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On the road for a quick cash boost

Apr 19, 2012

Plan Pakistan and Doaba Foundation's Cash for Work programme has provided the women of Muzaffargarh district in Pakistan, much needed financial support after the floods destroyed their homes and agricultural lands.

When flood waters ravaged parts of Pakistan last year, farmers and land labourers could only watch in horror as crops were ruined and homes washed away. With no way to make a living off the land, many villagers had to look for other ways just to make ends meet.

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Basheer Mai from Mol Wala in Teshsil Kot Addu, Muzaffargarh district, is illiterate and landless, living in a mud hut with her 8 children and sick husband.

The flooding was a huge setback for Basheer as the land she used to work on to make a wage was now under water. Having lost the only way she knew how to support her family, the future looked bleak.

“The floods caused heavy damage to agriculture in the area. I could not feed my children properly as there was no work. I had lost all hope to earn bread for my family. I was worried and desperate to feed them. How could I even think of my husband's medical treatment when my children were starving?” she said.

The road to recovery

Basheer’s life took a turn for the better when she got involved in a Cash for Work programme implemented by Plan Pakistan and the Doaba Foundation. Basheer and 99 other villagers worked together on the month-long repairing the village access road. From the money earned she was able to buy enough food to feed her family for the foreseeable future with a little left over to go towards school fees and medical bills.

“This project gave me some much-needed financial support. More importantly, it gave me a dignified way to support my family by providing an opportunity for me to earn money,” she added.

Tricky times

Sakena Mai, a widow and mother of 3, including a 20-year-old son with tuberculosis, found herself in a similar position in Basti Ghali Chanderer, Lohanch Nashib Union Council. “The flood in Basti Ghali Chanderer affected us very badly and 90% of the crops and houses were destroyed,” she said.

Just like in Mol Wala, Plan and Doaba rolled out a Cash for Work project to repair the village access road, giving distraught villagers a way to earn a living and make up for some of their losses at the hands of the flood.

“With the money earned I am able to afford medical treatment of my son and I can buy other important things for my home,” she added.

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