A year has passed since waters from the five rivers that run through Pakistan’s northerly province of Charsadda flooded the landscape, devastating whole communities in what was the country’s worst ever deluge. For the one hundred and fifty families from the village of Majoqi who found refuge in the damp, abandoned buildings of the Flying Kraft Paper Mill, it has been the hardest year of their lives.
Loosing their homes, businesses and possessions, all that remained with the displaced families in their overcrowded rooms were a few small remnants of their lives gone; a chicken, an umbrella, a set of keys to a door now unhinged. Squatting between moulding walls off the mill’s long corridors in tents pitched on surrounding patches of waste ground, the following five months saw cycles of disease, a frantic scramble for aid and eviction.
Pitching camp back in Majoqi amid the devastation and mudslides, residents spent a bitter winter in tents and in unstable ruins facing up to the prospect of rebuilding their lives.
A year later, the most vulnerable still remain without adequate shelter or sanitation, malnutrition remains endemic and the water supply polluted.
Alixandra Fazzina followed six of the families she met at the paper mill during last summer’s floods, returning regularly to Majoqi over the last twelve months to record their stories and understand how they coped in the wake of a protracted natural disaster. The people’s testimonies tell of the fragility of survival.