Forums Index Association for the Development of Pakistan
Discussion Forums
 ADP WebsiteADP Website   FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Private MessagesPrivate Messages   Log inLog in 

Earthquake Updates

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forums Index -> Earthquake Relief
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Tarim Wasim

Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 160
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 4:49 am    Post subject: Earthquake Updates Reply with quote

Please post any credible updates, with the associated source and date on this thread:

10/30, Geo News Excerpts

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Saturday said the government had decided to provide Rs 25,000 to small families affected by the October 8 earthquake to repair their one-room house and live normal life as early as possible. He said the victims would purchase Corrugated Galvanised Iron (CGI) sheets and other building material to reconstruct their houses. He said the committee decided that technical help and assistance would be provided by the Pakistan Army in the reconstruction of small houses so that the work could be completed before heavy snowfall in the affected areas.

...the cabinet committee expressed its satisfaction that there was food available for the victims.

Referring to medical aid, he said the number of serious patients coming to the hospitals of Islamabad and Rawalpindi has reduced, dropping from 400 to 110 per day. He said now the major issue before the government was about amputated patients, who need artificial limbs. The cabinet committee decided to set up special centres for providing article limbs to amputated patients.

The prime minister said government had also started distribution of cash compensation to the injured and seriously injured were being given Rs 10,000.

Regarding the supply of tents and blankets, the prime minister said 300,000 tents would be available before end of November while blankets were being provided according to the needs. He said there was no complaint of shortage of blankets from any part of the affected areas.

The prime minister said schools are being re-opened in the quake-affected areas after Eid-ul-Fitr. He said 250 special tents had been sent to Azad Kashmir and 200 to the NWFP government for opening schools. He said the committee also approved to start "sponsorship programme" to sponsor house, village, student, orphans, schools, university or a family in the affected areas to revive normal life by the victims in an honourable and respectable manner.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Omar Biabani

Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 93
Location: Boston, MA
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:51 pm    Post subject: LATEST U.N. FIGURES ON PAKISTAN QUAKE Reply with quote

From: Gupta, Sarita []
Sent: Tuesday, November 08, 2005 1:37 PM
Subject: Update on CARE's response to the Pakistan earthquake

Dear CARE International Council for Pakistan members—Here are the latest figures on the Pakistan earthquake as given at a UN briefing in Islamabad earlier today. I’ve also attached an update on CARE’s response that includes an outline of our 2-year strategy to get the affected communities back on their feet.

Thank you for all that you are doing on CARE's behalf. The CICP contributions stand at $50,000 as of the end of last week.

Sarita Gupta Executive Director, Presidential Initiatives CARE 212-686-2756


A U.N. briefing in Islamabad today raised estimates of the total number of casualties in Pakistan's earthquake to 86,000 dead and another 100,000 injured. An estimated 26,000 people are staying in tent camps in Azad Jammu Kashmir, and 37,000 people are living in tents in the North West Frontier Province. Roughly 334,000 tents have been distributed up to now, and another 322,000 are in the pipeline. Anywhere from 5% to 20% of these tents are winterized. (CARE'S share of tents shipped to date is roughly 4,000). According to the U.N. around 3.2 million blankets have been distributed, and a further 0.48 million are still in the pipeline.

A donor conference is slated to take place in Islamabad on November 19. Both the Asia Development Bank and the World Bank have presented draft reports on damage assessments. The U.N. is currently working on a report to outline the progressive shift from direct relief to to reconstruction and rehabilitation. A final draft will be presented on November 15. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and the president of the ADB will both attend the conference.

While Jhelum and Allai Valleys are now both open to road traffic, reducing cargo delivery costs, the Neelam Valley remains blocked off. The roads from Mansehra to Balakot and from Besham to Dasu are considered unsafe.

UNJLC, IRFC and IOM have launched a program called Winter Race Operations. The program is intended to identify areas which have not received relief so far. Teams are being sent to these areas to conduct damage assessment in order to provide help before winter arrives.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Omar Biabani

Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 93
Location: Boston, MA
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found the excerpt in The Herald below reflective of my particular state of mind today - feelings of utter helplessness - especially the line about relief efforts drying while the tragedy is just beginning, so I share it below with you.

