Pakistan: PRCS set to roll out winter plan for Bajaur, Swat IDPs

News and Press Release
Originally published
As the winter is about to set in, a plan to protect internally displaced persons (IDPs) from troubled districts against tough climatic conditions ahead is on the drawing board of Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS).

"We're discussing with International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) modalities of a winter plan for people displaced from Bajaur and Swat due to man-made disaster," said PRCS Secretary General Muhammad Ilyas Khan during a visit to Lower Dir.

The PRCS has set up three tent villages for the IDPs, one at Government Degree College in Timergarah, second in Khunji village of Lower Dir district and Risalpur district.

Ilyas said the PRCS had been catering to the basic needs, especially food and shelter, of the IDPs at these camps.

He said the PRCS had so far provided relief and health cover to 43,163 persons in the areas facing security crisis. He said besides providing shelter to the victims, the PRCS had also provided each displaced family with food, blankets, hygiene kits, one jerry can, stoves and mosquito nets. He said the ICRC had given the PRCS adequate support and cooperation.

The PRCS secretary general said besides providing relief to the IDPs, the Society's doctors and paramedics having necessary medicines had been deployed in the troubled regions to provide medical assistance on a daily basis to the victims. He said that so far over 15,000 people including men, women and children had been treated in these camps.

He said mostly, the IDPs complained of diarrhea, respiratory tract infections and skin diseases.

He said the PRCS and the ICRC engineers were also laying water and sanitation pipelines. He said the engineers had so far established 200 toilets (100 at Timargarah camp, 60 at Khungi camp and 40 at Risalpur camp).

The PRCS secretary general said that to provide safe drinking water to the IDPs, 14 tap stands with 84 water supply points at the three camps - seven in Timargarah, four in Khunji and three in Risalpur. He said six water bladders having the capacity to store 25,000 litres and 60,000 litres water were installed at these camps. He said smooth water supply was also being ensured through bowzers.

Ilyas said the PRCS was also carrying out a campaign to create awareness of personal health and hygiene among the IDPs at the camps.

He said the PRCS has established branches in FATA and Northern Areas and the Red Crescent cover would gradually be expanded to the country's 114 disaster-prone districts.

"Over the next four years, our focus will be on ensuring speedy and adequate medical response to the people in distress through trained doctors and paramedics, and ambulance service," he said.

Speaking on the occasion, PRCS, NWFP Branch, Chairman Prof Dr Sher Muhammad Khan said that the Society's staff and volunteers were sparing no effort in providing relief and health cover to the victims of man-made disasters.

He said the PRCS was committed to the welfare of displaced people and would stand by them in current hour of need.

PRCS, NWFP, Secretary Ali Hassan gave a detailed briefing to the visiting delegation on the PRCS/ICRC joint relief and health operations in the troubled regions.