Newsroom

Picture: http://92newshd.tv

Flash floods caused by heavy monsoon rains killed at least 11 people including two children in different areas of Rawalpindi on Tuesday, July 7.

The flash floods swept away five people, of whom four drowned. There were reports of more casualties due to structural collapse and electrocution but the exact figure of these have not yet been confirmed.

The water surged into the houses and its level reached up to two feet in the surrounding areas. Terrified residents were seen sitting on rooftops as floodwaters gushed through the streets in localities of Rawalpindi.

A red alert has been issued for the Lai Nullah and the people living on the river banks have been advised to evacuate the areas.

A flood warning has also been issued for the Chinab River till 9th of July.

Further spells of monsoon rains are predicted to hit the affected regions again. Monsoon rains cause widespread casualties and damage to property every year in Pakistan.

Community World Service Asia is currently monitoring the situation. Its emergency response teams are prepared and will start emergency response activities if required.

To view the contingency plan for this 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@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 332 5586134

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

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

The death toll of the heatwave affected individuals has risen to 1400 with more than 40,000 people suffering from heat exhaustion and strokes according to UNOCHA’s latest report. To respond to this growing crisis Community World Service Asia initiated an emergency heatwave response. In collaboration with its partners, Participatory Village Development Program (PVDP), Transformation and Reflection for Rural Development (TRD) and Society for Safe Environment and Welfare of Agrarians in Pakistan (SSEWA Pak) the response has completed its first week.

Heatwave rehabilitation centers in three different districts; Dadu, Mirpurkhas and Tharparkar of Sindh have been established and are running successfully. A number of consultation meetings were conducted with the government health departments in order to set up these relief centers.

Free medical consultations and medicines have been provided to 215 patients from the affected population under this response so far. Of the treated patients, 104 are men, 61 are women and 50 are children. Awareness raising activities on heatstroke orientation, its symptoms, treatment and prevention are also being conducted for the public sector paramedic staff and the visiting patients. The community members have been actively participating in these awareness sessions and the attendance is seen to have increased by the day.

As per the project plan, awareness sessions on building resiliency towards extreme weather are to be extended to village levels. Mobile health teams will conduct these sessions with the communities in other villages as well. Awareness about heatstroke prevention and extreme weather precautions will also be disseminated through text messages and interactive theaters.

Some of the affected areas in Sindh received its first surge of rain after a long drought last week but the showers were minimal. Thus, the drought and extreme heat spell is expected to continue in this part of the country. Medical specialists have started warning government departments about the possible spread of gastroenteritis amongst the affected communities in the coming days.

by -
840
Picture: www.dailypakistan.com.pk

Community World Service Asia is responding to the emergency crisis that has unfolded due to the heat wave that has hit Sind, Pakistan. High temperatures combined with the draining humidity has left people dehydrated and heat stroked. Electricity shortages, unavailability of drinking water and difficult access to hospitals has led to a death toll of more than a thousand people, which is escalating further by the day.

Claiming lives across southern Pakistan by the hour, this heat wave has caused the most casualties in Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Badin, Kunri, Mirpur Khas, Mithi, Umerkot, Dadu and upper Sind. People living in rural Sindh are amongst the most vulnerable as the temperatures are higher here, hospitals are far flung and the awareness level on mitigating the impact of heat strokes is very low. These people have very limited access to clean drinking water and electricity.

The livestock of the hundreds of people affected by this heat wave in rural Sind is also suffering; animals are dying of extreme heat and lack of water. Crops are drying due to this drought-like situation. In short the entire ecosystem of these areas is being harmed. Awareness and trainings are required to equip these affected communities to respond to such extreme temperatures.

With the on-ground support of partners in Sind, Community World Service Asia has launched the implementation of the first phase of this emergency response in Mirpurkhas, Nagar Parker and Dadu district today. Emergency Heat Treatment Centres (EHTCs) have been set up in these areas to treat those suffering from heat exhaustion and strokes and to supply immediate clean drinking water to the affected communities.

This emergency response is planned to be implemented through a three pronged strategy; directly assisting the heat wave/heat stroked patients; minimizing the risks of those populations which are at threat, and to raise awareness on the symptoms and treatment of heat strokes. The first strategy is a short term response, but the latter two aim at achieving sustainable results.

It is reported that this extreme heat situation is going to persist for some time. It is also reported that lower Sind (including Karachi), the coastal areas, Mirpurkhas and some parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa are expected to receive moderate and scattered pre-monsoon rains until Thursday, along with dust storms.

by -
1248

We are excited to announce that our application to the ACT Alliance has been formally approved. Community World Service Asia is now a proud ACT member. After going through a comprehensive application process, the ACT Alliance Governing Board approved our membership application in their meeting this May.

