“When the water came, we moved our women and children to high ground. Three of my daughters stayed behind to help the men pack up whatever belongings we could carry with us… within minutes, the current got too strong and the waters rose head high.” This is how a villager from Sardaryab, a village in northwest Pakistan, lost two of his daughters aged 16 and 17. He was only able to save his youngest daughter. “Their bodies were found three days later, dumped on the bank by receding waters about 6 kilometres down the river.”
Omar, another villager, describes the events in his village this way: “We could see the water rising across the entire area between my village and the river. At first we thought it was rain water, but it continued to rise,” he says. Everybody rushed to the nearby railway track which is on high ground. But Omar was slightly late.
“Three of our women were swept off their feet. We saved two of them, but the third, my brother’s wife, was lost. We found her body two days later.” (BBC, 5 August 2010)
This is the kind of story that Pakistani families who lost their loved ones or their home or what little belongings they had gathered over their entire lifetimes would tell you. Millions had to leave the land they had worked on to go to a supposedly safer place or a refugee camp. Continue reading