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Situation Alert: “Pakistan Experiences Two Natural Disasters”

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

Earthquake

A moderate earthquake struck northwest Pakistan on Saturday, causing panic in towns and cities, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, an official shared.

Mohammad Riaz, a senior scientist at the Pakistan Meteorological Department, shared the magnitude 6.0 earthquake was felt in the northwestern city of Peshawar, Swat Valley, and several nearby areas. The epicenter was located in the Hindu Kush in neighboring Afghanistan. Peshawar is the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province which borders Afghanistan. On June 12, 2014, mild tremors of magnitude 4.3 on Richter scale were also felt in Shangla District.

Cyclone Nanauk

More than thirty villages of Sindh and the Makran coastal belt have been submerged by the high tide in the Arabian Sea, preceding a cyclone that was predicted to hit the coast of Oman on June 15.

The protective embankment of Keti Bunder in Thatta was damaged due to which several villages in Keti Bander, Kharochhan, and Ghorabari were flooded which includes the villages of Esa Khaskheli, Usman Khaskheli, Siddique Ronjho, Arif Samo, Allah Dito Sahito, Ahmed Jatt and others in Kharo Chhan, Hashim Rajwani, Muhammad Hussain Chandio, Qadir Bakhsh Sakhani and Yousuf Dablo in Keti Bunder and Aarib Mallah, Bachayo Mallah, Ahmed Sodai and Idrees Gagwani in Ghora Bari.

Background:

The targeted security operation in North Waziristan Agency started after a suicide bomber hit an explosive laden truck at an Army check post, which destroyed the check post and the adjacent Masjid, killing 5 soldiers and injuring many on December 18, 2013. Non-state armed groups attacked soldiers involved in the rescue operation after the attack. On December 19, 2013, in retaliation, the military commenced targeted security operation against the militants.

A series of attacks followed including a suicide attack on a military outpost near Mir Ali which resulted in the killing of 23 Frontier Corps Personnel by the Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP). Fear of a counter attack by the military resulted in the displacement of 23,061 individuals by February 20, 2014. Most of the internally displaced people (IDPs) moved to their second homes in Bannu or stayed with relatives in the area. The affected area was never notified, thus, those who moved were not entitled to be registered by the Government.

Bazamgull’s Story

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A staff
  • June 6, 2014

“My father died three years ago, and now, I lost five family members in this disaster. It seems my death is better than my life. Now, there is no one to support in the upbringing  of my two remaining children or look after their safety while I go out to earn for our meals, clothes, medicines, and other necessities,” shared Bazamgull, 30, resident of Ab Barik Village, Argo, Badakhshan.

“It was around 11:00 a.m. while I was working in the city of Faizabad. I received a phone call from one of the villagers who asked me to come back to the village as soon as possible since my entire family, my home, and my assets were ruined under the debris of a landslide.

“I immediately stopped working and rushed back to my home.” With extreme sorrow Bazamgull expressed, “As I arrived at my village, I was astonished to see that my entire village, my home, everything had disappeared under the mud. I started to ask around about my family; a village member directed me toward two of my children. My two youngest children, my wife, mother, and sister all were under the debris. The villagers had tried their best to save them, but it was impossible for them to rescue my family.”

In Jawzjan, Mothers Speak about Loss and Survival

  • Latest News
  • Written by Engr. Sharif and Dr. Hazrat Ali Hamid
  • June 6, 2014

Khurma Bibi lost her husband two years ago due to cancer. Prior to his death, Khurma Bibi’s husband provided for the family’s basic needs by working as a daily wage laborer. He also supplemented his income by harvesting wheat on a small area of land that he owned in their village, Chosbash Turkmania, which is located in Khawaja Do Koh District, Jawzjan Province. “I faced many problems after his death because I became the only provider for my family. My sons Sharif (7 years) and Saifuddin (4 years) are too young,” shared Khurma Bibi.