On a related note, I got off the phone yesterday with friend London-based Imran Saithna, the Relief Shelter Drive volunteer who we're delivering our goods to hard-to-access villages in Surul Valley, which has an estimated population of about 10,000 people, and some things he said to me:

"I've never seen people so traumatized in their life." (and Imran has done relief work in many other countries before)

"I've seen children that should be *screaming* (emphasis Imran's) with pain, and they just calmly say 'I'm hurt.' If this was London, I would have immediatedly referred them to the Emergency room."( again, stressing the trauma despite the injuries)

And at the end of our conversation - after I told him about the number of shelter, people and medicine we'd dispatched to him:

"I have to say something – I'm really worried. These people will not last."

Whatever we're doing, it's just not enough - we need to do more. As the article shares below: "It is just that the scale of this tragedy has reduced the relief operations to a state where even after a month, people are either still digging for their dead relatives or starving to death."

May Allah (swt) help those that are in need. In the meanwhile, please, I beg you, please spread awareness, please encourage people to donate, please, let's try and do more.


The Tragedy Is Just Beginning...
An except from the editiorial in this month's Herald:

Let us hear the mother of one of the girls buried under the rubble. The interview was conducted on October 26.

"I have been going to school everyday with my husband, taking a torch with me so I can look into the nooks and crannies for any sign of my daughter's body. Yesterday, my husband came running, asking what little Laiba was wearing when she died. You know how men are; they often don't know these things about their own children. I told him she was wearing a half-sleeved frock and toghts. His face fell. He said he had spotted what looked like a girl's body, but it seemed like she was wearing a shalwar."

The woman's name is Naseem Gulshan and she was a primary class teacher at a government school. Not satisfied with the standards of her own school. She had sent her daughter to a private school known as Alfalah. But it was not enough to save her life. Now every day since October 8, Naseem goes to the school in the hope of finding her daughter's body. This is the hell she has been living in since that fateful day.

The village of Chinari has been comprehensively destroyed and rendered unlivable. But unlike most other residents, Naseem and a few other mothers refuse to leave until they have found the bodies of their children.

Why are we telling this story now, almost a month after it happened?

Nothing illustrates the state of the relief operations better than this tale of horror. Not that the army isn't doing anything. Not that the non-governmental organizations are wasting their time. It is just that the scale of this tragedy that has reduced the relief operations to a state where even after a month, people are either still digging for their dead relatives or starving to death. Kashmir in particular seems to have become the devil's abode. It is a world where grief abounds in such quantities that it towers way above the mountains that dot its once picture postcard landscape. Every day, in the midst of hills that are still crumbling, the devil laughs harder.

And we have Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz telling the world that he is satisfied with international relief efforts. No wonder he got rapped on the knuckles by the United Nations, an agency that has seldom spoken against a government with which it is working.

Worse, the relief effort seems to be tiring – at a point where it is needed the most. Assistance from within Pakistan is drying up and tired volunteers are at their wits' end.

Whatever reservations one may have about our military leadership and their overall policy, jawans and junior officers of the Pakistan Army are doing everything in their power to reach out to people. It started as an unwanted duty for them but now in many individual cases it has become a matter of personal commitment. The problem is that they are just not enough. Over 100,000 troops are currently deployed in the zone but what is needed is one million. Pakistanis have responded with a zeal that has left the world stunned. But they seem to be tiring now, thinking that they have done whatever they could. Nothing could be more tragic than that. We need to keep reminding ourselves that it is only the tremors that are over, not the tragedy. That is just beginning.

Sarah Karim
Pakistan Relief Shelter Drive Team
Karachi, Pakistan

Spread the word and/or donate for those affected by the South Asian Quake here:
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Tarim Wasim

Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 160
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excerpts from an article in The Independent (UK) suggests the situation continues to be dire...

Survivors of the Pakistani earthquake left to die of cold
Thousands have no shelter with the first snows of winter only days away

By Justin Huggler in Bagh, Kashmir
Published: 13 November 2005

At least 500,000 earthquake survivors in Pakistan still have no shelter
with the fierce Himalayan winter just days away, international relief
agencies have warned. Aid workers are scrambling to get tents to
survivors in high mountain areas where snow may arrive any day, but the
international relief effort is failing.

The problem is a severe lack of funds. Relief agencies warn that if
they do not get adequate shelters to survivors before snow falls,
thousands will die.

"Please tell the British government to help us. Please tell anyone,"
Mohammed Idris said by telephone. "We have no tents and it is so cold
at night. If we do not have tents soon the children will die."

Mr Idris said he was one of 4,000 villagers in Rajmerra with only 20
tents between them. On some nights, he added, temperatures already dip
below freezing and water turns to ice. On other nights survivors are
pelted with torrential rain, havenothing to sleep under and sit awake
all night, shivering.

