Pakistan

RC/HC Office of Pakistan Dec 2006 Situation Report

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
Events

- Key coordination, planning and response for the winter period continued both in Islamabad and in the field. A general feeling of "quiet confidence" pervades regarding the readiness and response for this winter. Rapid response teams are in place, the Disease Early Warning system is in place and the majority of the population are in shelters adequate for the winter weather; almost all are superior to those of last year.

- ERRA-NGO Conference was held on 5 December. Issues such as landlessness due to the earthquake, relocation of people from the Red Zone, clarification of roles and responsibilities of DRUs, coordination with Line Departments, update on Winter Contingency Plans, and concerns on delay of NOC issuance were discussed and mechanisms for resolving them were agreed upon.

- Deputy Chairman of ERRA, General Nadeem, approved the construction of tent shelters including use of bamboo and timber frames in IDP camps in the earthquake affected zone. CST started the winterisation programme in four camps in PAK in early December with most completed by the end of December.

- Government decided to establish a National Disaster Commissions at provincial and district levels meant for rapid and adequate response to natural disasters. The decision came as a National Disaster Management Framework -- issued by the National Disaster Management Authority -- declared Pakistan vulnerable to risks from a range of natural hazards including earthquakes, droughts, floods, landslides, avalanches, cyclones, storms, tsunamis, glacial lake outbursts, river erosion, epidemics and pest attacks.

- The President promulgated the National Disaster Management Ordinance on 23 December paving the way for setting up the National Disaster Management Commission. The NDMC will lay down policies on disaster management, and approve the national plan to be followed by the federal and provincial authorities. The ordinance provides for setting up the National Disaster Management Authority which will act as the implementing, coordinating and monitoring body for disaster management. Disaster Management Commissions will be formed at sub-national levels and establish Disaster Management Authorities at the Provincial, District and Local levels to create a culture of preparedness and to integrate disaster management in the development process.

- Addressing a function at the national headquarters of the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to honour the volunteers, the President appealed to the philanthropists to contribute and donate generously to the volunteer organizations. He said the government also launched National Volunteer Movement with a view to further mobilize and channel the efforts of the volunteers to work for the help of others in case of any emergency or natural disaster.

- ERRA and IASC country team have prepared second quarterly report for Early Recovery Plan covering September to November 2006. As of 30 November 2006, some $178 million in funding had been secured to support the programme portfolio of $244 million. Implementing partners expended over $100 million, or 56%, of available funds at the end of the second quarter.

Weather

01. Heavy rains and snowfall affected road networks in the earthquake affected districts but prompt road clearance helped resume regular transportation. Bulldozers, machines and other equipment are available for action in emergency. This has reduced downward movement of people from snow covered areas. So far, the winter conditions have not been more difficult than anticipated. UNHAS identified potential cargo for airlifting for various areas. The flight for passengers is running twice a week.

02. A 23 member 'Urban Emergency Workforce' (UEW) of Muzaffarabad Development Authority received disaster preparedness, response and life support training from IOM's Rapid Response Teams (RRT). The workforce will focus on urban emergencies this winter whereas the RRTs will continue to prioritize rural needs and remain standby for technical assistance in the urban setting.

SECTORAL UPDATES

Livelihoods

03. A total of 183,716 households/persons have been paid the housing cash grant in NWFP. The total amount disbursed so far is Rs.12.3 billion. Similarly, a total of 35,582 houses are being constructed in the five affected districts. Out of these, 15,840 are following ERRA approved designs; 1,802 are using wood; 10,968 are Kacha (mud and stone); and 6,972 are Pacca (brick or stone and cement).

04. "Action against Hunger" organised horticultural training for 135 persons representing 35 CBOs of Kaghan. Similarly, Caritas Pakistan provided training in Livestock Extension Techniques to 15 persons at Battal. SRSP has launched a project to improve income condition of disabled people.

05. In support of community organisation, participating agencies agreed to hold a day-long session to define a common process for community formation. UNDP and IFAD have shared community organisations database. UNDP has identified, revitalized and formed over 500 CBOs and identified 1,713 activities for training under its community-based livelihoods project.

06. FAO has distributed 2,050mt of wheat seed, DAP, and urea both in PAK and NWFP. Training for farmers was organised in wheat seed sowing and land preparation. Similarly, 3,000 shelters for animals are under construction in Allai and Balakot and provided animal feed to 300 deserving families. Training in animal feeding has been provided to 50 farmers. Some 50 tons of seed is distributed as shared by EDO Agriculture.

07. International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation Turkey will launch a winter relief distribution project at Salmia UC, Tehsil Hattian for an initially selected number of 521 beneficiaries, considered to be the most vulnerable (widow-headed households, disabled and elderly couples)

Education

08. Some school tents need to be replaced for which UNICEF has made a commitment for the supply of a minimum of the needs, in coordination with ERRA. UNICEF obtained NOC for the construction of temporary shelters at 130 facilities. In Batagram, a total number of 677 education facilities were damaged out of which 177 have been pledged by NGOs and 46 will be reconstructed in Year I - (FY 2006-7) with Government funding.

Water and Sanitation

09. Water quality monitoring needs to be further mainstreamed into line agencies with the involvement of PCRWR and Ministry of Health / Environment. Public Health Engineering Department has started physical work on water supply schemes and ERRA has been informed about the programme. In Batagram, 61 water supply schemes were damaged out of which 55 have been pledged by NGOs. Similarly, 60 water supply schemes of TMA Batagram and 186 water supply schemes of TMA Allai were damaged which have been pledged by NGOs and work on their reconstruction is underway.

