No escape from flood for Sakina and her newborn.

It was night time. Sakina Bibi- a resident of Shikarpur was sleeping with her child when the sound of loudspeakers from the nearby mosque woke her up. The mosque was warning people to evacuate since floodwaters had ravaged the adjacent village.

Sakina and her husband were alarmed. How could they collect everything, gather the family and leave immediately? The family included her own two children – one toddler and newborn baby and her husband’s brother and his family of six members.

While they were busy packing, a massive surge of water hit their house and swept away Sakina’s newborn baby. Their livestock animals and all their belongings also swept away by the powerful waves of water. It all happened within the blink of an eye. There was little that they could do, except save whoever they could.

Making their way through the water, they were able to reach and station themselves on the roof of a local mosque. “My child was gone, we had nothing to eat or drink. I just did not know how to cope”, grieved Sakina. With no food, water and shelter, Sakina’s family and three other families was rescued after two days by the local government relief van. The four families were brought to Thatta where IHHN with the support of Karachi Relief Trust provided the families with food, shelter, hygiene kits and medical care.

“It was here that I was able to share my sorrow with the medical team. They not only gave me medicine to treat my skin rash and some other infection but also counselled me to cope with my loss.”

According to experts, women are the most vulnerable group in the current flood crisis. Lack of access to sanitation and maternal care services puts women’s health at great risk. The Medical Relief Units by IHHN are focused to not only provide free medical care and medicines to men, women and children but also are conducting mental health sessions and community awareness sessions amongst the displaced communities to help them cope with their loss and begin to take care of themselves.