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Situation Update: Sindh on alert as country-wide damages increase

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • September 15, 2014

Background:

Sindh on alert:

In view of the prevalent conditions in the upper parts of Pakistan, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority’s (PDMA) alert issued for the province of Sindh focused on gearing up in flood fighting protocols and mechanisms. The PDMA also broadcasted SMS alert in Sindh for the districts of Khairpur, Sukkur, Kasmore, Larkana, Sikarpur, Jacobabad, Kambar, and Ghotki. The messages have reached around 265,000 mobile phone subscribers in high-risk districts.

Irrigation experts said that between 45,000 and 55,000 cusecs of water are expected to pass through Guddu Barrage on September 17. Between 70,000 and 75,000 cusecs of floodwater were earlier expected to pass through Sindh but a large volume of the torrent has been dispersed. However, families living in the low-lying continue to remain at risk.

Anticipating the torrent, the Sindh government has issued a flood warning and asked residents of katcha (riverine) areas to move to safer places. According to Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon, all the deputy commissioners (DCs) have issued evacuation notices to residents of katcha areas. Katcha residents, however, said they are not ready to leave since no relief camps have been set up for them by the Sindh government and no transport has been provided for them. In the absence of any arrangements, they said they would rather stay where they are.

Situation Update: In Azad Jammu & Kashmir: Addressing Immediate Health Needs

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • September 12, 2014

Background:

The floods in Pakistan have affected 1,121,987 people as recorded by the National Disaster Management Authority’s (NDMA) latest update. According to UNOCHA, the authorities expect an estimated 3 million people to be affected by floods in the coming days. Approximately 257 people have been reported dead and 461 injured.

Most families affected since last week lack access to adequate food, shelter, and drinking water. These factors increase the risk of waterborne diseases and other health concerns.

While food, emergency shelters, immediate healthcare, WASH, and NFIs are priority needs in the affected areas, access to clean water and adequate healthcare is essential to avoid mortality caused by water-borne diseases. Affected community members worry about their lives without homes and no land to rebuild. They worry about diminishing food supplies, lost livestock and crops, and the coming challenging winter months ahead. There is no doubt that a lack of resources will affect the timeliness of the emergency response. Therefore, it is essential that the affected communities receive immediate relief to prevent an exacerbation of issues in the affected areas.

Video: Floods and Landslides Devastated Azad Jammu and Kashmir

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • September 10, 2014

Situation Update: Flood updates - Forecast, current conditions, and damages

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • September 10, 2014

Background:

Flood forecast-Sindh

Scattered thundershowers with gusty winds and isolated heavy falls are expected to occur over Sindh in the next 24 hours. Sindh is expecting to receive the volume of flood water flowing from Punjab in the next two to three days. Additionally, rainfall will exacerbate the challenges that vulnerable communities face. According to officials from the Indus River System Authority (ISRA), a surge in water levels through Punjab is likely to cause flooding in Sindh as 800,000 to 1,000,000 cusecs of water is expected to reach Sukkur Barrage on September 15 and 500,000 to 600,000 cusecs is expected to reach Kotri Barrage on September 20-21.

Current conditions-Damages and Destruction

In areas along River Chenab and River Jhelum, thousands have been rendered homeless. The River Chenab is flooded at Trimmu Headworks with inflow of 509,000 cusecs as reported by local radio. The water level at Trimmu has remained steady for some time but is expected to rise. As per the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) updates shared on September 9, 231 people have been killed and 401 people have been injured. A total of 7,798 households have been either completely or partially damaged due to the rain and flood related incidents in Punjab, Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan. The NDMA has provided 4,475 tents, 1,500 plastic mats, and 4,000 blankets to affected families. Rescue efforts by the NDMA assisted 31,370 trapped people from different parts of Punjab. At least 30,000 flood affected people were rescued in Jhang District according to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA).  Recent updates from the NDMA state that floods have affected 600,000 people and as floodwaters move downriver, there are fears of more inundations

Food Security Threatened in Flood-affected Kashmir

  • Latest News
  • Written by Muhammad Fazal
  • September 9, 2014

 Muhammad Ilyas recalls a happy life with his family and relatives in the neighborhood of Kals Noor Galla, Bagh District. He along with other community members owned apple orchards and grew maize in summer and wheat in winter each year. The community in Kals Noor Galla expressed that they felt safe as they had not experienced disasters since the earthquake in 2005. They shared they had rebuilt their houses following guidelines to ensure that the construction was earthquake resistant but were unaware of how to cope with the unexpected landslide that swept away their homes and lands.