"We can see the snow on the hills and it will be here any day now," Mr
Idris added. "I went to the Pakistan army today to ask for tents but
they say they cannot help, as they don't have any. Please tell people
we need tents, food and blankets." Rajmerra lies in Battamori district,
near Battagaram. Time for them is running out fast.

Much the same situation can be seen throughout northern Pakistan. In
the village of Maira, in the hills above Bagh, we found a two-month-old
baby named Ariba, sleeping with her mother under a thin sheet of
tarpaulin that did not even cover the rope-bed, which jutted out into
the rain. At 4,500ft above sea level, temperatures plunge once darkness
falls and the snow will be here soon, too.

"If it starts to snow we'll have to try to build a new house," Ariba's
father, Abdul Rauf, said. But the family has no money and no building

Even when survivors do have tents, they are often inadequate for the
needs of a fierce Himalayan winter. In Maira, where the Pakistan army
finally dropped some tents - though not enough to go around - they were
lightweight summer tents that are not even waterproof.

Even in a city that enjoys easy access, such as Muzaffarabad, the state
of the relief camps is terrible. In one camp, we found 3,000 people
sharing 12 toilets. These camps have already suffered outbreaks of
diarrhoea and doctors fear cholera may follow.

Pakistani troops evicted quake survivors from one informal relief camp
in the city as the sanitation and overcrowding were so poor that they
feared for people's lives.

Another problem is that villagers are reluctant to move down to the
valleys. The Pakistani government has called on homeless quake
survivors in villages where snow is imminent to go down. But often they
don't want to go. "Where will we put our farm animals?" Raja Moidnaiz,
of Maira, asked. "Even if we go down there, there are no tents for us."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Tarim Wasim

Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 160
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Musharraf's CNN interview on 11/13:

In the relief operations, we are into the relief operations. At the moment, what is urgently required is relief for the people, affected people. I think we have got, I would call it, reasonable support in the relief operations, in the form of medical assistance, medical teams, hospitals, field hospitals, medical aid, medicines, equipment, and in the form of shelter, blankets, tents, other relief goods, including foodstuff. Now, we have reasonable assistance in the form of helicopters to transport these. We have got good assistance from -- to transport goods, relief goods lying all over the world to Pakistan. So I would call the assistance to the relief operation reasonable, reasonably good, and we are extremely grateful to the world community and the United Nations and Secretary-General Kofi Annan to be projecting our cause.

But now we are into getting into the reconstruction stage and the rehabilitation stage. For that, we have called a reconstruction conference, the donors reconstruction conference for the 19th, and I personally am collecting a database, preparing a database, on a district-wide basis, to evaluate exactly and give out exactly what is the requirement of number of houses in the district, or -- and including the sub-district, and the schools, colleges and hospitals required in each sub-district and district. Once I compile that data and I give it out, that is where we will seek assistance. And it is in the reconstruction and rehabilitation where I would say the assistance until now is not -- certainly not of the level that we expect.

May I also add that all the organizations, United Nations organizations, World Bank, and Pakistan authorities jointly have evaluated the support required, and it has come to about $5.1 billion, which is in the form of about $3.5 billion for reconstruction, about $1.5 billion for relief in the coming one year, and about $100 million required for rehabilitation. This is the kind of money we are looking for, and I don't think we have even got a small fraction of this. But I hope on the 19th of November, when we have called this conference, we hope to be given assistance generously.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Tarim Wasim

Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 160
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dilemma over new quake shelters

By Aamer Ahmed Khan
BBC News, Karachi
Published: 2005/12/11 00:17:35 GMT

Fakhre Alam is one of Pakistan's most celebrated showbiz icons. Since 8 October, he has been in the earthquake zone as a relief worker at the Chatta Batta tent village in North-West Frontier Province.

"Only a few days ago, a man with three children came up from one of the tents and pleaded with me to allow him to light a bonfire in his tent," he says. There had been a few fire incidents in tent villages by that time and Alam had no option but to say no. He thinks setting up tent villages was a bad idea. At the time, he says, relief workers from the plains of Punjab and Sindh had no clue about the harsh winter weather in most of the quake zone. "We have to try and save these people from the cold," he says. "Otherwise, the human loss could be horrendous."

Some of the tents in the Chatta Batta tent village were "winterised" after the United Nations issued a DIY manual on how to add extra layering to canvas-and-parachute tents. But this was mostly done in tent villages in valleys and low-altitude areas.

