1. Executive Summary:
Heavy rain, snowfall and avalanches have created a great deal of panic at numerous locations in Pakistan. The death toll caused by this situation has increased to 105, with the highest reported in State of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (78) and Balochistan (20). According to the reports shared by the National Disaster Management Authority the number of houses damaged reaches 1,295 mostly located in Balochistan (1,057). While the total number of affected people is still not confirmed by the authorities, a state of emergency was declared by Balochistan Government in eleven districts which includes Quetta, Ziarat, Pishin, Kila Abdullah, Kachhi (Kolpur area), Mastung, Harnai, Kila Saifullah, Loralai, Kalat and Kech.
According to Meteorological department, another wave of rain/snowfall is expected to enter Balochistan in the last week of January which could further aggravate the situation. The department is monitoring the situation and will issue weather alerts to the relevant authorities for timely action. Rescue efforts are ongoing and major highways and link roads are being cleared in the affected provinces, however access to remote areas/villages is extremely limited. Humanitarian agencies and National and Provincial Disaster Management Authority have decided to carry out a rapid needs assessment to understand the needs and funding requirements across sectors in the affected areas while response is ongoing by the authorities, NGOs and the UN.
Recurrent droughts in Balochistan is not a new phenomenon, however, severity, longevity and unpredictability are the elements, caused by climate change, which resulted the damages. Since 2013 entire province, particularly districts along the western fringe are witnessing drought of extreme proportion. But, the current devastating situation of heavy rain and snow fall has crippled the whole life in eleven districts.
Islamic Relief is working in Balochistan since 2000 and have successfully implemented number of humanitarian and development projects so far. In District Kharan, Nushki, Chagai, Quetta, Awaran, Washuk, Ziarat, Jaffarabad and other floods and drought affected areas IRP established strong network of social structures in the shape of community based organizations. IRP Conducted a need assesment district Pashin for gathering information around the emergency described above.
The district headquater of district Pishin is approximately 59 Kilometers away from Quetta and assessment was conducted in ten union counils. The impact of the rains and heavy snowfall in these UCs is worst in shape of avalanches due to which most of the water supply schemes have been damaged and people of the area are compeled to use snow for their water needs, which may be a contaminated because of sediments of dead bodies of animals under the mud. The heavy snow fall also resulted in blockage of main routes and accessibility to the remote areas. Considering the vast geographic spread of the district some of its unaccessbale areas are as far as 159 Kms from Quetta. Furthermore, the extreme cold tempretures and heavy rainfall has also affected the livestock as a number of cattle died and sources of fodder were also vanished. Physical infrastucture including school buildings, houses, latrines and fodder storage places in were also damaged.
As per the assesmnet finding, overall 1,873 houses were damaged including 72 houses (4%) fully damaged houses. As a result, 15% of the total population shifted to other cities like Quetta, Hub and Multan. As a result of physical infrastructure damages, 42% of drinking water facilities/sources have been destroyed and the availble sources as per 33% responses are unsafe for drinking. Damages also incluce distruction of 262 household latrines which are no more useable and 17% of the stored/preserved stock of food and rations have been wasted. As per the rapid need assessment the worth of livestock damages are estimated upto PKR 24 million, 49 thousand livestock.
The major needs idenfied during the assesment includeprovision of winterized kits, medicines, food items and fodder for animals. Hygiene kits, kitchen sets, psychosocial counselling is also required for the inhabtants of the area. Clearance of, roads and accessibility to hospitals and primary health facilities is also needed to be done on emergency basis