Pakistan flooding – relationships and relief

Pakistan flooding (source: Time)

I am sharing here with you today’s version of Friday Five, a weekly publication put together by my friend Jonathan Tame, who works for the Relationships Global in Cambridge, UK.

If you are interested to subscribe to this publication, you find the details at the bottom of this text.

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  • Quote

“In Sindh [the River Indus] is called ‘Purali’, meaning capricious, an apt description of a river which wanders freely across the land, creating cities and destroying them.”  Alice Albinia

·   News

“A tsunami in slow motion” is how UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon described the inexorable advance of monsoon floods down the Indus valley in Pakistan.  20% of the country is flooded, 1,600 lives have been lost, over 17 million people have been affected, 800,000 are cut off from all but air assistance, and 3.5 million children are at risk of disease outbreaks.  And the floodwaters are still rising in the south.

This unprecedented catastrophe strains many relationships: families coping with the loss of their homes, livestock and possessions; communities struggling to relocate, organise makeshift shelters and obtain scarce aid supplies; government officials overwhelmed by demands to do more and act faster; town inhabitants away from the flooding having to adjust to an influx of displaced people on their doorsteps.

There are invisible victims of the flood aside from those whose land and houses are under water: urban migrants who have lost their rural safety net; students who can no longer be supported by their parents’ farms, and Pakistani diaspora who can only look on helplessly thousands of miles away.

The importance of relational networks to the relief and recovery process can’t be underestimated.  The more that extended families, informal groups, community associations or religious congregations can be supported and involved in the relief process, as opposed to being overlooked by aid workers under immense pressure just to deliver supplies, the quicker the recovery will be.

  • Read on…

Margaret Wheatley is an organisational consultant, writer and speaker.  In the following article she argues how relationships are the basic building blocks for life – both in an organisation and in a community when a disaster strikes.

  • Walk the talk

Perhaps someone living on your street or working in a local shop comes from Pakistan; you can be a part of the relief effort – relationally – by stopping and enquiring if any relatives are affected by the flood, and expressing your sympathy for their family’s plight.

  • The last word

From the Bible, Song of Solomon 8:7 “Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.”

Friday Five is written and sent out by Jonathan Tame of Relationships Global

To receive Friday Five, send an email with “subscribe” in the subject line to

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Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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