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Hanifa's story my wish for the future

A woman and her children sit outside their tent cooking© InfoHanifa, 35, only just escaped with her husband and seven children when flood waters swept through Fatah Pur village, Sindh province in July 2010.

Hanifa’s home was badly damaged and six months on the devastation is still visible: watermarks eight feet high are a constant reminder of the floods’ magnitude. The water came through with such force houses were literally cleared of their belongings. Most residents simply gathered their children and elderly family members and fled when the floods hit Pakistan.

“We only returned here 15 days ago,” Hanifa says. “We had been living on the bank of the drainage culvert.” Hanifa now cooks under a makeshift tent constructed from tarpaulins. Around her are the broken walls of her former house, but within them she has made a tidy, well-ordered home for her children.

Lost livelihood

Before the flood Hanifa and her husband were a farming family, but it is impossible to work the land after the flood and some of her children now work to support the family.

By taking jobs with motor mechanics or confectionary shops they bring in a small amount of money (less than $1 a day). But Hanifa wants things to change.

She says: “I would like my children to be in school, but this is our situation right now. My wish for the future is that we have food, that we can survive and for my children to get an education.”

Support from the Red Cross

The flood waters have taken months to drain away enough to allow residents of Fatah Pur to return. Now, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society is distributing essential household and shelter items to help residents resettle.

Each family is given a shelter toolkit and tarpaulins, to help them make short term repairs or construct a shelter on their land. They also receive water purification tablets, blankets, a kitchen set, sleeping mats and basic hygiene items such as soap, toothpaste and laundry powder.

Hanifa says: “I’m looking forward to receiving a proper kitchen set as I’ve had very little to cook with. The blankets and sleeping mats will also make a big difference in the cold nights.”

Find out more about the Pakistan floods

Learn how to prepare for floods

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