The devastating floods in Pakistan in 2022 affected more than 33 million people, with millions in need of urgent shelter. Among those affected were Ghulam and her family.

At the time the floods approached Ghulam’s village she was pregnant. With the added complication of her husband being disabled, it was extremely difficult to save anything from their home. Along with their home and belongings, their livestock was also lost, which was their only means of income.

Family in a shelter in Pakistan
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Ghulam and members of her family

“This disaster was nothing like we ever faced”

While talking with our partner Islamic Relief, Ghulam shared that those were the worst few months of her life,

“When the flood water came our house submerged in it and we left the village. We had nothing to survive on, our children got sick, we did not even have enough to get them some medicine.”

“This disaster was nothing like we ever faced, whole villages were destroyed. We carried all that we could, most of our belongings were lost.”

Ghulam explained just how this flood has affected her livelihood. “We do not have any specific way of earning, my husband is disabled and works on daily wages, after the floods, we did not even have anything to eat, people used to give us some food and we survived on that. When the children got sick, it was difficult for us. We came back to the village and aid from ShelterBox and Islamic Relief helped us a lot.”

Three women, one holding a baby
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Ghulam holding her baby among members of her family

“We needed food to eat”

Ghulam and her family were recipients of the ShelterBox cash assistance.

“We needed food to eat for our family, along with that clothes to wear in the extreme winters. We took a loan from someone and repaid it with the cash grant. I got a hand pump installed in my home for my daughters as they had to walk miles alone to drink water which was unsafe.”

“We also bought goats, as we lost all of them in the floods. We will use the goats we have now to start a business and meet our needs.”

Man and four children
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Ghulam's family

“Without a home life means nothing”

To conclude, Ghulam talked about her worries for the future, and how she would look after her family.

“We do not have a proper roof for our family, if it rains it will be a challenge for us. We do not even have a latrine in our home and there is nothing to do if we get sick. We will not be able to get any medicine.”

“Without a home life means nothing. It is impossible to live without a home. We need support right now more than anything to rebuild it.”

Tents surrounded by floodwater in Pakistan

Disasters are not natural – let’s stop saying they are

Ghulam and her family are just some of many people affected by disasters around the world.

Such disasters are not natural – and we need to stop saying they are.

Visit our resource centre to learn more.