderly. As we moved out from her place, the sons the old women were trying to fill the holes in the boundary wall of their home with mud and bricks.

Figure 5 Khan bibi standing outside her house.

The Unfortunate Farmer

Treading the new path carved by the flood water, Abdul Qadir greets us. With sweat drops on his tanned, wrinkly forehead, the old man in his 80’s directly took us to his farming tunnel whose structure is barely standing now.

“Look at this, there was a time when we used to pray for rains. Our area was affected by water scarcity and less rainfall and now it rained for 4 hours and swept away everything, even our hopes as well.”

Showing us the crop remnants, the tired and anxious old man said

“This tunnel farm was my source of income, I worked hard for my crops and now I am unsure of my future. The flood water was merciless, we evacuated our houses after seeing the cracks in the walls and when we came back, only the boundary walls were intact.”

The flash floods during the monsoon are one of the worst for the local communities of the province affected by climate change. The affected population is forced to evacuate their houses with no food and basic necessities. With rebuilding a big challenge, our teams are on grounds assessing the damages and providing lifesaving assistance to the most in need.

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