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Monsoon rains and flood continues to create havoc in different parts of the flood affected areas leaving thousands of families affected, number of houses destroyed, thousands of acres of ready to harvest crops and fruits orchards have been damaged, link roads and bridges destroyed. The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) Director General Dr Ghulam Rasul has issued high alert in the wake of expected widespread heavy rain and flood, over the next five days.

The PMD spokesperson added that the heavy monsoon was concentrating in Sindh where up to 500,000 cusecs of water was already flowing down the Indus at Guddu and Sukkur and the upcoming heavy downpour could aggravate the situation. According to the PMD the entire country is currently under an active monsoon system which might generate heavy widespread rains in coming days. National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) also alerted that a sharp peak of High Flood is expected in River Jhelum at Mangla (upstream).

Following is a brief overview of impact of recent flash floods on different provinces of Pakistan so far:

Sindh: Around 150 villages have been flooded in district Ghotki, Kashmore and Sukkur which affected around 1000,000 people. The continuous driving rains incited rivers to wreak havoc and forced the citizens to shift to safer locations along with their livestock. Along with the three already affected districts, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority of Sindh has forecasted that districts Khairpur, Larkana and Shikarpur are also at high risk of flooding in the coming two to three days which can affect thousands of families in these vulnerable districts. Anticipating displacement from these districts the district governments have established relief camps, health camps and livestock facilities at various embankments.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Around 300,000 people in upper and lower Chitral are affected by flash floods. Twenty-six villages are affected in the district, where 145 houses were destroyed and 32 partially damaged. The roads linking Chitral with Drosh, Orghoch, Garam Chashma, Bamboret, Mastuj and Boni are destroyed. Dozens of other link roads, major bridges and the suspension bridges connecting valleys and villages have been swept away in the gushing waters. A hotel, a private college and around 25 water supply schemes have also been swept away. Search and rescue operations are currently underway by Pakistan Army. Relief camps have been established in the affected areas while Government has announced PKR 500,000 for each of the completely affected households. Furthermore PRCS has distributed tents, kitchen sets, hygiene kits, Mosquito nets and blankets to 29 flood affected families. KP government has transported 20 tons of food packs to district Chitral.

Gilgit-Baltistan: Flash floods have cut off at least three valleys in Diamer and Baltistan. The valleys in Diamer – including Niat, Buner and Fairy Meadows – have been experiencing food shortages because of lack of connection with the outside world. Ghanche and Skardu are the worst affected districts of GB. Fast melting glaciers in the northern areas of the country during monsoon season and the resultant flash floods is a wake-up call for the K-P and G-B governments to start planning to tackle the situation.

Punjab: At least 244 villages of Mianwali, Layyah, DG Khan, Rajanpur, Rahimyarkhan and Muzaffargarh districts are inundated by the flood water of Sindh River. According to NDMA, 11 villages in Mianwali, 81 in Layyah, 40 in DG Khan, 14 in Muzaffargarh, 82 in Rajanpur and 16 villages in Rahimyar khan are affected by the flood. Crop fields spread on thousands of acres have been destroyed, while more than 100 families have moved to safer areas on their own due to insufficient arrangements made by the district and tehsil governments. A large number of people are stranded in the flooded localities. The urban localities which are on the bank of Lai Nallah in district Rawalpindi have also been flooded while due to the rain related incidents in the district, a girl has died during the last 24 hours. Government has established 120 relief camps in six districts of the province. Each camp will accommodate 500 people. 6,000 tents and 10,000 food packs are distributed so far.

Baluchistan: Heavy rainfall, windstorm and the flood situation in District Zhob has damaged flood protection bunds, electric poles, roads, uprooting trees, etc. Also caused breaches at various locations to the protection bunds claiming four lives so far. In central province, at least twenty-one people drowned in the flood water where only seven dead bodies recovered while search and rescue operation is underway for the recovery of the rest of the drowned people.

Response by Community World Service Asia:

Sindh being the tail-ender has always been the most affected province and is likely to be among the most affected by recent rains and flooding in the coming couple of days. Community World Service Asia has operational offices and teams in Sindh. Its senior management team, including Regional Representative and Associate Director for Emergencies is on the ground monitoring the situation and will be leading the emergency response. The field team is coordinating with key stake holders to plan to address emergency needs of the population by providing food, NFIs and emergency medical assistance in affected districts.

Contacts:

Allan A. Calma
Deputy Director
Disaster Management Program
Email: allan.calma@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 301 5801621

Muhammad Fazal
Associate Director
Emergencies/DRR/Climate Change
Email: fazil.sardar@communitryworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 332 5586134

Palwashay Arbab
Senior Communications Officer
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources:
www.tribune.com.pk
www.e.dunya.com.pk
National Humanitarian Network
www.ndma.gov.pk
weather.par.com.pk

Torrential rains have created havoc in different parts of the country making life miserable for the residents of the affected areas. District Chitral is on top of the list of the worst affected districts where Infrastructure has been the worst-hit and the upper areas of the district have virtually been cut off from the rest of Chitral, leaving as many as 200,000 people stranded.