On the night of September 5, boulders, silt, and mud entered from the rear side of the settlement smashing houses in their path.

A total of twenty-five houses, including Ilyas’, were completely destroyed while other houses were partially damaged. Ilyas shared, “We not only lost our houses and household belongings but have also lost agricultural land and crops of maize and apple trees.” The water supply scheme has also been severally damaged which has made access to clean drinking water a challenge for the community.

Ilyas and the affected community now reside with relatives at a nearby village.

Destruction, Homelessness, and Lost Hope

  • Latest News
  • Written by Muhammad Fazal
  • September 9, 2014

 “Eating and living under the open sky is the most difficult experience of my life. We have lost our house, clothing, bedding, and everything in a sudden wave of floods   two days ago,” said Noor Jan. Noor Jan and her family which includes her husband and four children are residents of Chattar 2 located in Bagh District in Azad Jammu & Kashmir. Her husband works as a daily wage laborer. As refugees in 1989 from the Indian part of Kashmir, Noor Jan and her family received land on lease to have their own house. The severe floods in Mall River swept away the settlement of refugees living on the bank of the river in Chattar 2. The land which was once home to 87 refugee families at Chattar is now covered with silt and debris.

“There would be a shortage of food sometimes when my husband would not find work for a few days, but I always felt safe living in my own house,” said Noor Jan.

Following the destruction of their home, Noor Jan and her family live in an open place along the road. She is concerned about her life returning to normal without a place for her home and within the limited means of her husband’s income. “My husband does not earn very much so this does not promise us a normal life.”

Situation Update: “Kashmir badly affected by floods; thousands in need of assistance”

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • September 8, 2014

Background:

Latest reports state that the death toll in Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) has risen to 63 people while the figures are at 11 and 131 in Gilgit-Baltistan and Punjab, respectively.

AJK

According to the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), 4,456 houses have been partially damaged and 2,483 houses have been fully damaged across Bhimber, Mirpur, Kotli, Rawlakot/Ponch, Havali, Bagh, Muzaffarabad, and Hattian in AJK. As per the same source, a total of 29,506 people have been affected in these areas. In Azad Jammu & Kashmir, rescue workers struggled to reach remote mountain villages in Neelum Valley along the Line of Control. Simultaneously, landslides hampered efforts.

Affected families in villages in AJK shared they could hardly manage to evacuate their houses and moved to elevated roadsides. They added that rushing waters made it difficult for them to find any time to shift their belongings and livestock. Jamal Din, a local resident of Chattar 2 Village which is located about seven kilometers from Bagh shared, “We were awakened to the sound of roaring boulders at 1:00 am and managed to save our lives. All of our belongings including food, clothing, and other bedding material was washed away and our homes as well. We could do nothing except watch with a heavy heart.”

Jam Din further informed the CWS-P/A team that shelter, food, and non-food items are their immediate needs. “We have to travel more than two kilometers to get clean drinking water which is adding to our miseries.”

Situation Update: High floods expected after rains wreak havoc

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • September 7, 2014

Background:

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) today warned that the provinces of Sindh and Punjab are expected to face severe flooding in the coming days. A press release issued by the PMD said that water levels in the Indus River at Sukkur and Guddu barrages are constantly increasing and likely to attain exceptionally high flood level by September 13 and 14 in both provinces.

An official from Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said that 139 people have died due to the rains and floods and 266 people injured. The deaths have occurred in Punjab, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan regions.

The Punjab government declared flood emergency in the province. Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Director Nisar Ahmed said that as many as 95 deaths were reported in 18 districts of Punjab until Saturday night.

CWS-P/A’s team in Azad Jammu & Kashmir shared that heavy rains caused land sliding, flash floods, and floods in the local rivers and a total of 48 people were reported dead.

Situation Update: Monsoon rainfall increases death toll to staggering 160

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • September 6, 2014

Background:

Recent reports state that 160 people have died and several others injured as monsoon rains continue to wreak havoc across Punjab and Azad Jammu & Kashmir over the last three days. Most of the deaths were caused by collapsing roofs and electrocution in the rain and flood affected areas.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) earlier reported that continuous rains may result in river flooding which could inundate vast swatches of land in Punjab. Officials shared that due to flash floods in the Kashmir region, River Jhelum and River Neelum are near to overflowing at some places. Official reports also confirmed that high flood level is being witnessed in River Chenab at the Marala Headworks.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has accelerated rescue and relief operations. In Qadirabad, a city in Punjab, 0.6 million cusecs of water has entered the lands. Similarly, in Zafarwal, another city in Punjab, drains have burst and rain water has made its way to small villages and residential areas. Young people and members of the army are continuing to provide assistance to those who are trapped across several villages. The local police engage in assisting affected people and are arranging cars to transport people to safety.

