Muhmmad with his siblings and his cousins

Restored Mobility: Muhammad's story

Escaping a devastating flood can be very challenging. It is particularly more risky for people affected by physical disabilities.

That was the situation facing Muhammad Nauman, 21, in Pakistan in 2022 when catastrophic flooding killed over 1,500 people and affected 33 million others.

"I thought I would not survive because the water flow was very fast and my family was unable to take me out [of the house]," said Muhammad, who was diagnosed with polio when he was 14 years old, and has been living with a disability for several years now.

Due to the high water, it was impossible for his family to take Muhammed to safety using his wheelchair. Instead, they carried him to the roof of the house to save him from the rising flood.

"I survived without food and water for 48 hours, counting each moment as my last one," he said.

In addition to other losses sustained by the family, Muhammed's wheelchair was damaged by the flooding. In response, he received a new one from Islamic Relief Canada, with assistance from the Canadian government through the Humanitarian Coalition.

Altogether, 5,653 people with disabilities were helped by Islamic Relief Canada. This included providing 200 assistive devices like wheelchairs.

Now, Muhammed can get around again--something he appreciates since, after his other wheelchair was damaged in the flood, he spent all day in bed unable to move. Now he can use his new wheelchair to get around by himself or with assistance from others.

Muhammed was one of 323,667 people in Pakistan assisted by members of the Humanitarian Coalition, with help from the Government of Canada. Altogether, a total of $8,903,246 was used in eight projects to provide food, health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), protection, livelihoods, shelter, cash and other assistance--like wheelchairs--for those impacted by the floods.

 

Photo description: Muhammad with his siblings and cousins / Muhammad on his new wheelchair