Kyber Pakhtunkhwa: Initial assessment has revealed massive damages, while officials have reason to believe that the actual situation could be much worse.

The PDMA said the available machinery and manpower had already been deployed for temporary opening of routes to restore communication.

Around 40 connecting bridges and more than 200 smaller bridges have been washed away. An estimated 175 houses were completely destroyed while over 200 others were partially damaged.

Three towns of Latkoh tehsil – Garam Chashma, Arkari and Karimabad – have been inaccessible for the past six days.

Electricity and water supply systems have also been destroyed, while a shortage of edible items has also been reported.

Standing maize and vegetable crops, and the villagers’ cattle and other belongings were swept away, but no loss of life was reported there. However, a girl was killed in the Bakarabad area of Jamrud in Khyber Agency when the roof of a house collapsed because of the heavy downpour.

Punjab: Around 100 villages have been flooded in district layyah, while due to high level flooding in Indus river, thousands acres of crop has been destroyed in district Rajanpur and adjacent areas. The affected people are compelled to evacuate the area and to move to safer places.

Balochistan: Three children were killed and more than a dozen people injured in rain-related incidents in the northern parts of Balochistan, where torrential rains played havoc and disrupted road communication. The protection wall of Sherani was washed away by hill torrents as well, flooding the residential township and the nearby villages. A bridge linking Zhob and Sherani also collapsed, suspending road communication. Heavy rains were also reported in Ziarat, as the downstream in Sibi Valley of the plains was inundated.

Sindh: At least 10 people drowned while swimming or accidentally falling into waterways in separate incidents. The flood water is expected to reach Sindh districts and affect the low lying areas on the bank of the rivers in the next few days.

The PMD has issued a red alert for flash flooding in local nullahs and streams of Punjab, upper K-P, eastern Balochistan and Kashmir for the next three days.

The Met Office has warned the local authorities to take preventive measures to avoid any kind of human or property loss.

PMD meteorologist Muzammil Hussain said the second spell of monsoon would continue across the country until July 30, with weak to moderate showers with short intervals.

He said hot and humid weather would persist across the country, adding that the humidity level had reached 70 per cent.

Community World Service Asia is currently monitoring the situation and will respond if the emergency assistance is required.

Contacts:

Allan A. Calma
Deputy Director
Disaster Management Program
Email: allan.calma@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 301 5801621

Muhammad Fazal
Associate Director
Emergencies/DRR/Climate Change
Email: fazil.sardar@communitryworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 332 5586134

Palwashay Arbab
Senior Communications Officer
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Ph: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources:
www.tribune.com.pk
www.express.com.pk

Photo Courtesy: Focus

Heavy monsoon rains triggered flash floods in different parts of the north-west district of Chitral in KPK, Pakistan. Two people including a woman and a girl have been reported missing since the floods. Thirty shops and dozens of bridges have been washed away by the gushing waters of a flood stream in various parts of the district. The rain started pouring early in the morning and lashed the district for a continuous half-an-hour, causing a powerful flash flood. According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), around 100 villages have been affected, including those in Bumboret, Ayun, Birir, Shali, Shughur, Khairabad, Milp and Dorosh.

The meteorological department said the rain hit mountainous areas which caused the floods in low-lying parts of the district. The floods washed away roads within the district, including Peshawar-Chitral Road near Broz Gol area. There is no land route connecting Chitral city to the rest of Malakand Agency. Embankments at vulnerable points are required to protect communities from overflow of river and its tributaries in the affected areas.

A sizeable portion of population has been cut off which necessitates immediate restoration of roads and bridges. The floods have also affected the WAPDA house in the area which has resulted in the disconnection of the power supply from Inji Grid Station and Ayun Hydel Power Station, plummeting most parts of the district into darkness.

Meanwhile, officials warned that water levels in the River Indus were on the rise. According to sources Abdul Aziz Soomro, the in-charge of the control room at Sukkur Barrage, said that a medium-level flood was passing through Guddu Barrage while a low-level flood was passing through Sukkur Barrage. He said that water levels are expected to rise further in the next 24 hours at Guddu and Sukkur barrages.

Community World Service Asia is continuously monitoring the situation and its emergency response teams are ready to start emergency response activities if required. To view the contingency plan for emergency response, click here to download Monsoon Contingency Plan.

