The year was 2010. I was commissioned by Caritas Pakistan for six months to report their relief activities while one fifth of the country was underwater — an area the size of England.
Encyclopedia Britannica describes that disaster as a “humanitarian disaster considered to be one of the worst in Pakistan’s history.” In total, more than 20 million people were affected by the disaster with more than 2,000 deaths and about 1.6 million houses damaged.
Together with charity workers, I accompanied many foreign visitors who distributed relief items among flood-hit communities. During one of those visits, Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie passed by us in a caravan of black vehicles.
Sadly, floods have become a regular problem in South Asia owing to climate change. Extreme weather events have become more frequent. For the first time in history, Caritas Pakistan responded to two flood emergencies last year. Karachi Archdiocese received 19 inches (483mm) of rain last month, the highest rainfall recorded over the last nine decades.