A man sitting in a wheelchair speaks with an HI staff member in Pakistan

’A refugee in my own country’

Catastrophic flooding across Pakistan has affected more than 33 million people, leaving many without homes or food. Ajab shares his experience and the support he’s received from Humanity & Inclusion.

My name is Ajab Khan. I am 77 years old and I live in Nowshera, Pakistan.

The recent flooding has been a nightmare. We all had to flee our homes to seek refuge in safer locations. Everyone was rushing around, as if the Day of Judgment had arrived. People, including women and children, were all forced to flee. The elderly, including myself, who are unable to walk on our own, were really worried about our safety. I wasn’t even sure if I would make it to a safer location. Thankfully, my family took good care of me during the evacuation.  

As Shakespeare said, “sorrows do not come alone, but in battalions.” That is exactly what happened to us during these floods. Our belongings were washed away, our animals died, and our crops were ruined, forcing us to become homeless. We had no choice but to live as homeless people, and we sought safety in a nearby village at the home of our relatives. In my entire life, I have never faced such difficult or tough circumstances as becoming a refugee in my own country.

Now that the floods have receded, our miseries have multiplied as a result of the harsh winter. Our animals were our source of livelihood. However, they died, and that has shattered our financial situation. Our homes have been severely damaged and we need to rebuild them, but do not have the resources to do so.

To support us during this time, Humanity & Inclusion has provided us with essential household items and a food package containing rice, sugar, lentils, ghee, flour and other foods.

My family and I are extremely grateful to the HI team for their unwavering support after the floods. The food package has given us food security, and will feed us for two months. Additionally, HI has provided us with psychosocial support to meet our emotional needs. It has provided a beacon of hope for us all as we have faced these challenges with courage.

There are still many unmet needs. We will need to repair our homes. More food is another crucial need, since our crops have been destroyed. I use a wheelchair to get around, and it is now in poor condition from the floodwaters. It’s rusted and the seat is damaged. I cannot move it by myself, so I need a new wheelchair.

More than anything, we want to rebuild our homes and return to how life was before the flooding. We will need support to make this happen.