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Making a living after the floods

July 2011

The floods of 2010 not only swept away people’s homes and belongings, but also their livelihoods.

Farmers lost harvest, crops and tools, and business owners lost their shops and stock. Life became tougher as families tried to get back on their feet, with an increase in the price of food and basic households items.

Christian Aid partners saw the need to help communities begin their lives again, and soon after their immediate needs were seen to, the road to recovery began.

Partner Church World Service-Pakistan/Afghanistan has been working hard on a variety of different ways to assist a range of flood-affected people: unemployed men reliant on daily wage labour, farmers who lost their entire harvests in the floods and vulnerable female heads of households who need secure ways of providing for their children.

Learning a trade

Construction Trade Training Centres have been established to offer three months training courses for 900 young men. They can choose to become a plumber, electrician, mason, welder or carpenter; vital skills which will contribute to the reconstruction of their country.

At the end of the course they sit a government examination, giving them a high standard of learning and expertise. CWS-P/A then provides them with a full toolkit, which allows them to set up in business once the course has ended.

Lal Chand Kumar, a young Hindu man who is training to become an electrician, wants to use his training to benefit those whose lives were destroyed in the floods.

A new harvest

Farmers who watched their crops and harvests wash away were given vouchers which they can use to choose what new items they need to start the replanting process.

From seeds, tools and fertiliser, giving the farmers the choice of what they buy provides them with dignity and freedom.

Farmer Palo Mal says`I decided that I wanted to buy a sickle, spade, fertiliser and seeds, including okra and coriander. Because we got these things at the right time we were able to manage our land better. We’ve been able to grow our crop because of these things.'

Restarting a business

Hakeeman watched as the stock from her small shop was washed away by the flood waters. This business used to provide her with enough income to support her ill husband and her family, although when times were hard her children worked in the field to supplement their income.

Hakeeman is one of the people who was chosen to receive a cash grant from CWS-P/A, which allowed her to restock her shop and start the business again. Without this support, it is unclear how she would have been able to reopen her shop.

She smiles broadly as she describes what difference this makes to her. They are able to run the house and buy food, and she no longer has to send her children to work in the fields.

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