Khurma Bibi soon adapted and began working from home, using her skills in carpet weaving to earn income. “This was not enough, but I could manage to some extent with it.” She explained that she could earn an average of 2,500 afghani (USD 44), which she budgeted well in order to meet her family’s daily expenses.

For Khurma Bibi life became tougher when heavy flooding destroyed her home including her machinery and carpet weaving tools. “I was only able to escape with my children. When I looked back at my home and the other homes in my village, they were completely destroyed along with all the agricultural lands. The lands were the only source of income for many of the residents. The year’s food supplies as well as household belongings and animals were all under murky waters.” With tears in her eyes, Khurma Bibi said, “I lost everything.”

Situation Update: Latest News from Afghanistan Disasters

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

Background:

Efforts to provide relief to families affected by monsoon rains and flooding in Northern Afghanistan continue. Inaccessibility remains a challenge in areas where roadways were severely damaged, where floodwaters remain, and where insecurity poses high risk to relief efforts. Overcoming these challenges will be essential to ensuring the most vulnerable families in these areas receive assistance, too.

In Argo District, many families struggle to cope with difficulties in the aftermath of the landslides. Flashfloods and landslides in the country over the past weeks have affected 120,000 people across 16 provinces. An estimated 675 people have died. Many of them were swept away by floodwaters or buried under mud.

Many of the affected families depend on small-scale farming as their main source of income and food. The effects of the floods and landslides will be largely felt during harvest in the coming months as their season’s crops remain under water or mud. In addition to meeting affected families’ emergency needs, recovery efforts in the months ahead will be essential to restore livelihoods.

Helping Afghan Communities Reduce Disaster Risks

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

April 2014

Alishang District is a remote area in Laghman Province, Afghanistan. Masamoot is a village within the district. Approximately, seven hundred families reside in stone and mud houses closely built together in the mountainous village. Living conditions are poor and poverty is widespread. While some individuals earn money by selling fire wood or harvesting wheat and corn on small plots of agricultural land, a majority of the residents are unemployed. Food security is constantly threatened because of low crop production, a result of the inadequate irrigation source. Geographically this area is located near a fault line and has been affected by earthquakes, floods, continuous drought, war, and political instability for the past three decades.

Early Childhood Education Teacher’s Training

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

April 2014

During April 2014, Church World Service –Pakistan/Afghanistan (CWS-P/A) brought twenty-one teachers from public and private organizational schools together for a hands-on learning experience. The five-day workshop at CWS-P/A’s training center in Murree focused on the concepts and ways to effectively implement early childhood education.

Thirteen female and eight male teachers from Sargodha, Gujranwala, Kasur, Islamabad, and Lahore were selected for this workshop based on their interest to learn new skills and ability to provide training to other teachers. They came from either the formal or informal primary education systems. Today’s children face social, political, environmental, and technology issues; therefore, it is important to set up a value system which provides diversified and better learning opportunities.

Capacity Building: Strategic Planning For Organizational Growth

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

April 2014

The development of a strategic plan greatly helps an organization to align its focus by clarifying its vision, mission, and required resources. In order to support civil society organizations in Pakistan, Church World Service-Pakistan/Afghanistan (CWS-P/A) organized a two-day training on “Vision and Strategic Planning.” Thirty-seven individuals participated in the event, held in Islamabad and Karachi. The training aimed to help the participants improve their understanding of strategic plans, organizational priorities, and institutionalization. Following the training, the participants should be able to identify long-run goals for their organization and ways to achieve them.

Translated versions of the booklet, Quality and Accountability for Project Cycle Management, will be available soon in French, Urdu, and Dari.

This user-friendly unique guide was recently launched by Church World Service-Pakistan/Afghanistan as part of a long-term commitment to enhance quality and accountability (Q&A) in humanitarian and development interventions. The booklet helps field practitioners navigate a variety of Q&A initiatives and tools in a practical manner through every stage of an intervention.