Slow response
Villagers living around mountain tops have so far preferred to stick to tried and tested materials and techniques. "Corrugated iron sheets, nails and hammer is all that we need," says Akhtar Abbassi, a resident of Bambian in the Neelam valley.

Like thousands of others, Akhtar was able to pull wooden planks out of the debris but does not have the iron sheets that can be used for a roof or tools to put the structure together. And like most others, he is frustrated with the slow response of relief agencies - both public and private.

Relief commanders say they shifted their focus to shelter, especially in the high altitude areas, well over two weeks ago. But they say their effort has been slowed down by the lack of response from private donors and NGOs.


One reason for this could be the private donors' obsession with prefabricated structures. Manufacturers of prefab structures had moved into Pakistan within days of the 8 October earthquake, with many displaying their wares in exhibits set up in Lahore and Islamabad.

Their prices range from about $1,200 (£680) for a single-room house to upwards of $18,000 (£10,250) for double-storey buildings suitable for hospitals or schools. Something new for a country that prefers to build with bricks and concrete, the relatively low price of these structures attracted many donors interested in contributing a form of shelter.

It also attracted entrepreneurs who were convinced that the need for nearly 500,000 homes and government buildings could spawn a new industry in the country.

Some of the country's top architects, such as Nayyar Ali Dada, spent hours with private donors and NGO representatives working out the design and strength of such structures.

Transport challenge

However, none of the major prefab companies are manufacturing locally. The few new outfits that have sprung up locally can barely produce 100 single-room houses per month. With the nearest mass production facility located in Turkey, no foreign manufacturer can provide enough in time for those needing to out-race the Himalayan winter. Even if enough were available, it would be next to impossible to transport these 400kg structures to high-altitude areas - many still without roads passable even by jeep. It took private donors time to realise these limitations on prefab housing.

Besides, before placing their orders most of them were forced to wait for the government to announce its policy on reconstruction, which came in the last week of November. By the time they found out that the government had no intention of regulating private housing, prefabrication had ruled itself out as a viable immediate response to the shelter issue. Many private donors have since turned to buying iron sheets and nails, most of which are only just beginning to reach the affected areas.

Only time can now tell how much this desire to do more rather than the obvious is going to end up costing the affected people in high-altitude areas.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Tarim Wasim

Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Last Visit: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 160
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the New York Times:

February 2, 2006
Quake's Homeless Battle Winter

QAZIABAD, Kashmir, Jan. 26 — Three months after the devastating earthquake leveled every house in this mountain village in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, the newlyweds Zaheer and Shazia found themselves sleeping once more in the open, this time in the snow. Their cotton tent had collapsed on top of them in the night under a heavy snowfall, so for four nights, they huddled in the open on a rope bed by a fire.

"It was very cold, the snow fell on our faces," said Shazia, 19, with a shy smile. "We need a shelter, food rations and bedding."

Despite an enormous aid effort over the three months since the Oct. 8 earthquake, rescue workers are still finding new villages in need of the most basic assistance to hope to survive the harsh winter snows. Two heavy snowfalls in the last month have hampered the relief operation and tested the population of this mountainous area, still traumatized by the quake, which killed 73,338 people, seriously injured 69,000 and left an estimated 2.5 million homeless.

"We are very worried and are being very vigilant," said Jan Vandemoortele, coordinator chief of the United Nations mission in Pakistan, which is working with the Pakistani government in the relief effort. A long spell of very cold weather could imperil many lives, he said.

"We are aware that the weather could blow us off in a day," he said. "We cannot let our heads rest until the spring."

Only a tiny proportion of the homeless moved to unaffected cities to rent accommodations or stay with relatives. Nearly 2 million are living in tents in the valleys and can expect two more months of freezing temperatures, Mr. Vandemoortele said, while some 400,000 people remain above the snowline, cut off by snow and landslides and surviving on airlifts of food and other supplies.

Of the 860,000 tents distributed in the rush after the earthquake, only 30,000 were adequate for winter conditions, said Maj. Gen. Farooq Ahmad Khan, Pakistan's federal relief commissioner.

When the first snow came at the start of the year, reports flooded in of tents collapsing, and of some burning down when people tried to heat them. A second round of supplies was needed, of plastic sheeting, corrugated metal roofing and tools, to help villagers build better shelters that could be heated, he said.

The cold weather has brought a rise in acute respiratory infections — pneumonia in the worst form — which are now the main cause of deaths recorded by health officials. Families have been struggling into the towns after desperate journeys through the snow to seek assistance after their makeshift homes or tents collapsed in the latest heavy snowfall.

