OCHA Situation Report No. 25
South Asia - Earthquake
1. Preparedness for population movements requires increased focus. People from high altitude villages continue to descend to lower areas. There are indications, however, that affected communities prefer to remain in their villages if they can survive with adequate shelter and sufficient food throughout the winter.
2. There is anecdotal evidence that 'Operation Winter Race' is leading to small numbers of people returning to villages to rebuild shelters. Women tend to stay behind in the mountainous villages, while men descend searching for aid, and then return. 'Winter Race' has resulted in over 8,000 shelters built by the military and 6,000 by the humanitarian community. According to the FRC (Federal Relief Commission), civilians have also built more than 7,000 shelters.
3. The military estimates that around 300,000 affected people will remain in inaccessible areas in the NWFP over the course of the winter months and according to the FRC, 5,445 families are currently staying in formal camps, managed by the Government. It is also estimated that 30,000 of the total population of 190,000 in Allai have descended and settled in camps, tented villages or with host communities.
4. Food has now become the number one priority, and will be granted 60% of the total cargo transported. 35% will be granted to shelter and 10% to other items.
5. Over 309,000 tents (verified by IOM) of the 500,000 required (62% coverage) have been provided with a further 165,000 in the pipeline for delivery by early December. In terms of additional non-food items, over 2.3 million blankets have been distributed (28%) coverage) with an additional 1.3 million in the pipeline.
6. Winterisation of tents remains a challenge, as it is difficult to track the type and locations of tents that have been distributed. The supply of corrugated galvanized iron (CGI) sheeting is a constraint due to insufficient quantities of material available. Stoves are urgently needed.
7. The humanitarian community is currently in the process of planning the anticipated needs for the winter months, and simultaneously reviewing progress being made to date and the present situation.
8. The Pakistani Army Animal Transport Units have approximately 600 mules available for transporting relief goods to the most remote areas, up to 8.500 ft.
9. All five agreed crossing points between Pakistan and India along the Kashmir Line of Control have been opened. Relief goods are crossing, but not in large quantities.
10. NATO intends to complete the current air bridge tasks by the end of November. After that the NATO aid bridge (air and sea lift) will remain available to the IO-NGO community but operate on a case-by-case basis.
11. Committed contributions to the UN Flash Appeal have increased and reached US$151 million out of the US$550 million requested. A total of US$64 million has been pledged. This brings the total contributions and pledges to US$216 million (39% of the requested amount).
12. Identification and establishment of new camps with a proper registration process is required, based on reports and assumptions that an increasing number of families will descend from the Neelum Valley and settle in and around Muzaffarabad city. All the 23 formal and spontaneous camps, hosting a total of 38,000 displaced persons, have been surveyed. It is recommended that some of these camps be closed.
13. Road access in the Lower Neelum Valley has improved, although the traffic continues to be very slow and hazardous. The chances of further road closures are high.
14. UK Chinook helicopters have transported approximately 820 MTs of shelter material, non-food items and food to the Neelum and Leepa Valleys over a 6 day- period.
15. Civil-military coordination is constructive and efficient. The Pakistan military is professional and cooperative, and has extended particular support to the health cluster. Pakistan and foreign military engineers are working closely together to ensure that efforts are being made to fully utilize the available assets.
16. People from the affected areas in the high valleys continue to descend to lower grounds. The Pakistan military estimates that from the Kaghan Valley around 1,000 persons are descending every day. In addition, approximately 500 people are coming down from the Allai Valley. Reportedly the majority of these are single males who settle with the host community. The camps around Balakot have also noted increased populations in recent days.
17. A policy decision on establishment and management of camps is required in order to avoid the growing number of spontaneous camps with insufficient and improper facilities and services. The District Commission is currently undertaking registration of displaced people in camps in order to identify the needs for provision of adequate shelter, water and sanitation facilities and other services in the camps.
18. An executive committee, consisting of key decision makers from the humanitarian community and the Pakistan military, has been established.