Health

10. IOM-AIG through the Rapid Response Teams are planning to train relevant government staff, UN agencies and NGOs in emergency response in the earthquake affected areas. First aid and first response training were carried out for nearly 3,000 students, teachers and community members. It has set disasters response standards by reacting fast to emergency situation. RRT doctors carried out a rapid assessment of Khanian area. Most common among the children (1-5 years age) are diarrhoea and ARI-related syndromes. Patients are under medical treatment.

11. The higher reporting rates for infections such as ARI is put down to the larger number of reporting sites and a greater confidence in the health system. It is felt that ARI is lower than last year, even though reporting is higher.

12. Health services are being provided satisfactorily by Government with its own funds and also with the support of UNICEF, WHO and UNFPA. UN agencies are providing services through implementing partners. Medicines have been pre-positioned in the high altitude areas. WHO and district Governments have made a winter plan jointly.

13. In Batagram, a total of 41 health facilities were damaged out of which 23 have been pledged by JICS and the remaining 18 will be reconstructed with ERRA funding.

14. District Health Department is providing health services in Mansehra. TB team visited camp and undertook awareness raising campaign. The six weeks skill development training by ICMC was underway. NCHD is closing two Essential Health Centres by the end of December 2000. These fully equipped centres were located at Sanghar and Nala Jabbar.

15. On the 23 December, a life-saving medical evacuation was conducted by Merlin and UNHAS. A pregnant woman with labour complications was evacuated to AIMS hospital in Muzaffarabad from Serli Sacha Union Council in Neelum Valley at an altitude of approximately 5000 feet. The Lady Health Visitor and Merlin's Health Promoter working at the Basic Health Unit had identified the patient with high risk of complicated delivery during one of their routine home visits. The mother and the baby-boy are doing fine.

Camp Management

16. All 47 camps (44 in PAK and 3 in NWFP) are being winterised by ERRA with the assistance of UNHCR/NRC. Shelters having wooden/bamboo frame structure covered with CGI sheets are being erected over these tents by using 43,000 CGI sheets loaned by ERRA. IOM and NRC have mobilised 40 construction teams and 594 tent shelters in seven camps have been constructed by the implementing partners (BEST & IOM). In addition the Pakistan Army has been tasked to winterise 1,313 shelters in PAK and 850 shelters in NWFP.

17. Pakistan Army erected structures at Jabba Camp for winterisation from materials provided by NRC. World Vision provided 154 winterised tents out of which 122 were distributed to the families in need. Camp Manager also requested response community for the provisions of 110 kitchen sets and heating system.

18. The establishment of Kashtra Camp in NWFP was finalised as a contingency site for the winter. The water supply line has already been laid down. IFRC has provided 200 winterised tents which were pitched by BEST. WHO will cover health services and WFP shall provide food. It must be underlined that this is a contingency site for truly vulnerable populations.

19. Siran Sialkot Camp: A total of 106 families, comprising 612 individuals were residing in the camp. Health and education services were satisfactory. 150 patients visited the hospital during the reporting period. NRC provided 150 plastic sheets to the camp. About 100 winterised tents, 200 quilts and 200 mattresses are to be provided soon.

20. Jabba Camp: A total of 631 families, comprising 3,337 individuals were residing at the camp. About 30 more families who arrived and residing with their relatives will soon be shifted to Kashtra camp. District Health Department provided an ambulance as well as hired another security guard. ICMC started skills trainings in the camp. Education service is running smoothly. About 100 new winterised tents were needed and World Vision has committed to support.

21. Maira Camp: 114 families, comprising 683 individuals - including 11 widows, 4 disabled and 4 orphans - were living in this camp. The health and education services were satisfactory. Students requested books.

22. The vulnerable residual case load was 4,812 families (25,372 individuals) residing in 40 camps in District Muzaffarabad and 847 families (4,395 individual) residing in 4 camps in district Bagh.

23. District authorities in Mansehra are looking forward to receiving return package (CGI sheets, two goats, two months food and transportation) as announced for the IDPs residing at both Siran Sialkot and Jabba camps. Some IDPs have expressed willingness to return to their places of origin by receiving such packages.

Protection

24. Acquisition and allocation of land by Government to landless IDPs (14,500 families) continued to be a predominant issue. A comprehensive land policy has been emphasised to identify alternative and long-term solutions. A sub-group has formulated to draft a policy paper on landlessness due to the earthquake. Government decided to build a satellite town on some 6,000 Kanals of land for almost 14,500 landless families in PAK who were affected by earthquake, landslide, etc.

Food and Nutrition

25. Sufficient food and non-food items stocks exist in the forward areas as well as in Islamabad for quick distribution in case of emergency. WFP pre-positioned 7,000mt and 1,000mt food for NWFP and PAK respectively for only vulnerable population in and out of the planned camps. WFP distributed food to 20 camps in PAK and one camp in Bagh. In Muzaffarabad, some 30% of the camp population comprising 1,500 families are considered vulnerable and are receiving food. In PAK there is no problem either of distributing food to vulnerable population.

Coordination

26. In the field, monthly meetings for general coordination are held with relevant stakeholders. Departmental heads have been requested to attend the meetings. By taking into consideration various issues raised during the operation group meetings, UNORC developed a working/ concept paper and outlined co-ordination meetings indicating leadership, participation and ToRs of the meetings. NGO-UN coordination forum has been set up to support ongoing co-ordination activities. UNORC had arranged three one-day trainings on Meeting Management specifically for DRUs, SERRA, PERRA and ERRA officials and field officers in PAK and NWFP in Abbottabad, Muzaffarabad and Islamabad.

27. IASCI established its unit for ERRA for information dissemination and launched a website. IASCI will coordinate with PERRA and SERRA and will compile information received from IASC Operational Group and other forums like UN agencies, INGOs and NGOs to further disseminate the information at the provincial and Union Council levels.