Situation Update: Rain-related death toll rises to 74 in Punjab, Kashmir, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • September 5, 2014

Background:

On September 5, the death toll from thirty hours of uninterrupted rainfall rose to 74. More specifically, the rains have claimed 40 lives in Punjab, 30 in Kashmir, and 4 in Haripur District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The torrential rain causing a very high flood in River Chenab, and Lahore received a record 432mm of rain in three days. The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) reported that Palandri in Azad Jammu & Kashmir was the worst-hit town which received 313mm of rain in 24 hours.

According to an update from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), ‘very high to exceptionally high flood level’ is expected in Rivers Ravi, Chenab, Jhelum, and Sutlej along with their associated nullahs during the next 48 hours. For tonight, the same is expected at Marala with a high probability of floods especially in downstream areas.

Low-lying areas in Lahore have already been submerged in water, and electricity and transport systems remain badly affected. Several houses and roofs have collapsed, the leading cause of deaths. Approximately, 459 houses have been destroyed or damaged across the country. Reports also indicate extensive loss of crops and habitats in Punjab Province. In Muzaffarabad, two roads connecting the city to the rest of the country have been blocked due to landslides. While in Hajira, a small town located in Azad Kashmir, as many as 500 residents remain trapped because of landslides and flash floods.

Situation Update: Rain-related death toll rises to 74 in Punjab, Kashmir, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • September 5, 2014

Background:

On September 5, the death toll from thirty hours of uninterrupted rainfall rose to 74. More specifically, the rains have claimed 40 lives in Punjab, 30 in Kashmir, and 4 in Haripur District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The torrential rain causing a very high flood in River Chenab, and Lahore received a record 432mm of rain in three days. The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) reported that Palandri in Azad Jammu & Kashmir was the worst-hit town which received 313mm of rain in 24 hours.

According to an update from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), ‘very high to exceptionally high flood level’ is expected in Rivers Ravi, Chenab, Jhelum, and Sutlej along with their associated nullahs during the next 48 hours. For tonight, the same is expected at Marala with a high probability of floods especially in downstream areas.

Low-lying areas in Lahore have already been submerged in water, and electricity and transport systems remain badly affected. Several houses and roofs have collapsed, the leading cause of deaths. Approximately, 459 houses have been destroyed or damaged across the country. Reports also indicate extensive loss of crops and habitats in Punjab Province. In Muzaffarabad, two roads connecting the city to the rest of the country have been blocked due to landslides. While in Hajira, a small town located in Azad Kashmir, as many as 500 residents remain trapped because of landslides and flash floods.

Situation Update: Rain-related death toll rises to 74 in Punjab, Kashmir, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • September 5, 2014

Background:

On September 5, the death toll from thirty hours of uninterrupted rainfall rose to 74. More specifically, the rains have claimed 40 lives in Punjab, 30 in Kashmir, and 4 in Haripur District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The torrential rain causing a very high flood in River Chenab, and Lahore received a record 432mm of rain in three days. The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) reported that Palandri in Azad Jammu & Kashmir was the worst-hit town which received 313mm of rain in 24 hours.

According to an update from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), ‘very high to exceptionally high flood level’ is expected in Rivers Ravi, Chenab, Jhelum, and Sutlej along with their associated nullahs during the next 48 hours. For tonight, the same is expected at Marala with a high probability of floods especially in downstream areas.

Low-lying areas in Lahore have already been submerged in water, and electricity and transport systems remain badly affected. Several houses and roofs have collapsed, the leading cause of deaths. Approximately, 459 houses have been destroyed or damaged across the country. Reports also indicate extensive loss of crops and habitats in Punjab Province. In Muzaffarabad, two roads connecting the city to the rest of the country have been blocked due to landslides. While in Hajira, a small town located in Azad Kashmir, as many as 500 residents remain trapped because of landslides and flash floods.

Situation Alert: Heavy rains claim 31 lives across Punjab

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • September 4, 2014

Background:

At least 31 people died in rain-related incidents across Punjab since Wednesday night, police and rescue sources said.

Fifteen deaths were reported from Lahore and a total of seven from the districts of Sialkot and Gujranwala.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif announced 500,000 rupees (USD 4,850) in aid for the deceased persons and 100,000 rupees (USD 970) in aid for those who were injured in monsoon rains.

The current spell is being generated by the first well-marked low pressure of the monsoon season that is moving toward Pakistan via Indian Rajasthan, moist current from the Bay of Bengal, and a trough of westerly wave persisting over northern parts of the country.