Contacts:

Allan A. Calma
Deputy Director
Disaster Management Program
Email: allan.calma@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 301 5801621

Muhammad Fazal
Associate Director
Emergencies/DRR/Climate Change
Email: fazil.sardar@communitryworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 332 5586134

Palwashay Arbab
Senior Communications Officer
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources:
www.tribune.com.pk
www.geo.tv
www.reliefweb.int

The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) is an initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to bring the global community together to commit to new ways of working together to save lives and reduce hardship around the globe. It will be the first global summit on humanitarian action of this size and scope and it will be held in Istanbul at the end of May 2016.

Community World Service Asia held community level consultations in Pakistan and Afghanistan that aimed to gather perspectives on how to take steps towards disaster mitigation in the future, emergency response and recovery, and to share the collected viewpoints ahead as recommendations to the global actors participating at the Summit. The consultations were also directed towards measuring the level of humanitarian assistance offered by the aid groups as well as any indicators of employment opportunities created for the affected communities.  Conducted by Community World Service Asia, these sessions were divided into two categories, one for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the other for community representatives in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Attempting to amplify the voices of communities in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, Community World Service Asia reached people from a varied demographics for these consultations. These consultations helped in identifying individual and community needs at the time of emergency and the groups that are most effective in meeting the needs of a community during the crisis. Three focus group discussions (FGDs) and fifteen consultations were successfully completed in the month of May in KPK and Sindh provinces of Pakistan. While in June, two FGDs and six Individual consultations were conducted in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

These consultations are helping to prepare for and prevent future emergencies, and are planned in close coordination with UNOCHA and the National Humanitarian Network (NHN). The recommendations collected from these consultations are submitted to be included in the final report of the Secretary-General and will set the agenda for the summit. Community World Service Asia will also be contributing messages from the community to the ACT Alliance WHS film which is to be aired at the WHS Global consultation in Geneva in October, and will actively be participating in the Summit in Istanbul in May 2016 as well.

Community World Service Asia’s Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) center, funded by Church World Service Global and the Church of Scotland, serves a local population of approximately 20,500 in Union Council Bijora, Thatta, in the Sindh province. The remote, rural area is affected by a lack of health infrastructure and services. A lack of female doctors and health practitioners, as well as cultural norms which pose barriers to women travelling, mean that women are particularly under-served and that their health issues remain a serious problem.

The MNCH center provides easily accessible and affordable health care to the local community, which not only enables women to avail vital services, but alleviates the financial burden of expensive travel to the nearest hospital, which can cost families around Rs. 1,000 (USD 10). A key component of the project is community mobilization, which promotes the engagement and ownership of community members. Through the formation of male and female Health Management Committees (HMCs), we are able to build trusting relationships with communities, which are essential to effectively address key health issues. The HMC members conduct basic level awareness raising sessions on hygiene practices, common and seasonal diseases such as malaria, and family planning.

The HMCs also play a vital role in sharing information among men and women in the community regarding the health services available at the MNCH, including more in-depth awareness-raising sessions. In addition, HMCs provide transport to patients in emergency situations, identify current health issues and report them to the project team, as well as supporting the team with the management of medicine stocks. This participation is essential to Community World Service Asia’s vision of empowered communities. HMC members demonstrated their strong sense of local ownership by sharing their hopes for the MNCH center in ten years’ time: a “first class” facility for the community.

Across Afghanistan, communities continue to recover from three decades of conflict. Education, particularly for girls, has been severely damaged and disrupted, with a lack of safe schools, difficulty in travelling and a shortage of qualified teachers. Poverty and cultural norms further contribute to the serious obstacles to education for both girls and boys, and the reconstruction of the country.

Community World Service Asia is committed to working with local authorities in Afghanistan and enabling them to provide quality education for students. We promote awareness and understanding among communities about the importance of education, especially for girls, with an emphasis on a culturally sensitive approach. We provide extra-curricular educational activities for girls, such as civic education camps, in order to address the gaps in their education system and empower them to play an active role in their communities. The construction of safe play areas and the provision of sports equipment uphold the right of children to play, and are a vital part of our efforts to build the confidence of children.

In addition, we provide extensive and in-depth training to teachers, supporting them to create engaging, child-centered classrooms and conduct meaningful lessons which will equip their students to learn effectively. As part of this initiative, we have been holding subject-specific trainings for teachers from eight schools in Laghman and Nangarhar provinces on a variety of courses identified as priorities by the vast majority of surveyed teachers, including Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and General Sciences. The workshops develop the knowledge of participants on these subjects as well as exploring learning strategies and teaching techniques.

A five-day training was held in June for twenty five teachers in the Behsood district of Nangarhar, on the subject of Chemistry. The workshop resulted in a 446% increase in the technical knowledge of teachers, as measured by pre- and post- test scores on the subject matter.

Ab. Malik, a teacher at Malika Suraya Girls High School, shared the impact that the training had on her abilities and confidence to teach Chemistry, “Most of these things were really new to me and had no idea how to do experiments. But after attending this training, I feel that I have become an expert and trained teacher who can provide the students with effective chemistry classes.”

