Before the Pakistan floods, Manthar Alifdin, 40, was living with his wife, eight children and around 40 relatives in a rural village in Sindh province.
Manthar says: “In the morning when we got up there was water everywhere. It came so quickly and we had no warning. By the time the water woke me, it was too late for my two youngest sons. Bibrak who was two and Saleem, who was just four months old, had already drowned.
“When my wife realised what had happened she passed out. I managed to drag her out of the house, along with the rest of my six children. We used empty oil drums to help us float. The water was more than 12 feet high.”
© Info“It was really difficult to get away from the water,” Manthar says. “Some of the elders tried to climb trees. Many of the children in my village drowned.
“Since our home was destroyed we have been living in a school with around 60 other people. I’ve managed to get some daily labour to buy some food but it’s a struggle.”
The British Red Cross is now distributing food, shelter kits and other emergency relief items to around 600 families in Sindh province every day. As Manthar waits in line to collect his goods, the landscape is dusty, the sun is blazing and it’s hard to imagine the devastatingly powerful flood that wrought such deep losses upon his family.
Having survived the floods, Manthar is in the same position as millions of other people now facing an uncertain future. He responds with dignity to questions about how he is coping, but seems torn when giving his answer.
“This is the first help we’ve had,” he says. “But we still don’t have homes to go back to and we also don’t have any proper drinking water. Three of my children are very ill with diarrhoea. They complain about their tummies aching.
“The water has now receded from our village so we can return but our homes are no longer there. We are very poor and we need more support. I don’t know if we will get help but we don’t want to present ourselves as miserable.”
Read Haja's story about surviving the devastating floods