Situation Alert: Thar, Kohistan declared drought-hit

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • August 27, 2014

Background:

Sindh Information and Local Bodies Minister Sharjeel Memon on Monday said that the Sindh government declared Kohistan and Tharparkar as drought-hit areas and free wheat would be provided to the affected families in these areas.

Talking to media at his office along with Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Director General Syed Salman Shah, Memon said that the decision was taken during a special meeting of Sindh cabinet at Bilawal House on Sunday. The meeting also approved the establishment of Kohistan Development Authority, similar to Thar Development Authority.

World Humanitarian Day

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • August 20, 2014

icon World Humanitarian Day

Aug 19, 2014

#The World Needs More #Humanitarian Heroes

Community Support Vital for Education in Afghanistan

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • August 19, 2014

“Traditionally they say and it is believed to be offensive if a woman works outside her home and earns money to support her family,” said Zahida. Zahida is currently a teacher in Mesha Khail Girls High School located in Qarghai District, Laghman Province, Afghanistan. She had completed high school and had always dreamt of becoming a teacher. “I had already discussed this with my family many times so as to convince them to allow me to pursue my career as a teacher.” Zahida added, “After graduation, I applied for the position of a teacher in Mesha Khail Girls High School and by the completion of the formal process was hired.”

Zahida was soon left with no choice other than to leave her career when she was married two months after joining the school. Khan Agha, Zahida’s husband, had previously accepted that she would continue her teaching career after their marriage. However, Khan Agha shared that he did not want his family and relatives to think that he was letting his wife work outside their home so as to use the income she brought back.

On the day Zahida submitted her resignation she said she cried and shared her feelings with teachers and students at the school. “I had lost my happiness and felt my life was ruined.”

In Afghanistan: Helping Women Discover Good Health

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • August 19, 2014

In Afghanistan, CWS-P/A’s health work supports families in four districts across the province of Laghman.  Through six health facilities and in July, 1,619 men and women received health services. The facilities recorded 63 new pregnant mothers with the project’s antenatal care program, while 31 pregnant mothers received their fourth antenatal care visit.  The project’s midwives also recorded 50 deliveries and 158 mothers continue to attend postnatal care visits.  Approximately 82 children received necessary vaccination and 265 children under age five have been screened regarding their nutritional status.

More importantly, 334 community members attended health education sessions and 68 spouses of expecting women attended awareness sessions on sexual reproductive health.

As the project continues, many women like Said Bibi discovered health access that previously remained unknown to them. They have overcome challenges that previously prevented them from having children. “I was anemic and given medication by the midwife at the clinic.” Said Bibi resides in Dawlatshah District and often helped her husband in laborious chores. She shared that in her initial pregnancies she lost three babies.

Market Access and More Business

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • August 19, 2014

In 2012 CWS-P/A initiated a project in Thatta District, Sindh Province to increase livelihood opportunities for marginalized women.  The project focuses on empowering women with vocational skills, basic literacy, health information, and knowledge on disaster risk reduction. Women have also participated in product development trainings to modernize and increase the marketability of traditionally known skills and products which was led by an urban designer. Furthermore, the project is working to establish market linkages to help bring the women’s products to urban markets and increase their household earnings.

Women from Jaffar Mallah Village travelled to Karachi for the first time in July to visit shopping centers and malls for their initial exposure to urban markets. This provided the women with a basic understanding of market demands and contemporary trends in embroidery work. The production supervisors and sales and marketing agent from the first vocational center visited Karachi earlier in February. They reported a better understanding of how the market works. Additionally, the visit resulted in product orders for 1,000 hand-embroidery buttons and fabric yardage. The women from Jaffar Mallah received a small order which includes a few yards of the finished product. They hope that that a larger follow-up order will result based on the sample production from the small order.

Situation Alert: Rain-related incidents leave 18 dead in Peshawar

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • August 16, 2014

Background:

Heavy rains accompanied by windstorm wreaked havoc in the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday, leaving 18 people dead. Approximately, 42 mm of precipitation was recorded in the city. The rainfall lasted for only one hour and 30 minutes – from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm, but has been the cause of significant damage.

More than 80 people sustained injuries in separate incidents caused by collapsing of roofs and walls of houses in various areas of the city.

Rescue activities are underway, while those injured were rushed to Lady Reading Hospital. The rescue sources said that many wounded people remain in critical condition.

This heavy downpour uprooted trees and electricity polls additionally causing disruption in the power supply to many areas of the city for several hours.

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