Yet the relief effort, now in full swing, seems to be winning against the formidable obstacles in one of the most inaccessible disaster areas aid workers have seen. Helicopters — American Chinooks, Pakistani military aircraft and white-painted aircraft chartered by the United Nations and other organizations — ply the skies incessantly to funnel relief supplies into the mountains. Colored tents dot the hillsides and camps spill over and around the main towns.

"Thank God, in the two bad spells of weather, there has been no panic among the 3.5 million affected," General Farooq said, adding into the count the many villages that survived the quake but have been cut off by landslides. The airlifts of food and shelter materials gave people the confidence that they could survive, and there has not been a large movement of people down to the towns, he said.

The region has also avoided any major epidemics so far. An outbreak of cholera was quickly scotched in a camp in Muzaffarabad in November, according to Sacha Bootsma, spokeswoman for the World Health Organization in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital.

The increase in acute respiratory infections, which amount to 30 percent of all medical consultations, she described as "definitely a concern," but so far there had been no health catastrophe. Teams of Cuban and Pakistani doctors are trekking and flying into remote villages.

The first priority in the relief effort was to supply those stranded at higher elevations before the winter closed in, but aid workers are still finding families and whole villages that have not received any aid.

Shawn Pomeroy, a Canadian mountain climber working for the International Organization for Migration, which has overall responsibility for the shelter program, made the six-hour hike up from the town of Muzaffarabad last week and found the surviving villagers of Qaziabad, 6,000 feet above sea level, camping out.

"They had not received anything to date," he said. "We are still filling pockets that missed out in the distribution."

He found more than 400 families in Qaziabad, surviving with cotton tents they had collected from the town below. Some had plastic sheeting to put over the tents, but the village had not received a single airdrop of food or supplies, he said. The road had been cut since the earthquake, and the footpath was treacherous from continuing landslides, he said.

Still, he said, the aid effort is making strides. "It was overwhelming to begin with, the size of the disaster, but we are winning," he said.

But for many of the inhabitants of the earthquake area, the nightmare has not abated. Their faces no longer show the shock so evident in the days immediately after the quake, but fear and uncertainty remains. Villagers in Qaziabad said 250 people had died there and in surrounding hamlets in the earthquake. "The children wake up at night — they are scared of being buried," said Rashida, mother of eight, as she tended a fire in the tiny mud hut her husband had fashioned from the rubble of their home. Her 12-year-old daughter, Maria, who was buried in the rubble of her school by the earthquake but was pulled out unharmed, sat silently beside her. Her 12-year-old son, Talbir, said, "I am scared to sleep in a tent and scared to sleep inside."

Farther west in the town of Balakot, which was severely damaged in the earthquake, several families a day have been trickling in after trekking down from remote snowbound Kaghan Valley.

"We had so many difficulties, and then we had this snowfall," said Muhammad Asif, 21, who arrived a week ago with his wife, parents and brothers. They took turns carrying his two Asif boys, 2 and 4, for two days through knee-deep snow. "We had no tent, just a tarpaulin," he said. "My plan was to stay up there, but the snow was too much."

"I am frightened of the mountain," he added. "When the snow started, the landslides started again, so we came here," said his mother, Bibi Sarwar Jan. "The helicopters stopped also with the snow, and we had no more food."

Many of the mountainsides are still unstable, and landslides have worsened with the recent snow and rain, villagers and aid officials said. Roads cleared by the Pakistani Army in the last two months have been blocked again, and supply trucks have not been able to get more than a few miles outside the main towns.

Sajjad, 27, walked five hours from his village, Nuri, in the Kaghan Valley, with his four young children, his wife carrying the youngest, 2½-month-old Waqas. He had built a wooden shack and covered it with plastic after the quake, but it had collapsed on the family one morning after a heavy snowfall.

They are also running low on food, he said.

"No helicopters came to our village," he said. "We were living on our own food supplies. Helicopters landed at a nearby village, but the villagers there would push us away."

Worst of all, the land was unstable, he said. "Now there is a big danger of another landslide, and our land is threatened," he said. "Lots of boulders are coming down, especially when it rains or snows."

On a warm, sunny day in Balakot, life can seem just bearable. Survivors of the quake are out picking over the rubble of their houses, breaking up concrete and salvaging wood and scrap metal. But when the weather turns, as it did one recent evening, and wind and rain start to lash the tented camps and the acres of rubble, the misery of life in the disaster zone is all too clear.

