On January 1, 2000 an earthquake occurred destroying homes and buildings in Northern Afghanistan. Fortunately, there were no casualties. SNI sent an assessment team to the region to do a preliminary survey. Along with ACTED, and UNDP, we were able to see firsthand the damage, and since have been working on ways to help.
Currently, the political and military situation is calm in Northern Afghanistan.
SNI's has set up an office in Khowja Ghar and has begun purchasing materials and hiring construction engineers to reconstruct shelters. This is in response to the fighting, which destroyed over 4,600 homes. Weather conditions have been warm and favorable for construction.
In a joint effort with World Concern, SNI continues distribution of 22 bails of clothes ($15,000), for the IDP's in and around the Rustaq and Khowja Ghar Districts.
In response to a request for essential cookware and kitchen items, SNI will purchase & ship 400 kits consisting of a large cooking pot & spoon, serving bowl and platter, and plastic cups.
SNI continues to bake and distribute 750 loaves of bread each day for the IDP's in and around Rustaq and is providing temporary shelter for 70 IDP's in Rustaq.
Earthquake Damage Report
On January 1, 2000, there was an earthquake about 30-km southeast of Rustaq in northern Afghanistan. Villages affected are Butosh (pop. 2,700), Dashtaq (pop. 2,460), khaldara (pop. 1,450), and Sarajoue (pop. 750).
Alan Jacques our Regional Field Officer has completed a preliminary survey, along with officials from ACTED, and UNDP. Although there were no casualties, the preliminary assessment indicates that 75% of the homes show some damage, and 5% (464 homes) have been destroyed.
These villages were also heavily damaged in 1998 when a heavy earthquake occurred in the region. It is reported that this recent earthquake did not damage the shelters that were rebuilt in 1998.
Khowja Ghar Reconstruction Effort
The SNI office set up in Khowja Ghar is complete with a Codan radio, and 4 new local staff members have been hired. Most of the materials needed to reconstruct 400 shelters are under contract. Doors and windows (150 units) are ready for shipment with additional under contract. The end of this week also marks the end of the month of fasting for Muslims, and will be celebrated with the Eid-e-Ramazan. Reconstruction work will began in earnest next week after Eid and materials are delivered.
A twenty member commission has been set up consisting of village elders and local government officials to direct the assistants from different agencies. SNI is coordinating their efforts with them and the other NGO's.
ICRC has provided emergency food aid by distributing 70 kg of wheat per family, 7 kg of oil per family, 28 kg of rice per family as well as 6 blankets per family for 4,300 families. ACTED is also planing a shelter reconstruction project and has supplied some families with stoves, and 50 kg of wheat for the families that ICRC did not provide. SCA also distributed 850 blankets and the Norwegian Project Office (NPO) distributed 10-15 kg of rice and some biscuits for 300 families.
It is estimated that about 80% of the IDP's have been able to return to Khowaja Ghar and Hazar Bagh districts. Most of the IDP's who have returned have started to rebuild their homes.
Additional Needs: Water supply remains a major problem in Khowja Ghar City; the people must carry their water 10-12 km from the Khokcha River. This is about a 6-hour trip via donkey. There are no girl's school in either Khowja Ghar or Hazar Bagh. One primary boys' school sustained about 50% damage in the recent fighting and needs repair. Other schools appear to be in good condition.