19. An increasing number of affected populations from the Allai Valley continue to descend and settle in camps or with host communities in lower areas. Although reports indicate that the majority of the affected people intend to remain in the hills, a significant number of villagers may seriously consider moving down to the camps when the winter closes in.
20. The total population in the two larger formal camps have increased to 10,100 - Meira camp hosts 7,100 people and 3,000 people are living in Batagram 1 camp. According to the Army, 90% of the 331 spontaneous camps in Batagram District have less than 100 tents. The Pakistan military has expressed serious concern over the risk to public health posed by these unhygienic smaller camps. 700 displaced people live in Boteira camp in Kohistan District.
21. There are still concerns over access to the Allai Valley and its main town Bana due to poor road conditions. Aftershocks caused landslides and closure of the road from Bana to Rashang Valley. The Karakorum Highway north of Besham is accessible to NGOs and truck convoys.
22. An inter-agency assessment mission to Kohistan District concluded that in general, the earthquake has not affected this district as badly as other parts of the country. The most affected areas within the district are the southern Union Councils. Geographical prioritisation 'packages', including shelter, food, camp management and health is recommended to some areas, as access and delivery to these remote locations with emergency requirements, is difficult.
EMERGENCY SHELTER CLUSTER
23. The main objectives are to supply emergency self-help shelter kits for affected communities in the 5000-7000 ft zone (above the snow line), and to lower, inaccessible highland valleys.
24. In Muzaffarabad, the "Operation Winter Race" in Neelum Valley is progressing with approximately 3,000 households covered in the past few days. To date, 42,000 shelter materials (tents and shelter kits) have been distributed in Muzaffarabad, Neelum and Hatian Districts, with construction underway.
25. In Bagh, uncertainties over the pipeline are the main concern. Insufficient supplies of shelter material, means that distribution throughout the winter will be required.
26. In Batagram, IOM, the Army Engineers and local villagers are presently erecting 3,500 temporary shelters in Allai, in areas above 5,000 ft. The Pakistani military has provided 1,386 tents in army-managed organised camps and a further 8,161 tents in spontaneous camps. Provision of NFIs in addition to shelter has been inconsistent in the relief operation.
27. UNHAS has airlifted a total of 770 MTs of food items, 1,071 MTs of non-food items and 5,575 passengers since the beginning of the air operations. 13 MI-8, 2 MI-26, 3 UNHAS-tasked Chinooks and 4 German Sea-Stallions are operating.
28. In Muzaffarabad, implementation of a slot system has eased congestion at the airfield. Helicopters are the only aircrafts allowed to land.
29. In Mansehra, in keeping with the "Last Mile" concept plan, the Pakistan military have identified and proposed 17 Forward Area Support Sites (FASS) in the Mansehra district as possible staging posts for distribution.
30. Batagram, WFP has designated Chatterplain (southeast of Batagram town) as a key logistical hub as the town is too congested for extensive warehousing.
FOOD AND NUTRITION CLUSTER
31. Food, which has become the number one priority, is being distributed in six thematic areas: (1) emergency school feeding, (2) hospital feeding, (3) camp feeding, (4) supplementary feeding, (5) host family feeding and (6) general food distribution in crisis areas. In inaccessible areas, the beneficiaries mainly receive daily rations, as pre-positioning/stocking food is difficult due to limited air assets.
32. In Muzaffarabad, a total of 2,900 MTs of mixed food commodities have been dispatched in Muzaffarabad and Neelum Valley, as of 22 November. Emergency school feeding and food distribution in camps have commenced. Targeted food distribution to fill the gaps and to avoid duplication is being clarified with the Pakistan Military.
33. In Batagram, WFP is increasing their stocks in warehouses around the district in preparation for the winter. UNICEF has started emergency school feeding programme, including high-energy biscuits in Batagram 1 camp, which will be extended to schools.
34. In Bagh, the army intends to distribute one week's rations in 20-22 FASS that will remain open throughout the winter. WFP plan to target 35% of the population rather than blanket distribution.