Ignoring the rain, Muhammad Owais Khan, 19, who lost his mother, father, younger brother, grandmother, aunt and his 10-year-old cousin when their house collapsed that October morning, stood looking through a family photo album he had just found in the wreckage of his home.

"That's my father on his wedding day," he said, pointing to a man in a white suit, garlands of tinsel around his neck. "And that's my mother," he said, flicking to a page of a woman in gold ornaments and red silk veil.

He had also just found the family Koran in the rubble, and had wrapped it carefully and stowed it with other belongings in a tent he had set up. Then he carried over parts of a smashed washing machine.

"I feel very bad," he said in English, looking around at the destruction. The government had given every family $438, but it was not even enough to remove the first layer of concrete from the wreckage of his home, he said.

"Five thousand people lived up on this hill, and 70 percent were killed," he said. They had pulled his 6-month-old cousin from his dead mother's arms, after hearing him cry for two days, he said.

His three sisters and uncle survived and are living together in rented accommodations in the nearby town of Mansehra, he said. They could never live again on the hilltop, but would rebuild on land below, he said.

"We will come back after this crushing blow," he said. "We will come back. My parents are buried here."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Mahjabeen Quadri
Site Admin

Joined: 08 Feb 2005
Last Visit: 22 Nov 2007
Posts: 49
Location: San Francisco
PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:39 pm    Post subject: Situation on Ground - 1 yr. after the earthquake Reply with quote

Hi guys,

I received an email from one of our development partners in Pakistan and a frequent ADP volunteers, Khadeeja Balki, who recently returned from a tour of the earthquake areas.

I thought it would be nice to share her email so that we could read about her observations of how life is like a year after the earthquake.


Dear Mahjabeen,

Hope you’re doing well.

I finally made it to Kashmir this week-quite an intense experience.
Been wanting to visit - just for myself and also see where ADP and RSD
funds were utilized after the earthquake. Will inshaAllah share details
about that soon, am trying to put together an informal report. The
perspective one can process their needs with after experiencing their
daily hardship-albeit on a very sheltered level-is so different. Perhaps
because in a lot of our minds we have such a romanticized image of lush
green mountains and rolling hills. Which Alhamdulilah is
breathtakingly true but let me tell you even the rolling hills are a tough trail to
manage via 4x4 (our clutch plates burnt out by the time we made it to
Dhirkot thanks to the driver) or foot. To top it off many of the prior
paths have become extremely rocky terrain after the earthquake, which
even the locals admit are now tough to maneuver. Imagine a 30 lb matki
precariously balanced on girls’ and women’s heads as they walk upto an
(and they have amazing speed) along these mountains from their homes to
the water source.

And the water sources aren’t much, at all. From what I gathered in my
very short visit, if the village is lucky, the stream has enough
pressure to actually flow like a tap (as it does in the Hans Chowki area that
I’ve attached pictures of) else it just trickles miserably and collects
in whatever brick pool-type the locals can put together (as in Danihat
which I don’t have pictures of unfortunately). In the latter case the
water they have for usage is green with a thick film on it and visible
insects. The drinking water pool is just a tiny bit better, minus the
film. They also collect rain water in the blue 750 gallon containers
via channels made on the roof.

When I was offered water at homes, I could see particles floating in it
because their sources are just so bad. In their homes water is stored
in the same matkis they bring it in. The children had days worth of
dirt on their faces. I’m guessing water for washing faces is not a
luxury they can afford. So much I realize we take for granted - indoor
plumbing or hot water are just out of question.

Wow, I ended up writing much more than I’d thought. I just wanted to
share some pictures I had with you and ADP since when I spoke to EHD
about addressing this need they said they’d submitted a proposal to you.
Not really sure where the funding status stands right now but just
thought I’d email a few photos since don’t think EHD’s sent any.


Young or old, everyone must help bring back water. The weight of carrying water over long distances is giving rise to back and neck problems.

 Filename:  Bagh_Villages___supporting_back___this_causes_pain_in_back__neck__shoulders__hips_051.jpg
 Filesize:  427.29 KB
 Downloaded:  4337 Time(s)

The water caravan

 Filename:  Bagh_Villages_035.jpg
 Filesize:  367.25 KB
 Downloaded:  4346 Time(s)

Kids fetching water

 Filename:  Bagh_route_135.jpg
 Filesize:  313.13 KB
 Downloaded:  4418 Time(s)

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forums Index -> Earthquake Relief All times are (GMT -5:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Page 1 of 1
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum

ADP Forums © 2005 Association for the Development of Pakistan using php B.B. engine