National Catholic Church collection for Pakistan this weekend
Trócaire staff are reporting that children are filling plastic bottles with filthy water from canals for their families and using it for washing, cooking and even drinking. This puts them at extreme risk of contracting illnesses from water-borne diseases, but they have no choice – Bishop Kirby
A national collection will be held this weekend, 21 and 22 August, in Catholic churches across Ireland in aid of survivors of Pakistan’s devastating floods. Bishop John Kirby, Bishop of Clonfert and Chairman of Trócaire, is urging Irish parishioners to support collections in their local parishes so as to help Pakistani people cope with the worst flooding in the history of the State. Trócaire is the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland.
Bishop John Kirby is asking parishioners to help raise life-saving funds for Pakistan’s suffering people. Bishop Kirby said:
“These floods have left unimaginable destruction and families are in a desperate struggle to survive. Up to 20 million people have had their lives ruined. Entire communities have been washed away, leaving millions homeless and hungry. People are being forced to drink dirty, polluted water and the fear is that children and adults will contract fatal water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, which is a leading cause of childhood death.
“This weekend, as the situation continues to deteriorate and more heavy rains are predicted, the I am asking people to give what they can through their local Church collection and to answer the call of our brothers and sisters in Pakistan during this crucial time. Whilst this is a financially difficult time for many Irish families, I am asking that – this weekend – we remember the life-and-death plight facing many Pakistani families who are considerably worse off than ourselves.”
Bishop Kirby continued: “I hear stories from Trócaire staff about small children filling plastic bottles with filthy water from the canals for their families and using it for washing, cooking and even drinking. This puts them at extreme risk of contracting illnesses from water-borne diseases, but they have no choice. Already the first cases of cholera have been confirmed.”
“The saddest thing of all is that this story is being played out all along the 1,000 km of the Indus River from the Northern provinces all the way south to Karachi,” said Bishop Kirby.
Trócaire is providing emergency food, clean water, water purification tablets, cooking utensils, sleeping mats, sanitary goods and other essential items for thousands of affected families. It is ensuring that children and the most vulnerable get enough calories to protect their health. The organisation will work with the Pakistani people to recover in the long-term by rebuilding homes and helping people to begin farming and earning a living once the flooding subsides.
To find out more about Trócaire’s work in Pakistan please visit trocaire.org or call 1850 408 408.
Emer Mullins, Communications Manager, Trócaire, 086 812 4352
Martin Long, Catholic Communications Office, Maynooth, 086 172 7678