35. In Muzaffarabad, the situation of acute watery diarrhoea in the Old University camp has been brought under control, with a declining number of new cases reported and no recorded deaths caused by diarrhoea/dehydration. The situation is being closely monitored. Measures have been taken to improve the water and sanitation conditions in the camp.
36. Mobile teams are working throughout Muzaffarabad District. 6 mobile teams will be deployed to 6 inaccessible areas by helicopters. Six permanent vaccination centres are fully functional.
37. In Bagh, measles vaccination campaign is ongoing and 30% of the target population has been covered.
WATER AND SANITATION CLUSTER
38. In Muzaffarabad, ensuring water adequate quality and quantity remain a priority as the situation is steadily improving. Repair works on the water supply system are almost completed. To date UNICEF has completed 1,300 latrines in the camps, against the target of 4,000.
39. A plan for solid waste collection and disposal for all camps in Muzaffarabad is being finalized with the Local Government.
40. In Mansehra, repair of 13 water supply systems has been initiated and the 8,500 ft main supply line for Jaba camp has been completed. Intervention in Ghazi camp to provide water supply, sanitation, hygiene promotion and solid waste management has begun. UNICEF has completed 260 latrines and 104 washrooms in four camps.
41. In Bagh, installation of latrine slabs in camps has started.
42. In Muzaffarabad, a school for 350 primary school children has opened in Thori Park camp and another school has opened at Meera Tanolia camp. UNICEF and two national NGOs have agreed to support the Education Department in setting up 191 formal schools: 80 in Muzaffarabad and 111 in Bagh.
43. In Bagh, all teachers have reported to work, according to local authorities. 35-40% of the pupils in government schools have come back to school.
44. In Muzaffarabad, attention is focused on developing strategies to reach unaccompanied women, particularly at distribution points. Identification and registration of vulnerable groups is ongoing.
45. In Batagram, the first protection cluster meeting, headed by UNICEF, will take place this week.
CAMP MANAGEMENT CLUSTER
46. In Muzaffarabad, focused attention is required for setting up new camps with a proper registration system as there are indications that the number of people descending from the Neelum Valley will increase significantly. The number of spontaneous camps in the area is steadily increasing. As of 24 November, there are 33 formal and spontaneous camps in the area. Poor and inadequate sanitation facilities, lack of proper camp management and solid waste disposal remain the main issues of concern.
47. Site plans for 9 camps have been completed and presented to the Government.
48. In Mansehra, UNHCR/UNICEF conducted training of military and civilian authorities on camp management and water-sanitation.
49. A number of private NGOs, mostly with religious affiliations are acting outside the established coordination mechanisms. Recently a number of privately run camps have been created, without adequate level of services and accommodation facilities in place to sustain large populations. A strengthened policy decision from the national authorities to underscore the importance of planning interventions in a collaborative manner through established coordination structures, is recommended.
50. In Bagh, UNHCR/UNICEF has conducted training for local authorities and NGOs on minimum requirements in camp management.
51. 3 humanitarian hubs (Muzaffarabad, Mansehra and Balakot) are equipped with basic security telecommunications facilities. Underfunding may constrain deployment in other locations. Three hubs (Muzaffarabad, Mansehra and Bagh) are operational with VSAT data services.
EARLY RECOVERY CLUSTER
52. In Mansehra, a UNDP staff has been deployed in an effort to strengthen the early recovery component of the response, primarily working on the transitional shelter issue.
53. All detailed cluster information (meeting minutes, assessments, contact information etc.) is being posted on www.un.org.pk.
54. The latest information on projects and funding for the Flash Appeal, and for the emergency overall, can be found on the Financial Tracking Service (http://ocha.unog.ch/fts/reports/reportlist.asp?section=CE&record_ID=688).Further information on earthquake appeals and funding is available on ReliefWeb (http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/dbc.nsf/doc105?OpenForm&rc=3&emid=EQ-2005-000174-PAK).
55. Contact details of focal points for information on in-kind and cash contributions can be found at http://www.un.org.pk/earthquake05/
56. OCHA will revert with further information as it becomes available. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int.
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