Vaccination and De-worming Campaign in Sujawal, Sindh

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

“We have never before vaccinated or de-wormed our animals,” stated Begi from Doso Himayati, a village in Sajawal District. While livestock act as a major source of livelihood and food security within the district, widespread poverty and unawareness regarding livestock management practices have hindered proper animal care. In order to meet this need, Church World Service – Pakistan/Afghanistan (CWS-P/A) initiated a vaccination and de-worming campaign in Sujawal from April 11-25, 2014 as part of a livestock management project funded by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).

Situation Update: Excessive Rains and Flood Continue Devastation in Northern Afghanistan

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

Background:

On Saturday, May 10, 2014, heavy rains triggered new flooding in Balkh, Jawzjan, Sari Pul, and Samangan provinces. Balkh Province was the most affected during the recent rains. Since Thursday, April 24, 2014, flash floods in Jawzjan, Faryab, Sari Pul, and Badghis have claimed lives, destroyed homes, agricultural lands, and infrastructure. Reports state that over the past 48 hours an additional 17 districts in four provinces have been flooded.

Cumulatively, 16 provinces are now underwater and more than 120,000 people have been affected by the floods in these provinces. Rescue efforts by local authorities including the Afghan army and police forces continue to assist trapped communities in the flooded areas.

Approximately, 50 meters of the main Kabul-Mazar northern highway has been completely destroyed by flooding in the Tangi area. The highway connects Kabul to all Northern Provinces west of the damaged areas of Mazar, Jawzjan, Sari Pul, Faryab, and western parts of Balkh.

At the same time, access due to insecurity remains a challenge in a number of districts in Faryab, Jawzjan, and Sari Pul.

Situation Alert: Two earthquakes Shook Nawabshah, Sindh

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • May 9, 2014

Background:

Early this morning, two earthquakes of magnitude 4.5 and 4.6 shook Nawabshah and its surrounding districts in Sindh, damaging houses in various areas. At least one person died and 50 others were injured. The injured people were taken to hospitals where emergency has been declared.

The epicenter of the first tremor was eight kilometers south-south east of Daur in Sindh, around 16 kilometers from Nawabshah. The depth of the earthquake was recorded at 14.7 kilometers. The second earthquake, measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale, struck an hour later. Its epicenter was 12 kilometers southeast of Daur, just 13 kilometers north of Nawabshah and 15.3 kilometers deep. Aftershocks continued to shake the area.

The tremor, though of minor intensity, caused a series of roof and wall collapses in different areas.

Situation Update: Food, Health, and Shelter Needs in Northern Afghanistan

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

Background:

Following the series of rains, floods, and landslides, the affected population scattered across the north of Afghanistan face challenges in accessing shelter, water, food, and health services. In the most severely affected province, Jawzjan, a district governor informed CWS-P/A that 68% of villages in Khwaja Do Ko District were partially or completely destroyed. She added that assistance in terms of tents and basic food items have been distributed by humanitarian organizations; however, more assistance in needed. Up to three families are living in one tent and many families lack the required facilities for cooking. She prioritized medicines and health services, tents, drinking water and sanitation, and food and kitchen items.

Families in the districts of Khwaja Do Ko, Khwish Tipa, and Darzaba similarly expressed their needs.

Mammila, 35, lived with her husband, children, and extended family members. The floods claimed the lives of her husband and all but one son and washed away household belongings. She is left to care for her elderly mother-in-law, her five year old son, and a young niece and nephew. “Nowadays, we do not have shelter. Urgently, we need a tent, food, and drinking water. We have to bring clean water from very far away. We also need medical assistance.”

Gul Bashra, 30, is the mother of eight children. “All of our property and livestock are lost; our food stock, furniture, and household items are lost. The people are trying very hard to find my missing husband alive or his dead body,” shared Gul Bashra before official rescue operations were called off on Saturday, May 3. “I received a tent and a package of food, but it is not enough. We need an additional tent, food, carpets, kitchen items, a mattress, clean water, and medicines.”

