A severe weather system over Northern Pakistan at the turn of the year produced more than 10 feet of snow in the mountains. Elsewhere sleet and heavy rain enveloped the affected area for 2-3 days; the realities of the conditions being experienced by the homeless are at variance with official assurances that all is well. In the wake of the system temperatures are forecast to fall far below zero, with accompanying wind chill factor. Non-receipt of committed donor funding has exacerbated the situation; our delivery of shelters has been stalled since 17.12.05 through lack of promised finance.
PATTAN ONGOING RELIEF ACTIVITIES
Cumulative totals for recent deliveries of 'Winter Warmth' items in our adopted villages are now: 350 Pattan shelters; a further 140 quilts; 200 mattresses; 100 stoves; further supplies of clothing. With the generous support of Norwegian Funding and Mercy Malaysia these totals will all be doubled in the coming weeks.
The latest census in our tented village records 19 resident families (107 souls, 16 under-fives). Fire points (powder extinguishers and sand bucket racks) and associated fire safety education have been implemented. All tents have either been replaced with Pattan shelters or topped with plastic sheeting. Improved latrines are in use, with grateful thanks to the Austrian Red Cross. New Female and Male Deputies now support the new Camp Administrator.
LIVELIHOOD AND RECOVERY PROJECTS
Private donor funding has been obtained for the Women's Handicraft and Income Generation Scheme, with the possibility of commercial retail outlets in Malaysia.
Our Concept Paper for a Project in Support of Vulnerable Women (Balakot region) has been submitted for donor funding.
Two further Concept Papers for donor consideration have been submitted: one Project in support of newly disabled young people in the Balakot region and one for a recuperation phase Kaghan Valley Cultural Preservation Programme.
Our Community Sports and Recreational Activities Project and the Children's Educational Support Programme continue in the Pattan Camp and await donor support for extension to our adopted villages.
(John M. Lane)
Disaster Management Coordinator