Zalmay Halimi Hazrat, the District Education Director for the Behsood District, visited the workshop, and was extremely positive about its value and relevance for teachers in his area. He expressed his views saying, “If other organizations conduct similar trainings for our teachers that are just as effective, we would very soon be able to observe the positive change and improved quality of education within our school that we hope to see. This is the first time I am seeing the entire wall of our training hall completely full of charts. This indicates that throughout the training days you all have worked hard and have had lots of practical activities.”

A wide gender gap exists across Pakistan, with women able to access fewer opportunities for participation in education, employment and social and political life. Nationally, only 45% of women are literate, compared to 69% of men[1]. There is also a strong disparity between urban and rural areas, 71.1% of those who live in cities or towns able to read and write, and only 46.3% of those who live in more remote settings[2].

Women in rural areas are therefore particularly marginalized, and are affected by a variety of factors which limit their access to education. There are few schools, a lack of female teachers, insufficient sanitation facilities at schools, and often long and unsecure journeys between home and the classroom. This further compounds the general issues of insufficient resources, untrained and unqualified teachers, out-of-date textbooks and poverty, which present obstacles to girls and boys alike.

Community World Service Asia is committed to empowering rural women through education and income generation. Through our women’s empowerment project in Thatta, Sindh, funded by Christian Aid, women receive training to develop their skills in traditional embroidery, appliqué and other crafts. The project also supports these women to develop sustainable linkages to local and high-end markets, and education on sexual and reproductive health. A key component of the intervention is the introduction of adult literacy classes, through which participating women receive education in basic reading, writing and mathematical skills.

The second adult literacy center was opened in Ghulam Muhammad Soorjo village, Thatta, on 1st July, with fifty women enrolled. The new students eagerly shared their motivation for undertaking the classes, with reasons including being able to read the expiration dates on medicines, verifying their national identity cards, and registering to vote.

[1] Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement survey (PSLM) 2008-09-Most recent government figures available.

[2] UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2011

 

Community World Service Asia, with the financial support of Christian Aid, has been working with flood-prone and affected communities in Thatta, Sindh since 2010. Along with utilizing our innovative Mobile Knowledge Resource Center to conduct interactive training workshops to support community members, teachers and students to become disaster resilient, we promote community ownership of disaster risk reduction initiatives through the formation of local level disaster management committees. These committees are essential to the active participation of communities in preparedness and mobilization in the event of a disaster, as well as building sustainability of the intervention. The committees carry out assessments of local risks and capacity to respond, as well as producing hazard maps and conducting evacuation drills.

On June 15th, members of the disaster management committee in Union Council Bijora, Thatta participated in an exposure visit to a neighboring village, Ali Muhammat Jat, to share their experiences of working to build community resilience to natural disasters.   The visit was an opportunity for both communities to identify good practices and areas in which they can learn from one another. The participants shared the importance of engaging and coordinating with community members in order to successfully identify needs and priorities, and effectively sensitize communities to important practices such as education and disaster preparedness. The committee in Ali Muhammad Jat, supported by Islamic Relief Pakistan, also shared their initiative of monitoring local news alerts to develop their own early warning system, which the committee members from UC Bijora found particularly interesting and useful.

Exposure visits like these enable the communities with whom we work to develop links with other groups, learn from them, and adapt relevant initiatives to strengthen their own practices. This also helps the committees which we establish in becoming self-sustaining and durable in the long-term.

Floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains continued to cause devastation in areas along the Chenab and other small rivers and tributaries placing lives and valuable assets of the people at risk. Due to these rains and flood related incidents, 11 people lost their lives in Rawalpindi so far.

In Jhang, due to the damaged protection bund, flood water has inundated several villages destroying the agriculture land and crops.

The already affected areas include Jhang, Layyay and Qadirabad. Due to the increase in the water level in the rivers, Khanewal, Muzaffargarh, Multan and Wazirabad are at high risk of flooding as well.

Emergency warnings have been released through loud speakers and the communities at higher risk have been advised to evacuate the area. The water level is continuously increasing in rivers and dams in different areas of the country including Punjab and the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The Pakistan Metrological Department has predicted more rains in most parts of KPK and Punjab in the coming weeks.

Community World Service Asia is currently monitoring the situation. Its emergency response teams are prepared and will start emergency response activities if required as per their Monsoon Contingency Plan.

Contacts:
Allan A. Calma
Deputy Director
Disaster Management Program
Email: allan.calma@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 301 5801621

Muhammad Fazal
Associate Director
Emergencies/DRR/Climate Change
Email: fazil.sardar@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 332 5586134

Palwashay Arbab
Senior Communications Officer
Palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources:
www.dawn.com
www.express.com.pk