Photo Gallery: Northern Afghanistan Floods and Landslides

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

Situation Alert: Thousands dead and many more remain missing in Northern Afghanistan

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • May 3, 2014

Background:

A series of heavy rains triggered landslides and buried a village in Abi Barik located in Argo District, Badakhshan Province, causing significant loss of lives and widespread damage to homes and agriculture.

The initial report indicates that in total 1,000 families resided in the affected village. Approximately, 2,100 people from 300 families have been confirmed dead and people from the rest of the 700 families are either missing, displaced, and are at severe risk of further landslide in the area.

The death toll is expected to increase as rescue efforts by Afghan National Army, national police, and local people are underway to remove people trapped under debris. Owing to the nature of the massive disaster, it remains beyond human ability to reach and remove all the deceased.

Situation Update: Assessing Damages from Afghanistan Floods

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • April 29, 2014

Background:

On April 24, heavy rainfall resulting in flash floods impacted 34 districts across 10 provinces in Northern Afghanistan.  Sources in the province report an estimated 132 fatalities.  Approximately 16,000 people have been displaced by the floods across the North, North-Eastern, and Western regions of the country. In addition, 38,955 have been heavily affected and are in need of immediate assistance.

Floodwaters have damaged homes, public infrastructure, roads, and thousands of hectares of agricultural land. Search and rescue operations continue by the Afghan National Army (ANA) and 14,000 people have been evacuated from flooded areas to date.

Assessments are still underway to determine the full extent of the damage and scale of humanitarian needs. Concurrently, UN agencies, NGOs, and the Red Cross movement are working in coordination with local authorities to ensure delivery of emergency relief materials including emergency shelter, NFIs, tankered water, food items, and medical supplies.

Situation Alert: Afghanistan floods claims at least 102 lives

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • April 26, 2014

 Background:

Heavy rainfall since Thursday, April 24, 2014, has caused flash floods across 4 provinces (Jawzjan, Faryab, Sari Pul, and Badghis) in Northern Afghanistan claiming at least 102 lives, most of which are women and children and leaving more than 100 injured. Initial reports received from Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) indicate that people are still trapped on the roofs of their homes and some remain missing. Affected families have also lost their homes, shops, agriculture land, and orchards. Witness reported seeing people climbing trees to save themselves from the rising water.

The exact figures of damages and losses could not be assessed with limited accessibility to some areas and roads remain severely damaged.  Authorities shared that Jawzjan Province is the worst affected in the region and more than 100 people have been injured and 30 villages under water. While in Faryab Province, at least 40 people have died and dozens injured. The Deputy Provincial Governor also stated the loss of 10,000 domestic animals in the province.

Expanding HIV&AIDS Awareness

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • April 17, 2014

Between early and mid March, CWS-P/A held a three-day youth camp in Narowal District, Punjab and a one-day awareness session on HIV&AIDS in Thatta District, Sindh. A total of 83 participants attended the camp and adolescent session which took place in both districts for the first time.

A participatory approach was used to raise awareness as participants expressed their views of HIV&AIDS. During the youth camp, participants also developed posters and art work to express ideas about the topic as they enhanced their knowledge.

In Pakistan, cultural and social barriers hamper awareness and discussions on topics such as HIV&AIDS. CWS-P/A believes that knowledge and information sharing helps to reduce prevalence. “Awareness is our right, but we are restricted to know what our elders tell us without any reasoning. Here, I also got to know about gender roles in our male dominating culture,” shared a male participant in Thatta.

Capacity Building: Theater for Development

  • Latest News
  • Written by CWS-P/A Communications Office
  • April 17, 2014

CWS-P/A’s Capacity Building Program has conducted several trainings over the years to build the capacities of civil society organizations, community groups, teachers, and students on the use of theater as an important communications and advocacy tool.

Recently in March, the Capacity Institutionalization Project (CIP) carried out a training, “Theater for Development,” in Lahore, Pakistan. The training focused on engaging participants to use theater as a tool to address various issues while also creating awareness. Additionally, the training helped participants enhance their knowledge on interactive and street theater, the art of creating stories, and developing issue-based content in interactive theater.

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