ACT Alliance is a coalition of more than 140 churches and affiliated organisations working together in over 140 countries to create positive and sustainable change in the lives of poor and marginalised people regardless of their religion, politics, gender, sexual orientation, race or nationality in keeping with the highest international codes and standards. The Alliance is supported by 25,000 staff from member organisations and mobilises about $1.5 billion for its work each year in three targeted areas: humanitarian aid; development; and advocacy. As an ACT member, Community World Service Asia strives to work for positive and sustainable change in the lives of people affected by poverty and injustice through coordinated and effective humanitarian, development, and advocacy work as defined by the Alliance’s united mission.

We would also like to take this opportunity to share that Community World Service Asia is the first ever local and regional organization to be a member of the ACT Pakistan Forum. To add further, we are also currently chairing the Pakistan Forum which makes us the first ever local chair in the country. ACT Pakistan Forum is a shared platform composed of Community World Service Asia, Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe (DKH) and Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) Pakistan, who are the members of ACT Alliance presently based in Pakistan and Christian Aid, Church of Sweden and ICCO Cooperation, who are supporting programs in Pakistan from abroad. The forum works with common interests defined broadly by their commitment to the mission, vision, and values of ACT Alliance in humanitarian disaster assistance.

The ACT Pakistan Forum is part of the ACT alliance and is not a separate entity which incorporates and reflects ACT policies and guidelines in its own operations. The Forum also provides input into the development of ACT Alliance policies and procedures.

The heatwave that hit Pakistan during the last three days has led to an unprecedented increase in morbidity and deaths among the underprivileged populations of Sindh.

Since Saturday June 20th, the extreme hot spell in Karachi and other areas of Southern Pakistan have led to a death toll of 530 people which is expected to escalate further with the rise in temperature as per reports by the three leading English Daily Newspapers (Dawn, The News & Express Tribune). The Daily Express has however reported the death toll to have reached a 1000 people. Hundreds of affected populations have been hospitalized for sun-strokes and other heat related complications. Many are still awaiting emergency health assistance in the far-flung areas of interior Sind and Southern Punjab.

The temperature in Southern Pakistan has been recorded at a constant high continuum, ranging from 43 degree Celsius (in Karachi) to 49 degree Celsius in Jacobabad. As per environmental experts, the country’s heat index has risen because of poor environmental conditions since the past couple of decades. This intense heat wave is affecting the destitute populations more because of the extended electricity breakdowns they face and the unavailability of drinkable water. Fasting in the holy month of Ramadan by many people in these areas may have also contributed to the growing crisis.

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.dawn.com
www.pmd.gov.pk
http://arynews.tv/en/mercury-still-at-38-degrees-in-karachi
http://www.geo.tv/article-188842-Blistering-heat-devours-572-people-in-Pakistan-in-just-2-days

Farhad working on a solar panel to make an efficient and economical solar energy system to generate electricity
Farhad working on a home built solar power system
Farhad working on a home built solar power system

Twenty-nine-year old Farhad lived in the Afghan refugee village Barari in Mansera with his parents, his wife, and six siblings. His brothers were young and school going, while his father’s ailing health didn’t allow him to work, which left Farhad as the sole income bearer in the family.  Being the eldest among the siblings, Farhad started supporting the entire family financially since a young age through working at the local vegetable market on daily wages.

Providing for a large family of ten members with meagre financial resources meant that their living standards had greatly deteriorated since their arrival in Mansehra. The family’s day to day needs were increasing but most were unmet due to scarcity of funds. Even though Farhad worked for many hours and did all he could to provide for the family, his efforts were not paying him much monetarily.

Recognizing Farhad’s difficulties, his family’s need and his commitment to support them relentlessly, the Community World Service Asia team selected him as a participant of the electrical trade training for the Vocational Training and Market Development project. Farhad invested four long months of hard work and energy into this training. Upon successful completion, he was given the opportunity to work as a local electrician at the Barari camp. He took up many assignments at the camp, which along with earning him a better income, also helped in polishing his newly acquired skills.

Soon after, with the repatriation of Afghan refugees in Pakistan announced, Farhad and his family, among thousands of other refugee families, had to return to their motherland.  The return journey to their home in Jalalabad, Afghanistan went smoothly until they reached there.

“When I arrived in my hometown, there was no electricity in the entire area. The residents of my village were only using lanterns for light as no other source of electricity was available. Soon as summer came, the people were only equipped with hand fans to cool themselves with. Immediately, I planned to use the knowledge I had learnt about solar energy during my training in Pakistan and so I began experimenting with putting up a solar energy system in my house. The people around me were very impressed with my work and the expertise I displayed. Soon, many of them started requesting me to install it in their homes as well for which they would pay me. Today, I earn around AFN 25,000 per month in my hometown”, says Farhad proudly.

“My younger brother is now studying matriculation at school and every day on his return he helps me with my electrical work. He is also learning the profession from me as he assists. Just through receiving this training, I have accomplished a lot.  I am very thankful to Community World Service Asia and all other organizations involved in this project for selecting and supporting me.”