Floods from the end of July to the end of September 2010 caused devastation across Pakistan. Layyah and Kot Addu in Muzaffargarh were amongst the worst-affected places in the Punjab. Shelter and farming support were the most urgent needs for the impending winter season.
ICAP’s donation to ActionAid helped thousands of extremely vulnerable people to rebuild their homes and replant their vegetables. Vouchers were issued, to allow communities to purchase the correct building materials, with guidance from ActionAid‘s local partners. Vegetable seeds and gardening tools were also provided, as well as training on how to get the best yield.
The training was very practical, giving all the women an opportunity to ask questions. They commented on how motivating it was to learn about preparing the ground; the proper use of fertilizer, the types of vegetables that grow well next to each other and how to protect seeds for the future.
Workshops were organised on the ‘Cash for Work’ scheme which benefits people who have lost their sources of income. They are paid a local living wage to carry out work that benefits the local community.
Manzoor Bibi, a widow from Kot Addu with eight children, lost one child during the floods, as well as her home and all her possessions. Now she is being helped to rebuild her home and grow her own food.
She told ActionAid: ‘ I don't have words to thank ICAP for helping us. … I have nothing to give them except my prayers. They have saved my children’s lives. I wish them happiness.’
Another positive effect of ICAP’s donation is that facilitating communities coming together to rebuild their homes and lives has empowered people who would not normally be part of the community decision-making process, especially women.