Saifdeen Nazudin, 32, spent eight days stranded on the roof of his house as the flood in Pakistan powered through his village Gullan Chachar, destroying 90 per cent of the buildings.
He says: “The rains started and I saw in the media that floods were coming so we got some stores of food ready, but most of it got washed away because the water came so suddenly.
“We’re used to floods, but not like this one. It was more than 12 feet high and it got very dangerous very quickly.”
Stranded in the flood
Saifdeen, his wife and three children, aged six, four and three, took refuge on the top of his house with about 15 other people.
“It was raining, we had no gas and the wood was wet so we couldn’t cook,” he says. “After six days, what food we had, ran out. The last couple of days we had nothing to eat. All we could do was drink the flood water and we were all getting sick with diarrhoea.
“It felt like the end of the world, everything was gone. All we could see was water everywhere. We were sitting in one big river. I was getting frightened that the house was going to collapse, as it was damaged and had a lot of people sitting on it.”
Escaping the water
“On the eighth day the navy came to rescue us but there wasn’t enough room in the boat for everyone, my family was last,” Saifdeen says. “We didn’t have time to wait for them to come back, I could feel the house was about to collapse and so decided we had to swim to try and reach another boat.
“My wife helped our six-year-old daughter and I had my two youngest children on my back. We were using an oil drum to help keep afloat. When I looked back at my house, it had disappeared.
“My children were crying, they didn’t know what was happening. We all thought it was the end of the world.”
Surviving the flood
Saifdeen says: “We all survived but afterwards all my children had a fever. We went to stay with relatives for a few days, but now we have returned to our village. We need to rebuild our home although I have no money to do this.
“I’m worried about the future as I will need to start cultivating the land again but at the moment it is completely damaged and it won’t be possible to farm on it for at least six months. Also my buffalo got killed in the floods so preparing the land will be even harder as it is really uneven after the flood. It is going to be a tough year, but I will do my best.
“I’m grateful for all the things I received today from the Red Cross. The food, tarpaulins, blankets and other things are going to be a big help.”
Read Manthar's story about surviving the flood