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Group Photo of alumni students of University of Sindh of the Social Media management Training in Mirpurkhas.

A series of trainings on Social Media Management for alumni students of the Youth United for Change network from different universities across Pakistan were held in the cities of Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Lahore and Faisalabad. The trainings aimed at enhancing the knowledge of students and graduates on social media, its key tools, its impact and usability for bringing positive changes and awareness.

Popular social media campaigns and their impact were shared with participants. Through assignments and interactive exercises alumni students were guided on how to plan and develop their own successful social media campaigns on social causes, awareness issues and development goals. Inspiring and innovative video and photo campaigns successfully run on social media platforms by UN agencies, international aid organizations, CSOs and global academic networks were shown to participants to get inspiration from. Group activities on developing informative viral campaigns, #Hashtag activism, infographic development and creating facebook pages encouraged students to bring out their creativity and put on their thinking hats. At the same time, these youth representatives were cautioned on the cons of mis-using social media and the ethical considerations to take while developing and implementing campaigns on social networks.  A significant session of the training emphasized on using social media tools to share knowledge on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to develop campaigns that would help us achieve the global goals unitedly as a nation.

Students’ Corner:

“Youth must be united for progress and development of their country and in today’s age social media is the most effective and engaging platform which is easily used and available to everyone. Together we can bring positive change through innovative social media and #hashtag campaigns,”  Mohammad Shebaz, alumni of University of Sindh, Mirpurkhas Campus.

“The training was very fruitful. The facilitator of the training delivered all sessions effectively and efficiently for us to build a clear understanding of social media and how to use it. We learnt to use social media ethically as well which most of us overlook and do not take concern of. These kind of trainings fulfill the need of today’s society where social media is frequently used by most individuals, especially youth,” Ajay K. Rathore, alumni of University of Sindh, Mirpurkhas Campus.

“This experience was very informative, creative and productive. We learnt new ways of interacting in different social media sites and how to make our content effective and eye-catching.” Maham Ansar, alumni of University of Sindh, Jamshoro.

“The way of delivering sessions step by step was helpful to understand the different terms and sites of social media. In a short period of one day, we managed to gain interesting facts regarding the techniques of using social media which we were initially unaware of.” Hoorab Ansar, alumni of University of Sindh, Jamshoro.

Furthermore, it helped to understand getting over the distance gap and stay connected and united with youth from the South-Asian region through social media platforms.  It also enabled me to develop effective and productive messaging for positive social changes in the region.” Mahnoor, alumni of University of Sindh, Mirpurkhas Campus.

 

The aim of all professionally trained project managers is to deliver high quality deliverables at every stage of the project, with effectively utilizing their team and without compromising costs and deadlines. Professionals must be trained to be effective leaders and managers by developing key qualities and applying smart strategies that uphold the integrity of the organization. Recognizing this requisite, Shewaram Suthar felt that his organization and department needed to enhance their capacities on specific skills to ensure that their organizational goals and objectives are met timely, effectively and efficiently.

Shewaram is working as Manager Programs with the Association for Water, Applied Education & Renewable Energy (AWARE) and firmly believes that training and skills development provides both, the organization and the individual employee, with expertise and benefits making it a worthwhile investment.

I have been with Aware since 2014. We have four offices operating in Sindh. Our head office is in Umerkot with district offices in Badin, Tando Mohammad Khan and Tharparker.

Though I completed my masters in Zoology, I was always attracted towards the social sector. The work done for the development of the country and building better lives for the people of the country inspired me to join the development sector. I wanted to play my part in making the world or Pakistan a better place to live. We are not a very big country but playing our part to make living easier for even a few is an essential motive to achieve.

Shewaram is heading a group of teams implementing eight projects in four districts of Sindh.

Many challenges are faced internally and externally. One of the main problems in the organization was the lack of technical knowledge in reporting, project planning, financing and monitoring. With time changing so rapidly, new methodologies and tools are being introduced to improve the functions of various departments. However due to lack of resources, it is difficult to stay updated. This affects the quality of work we do on a daily basis. In addition, we particularly lacked in proposal writing skills. My team and myself, failed to develop winning and all inclusive project proposals.

Through November 2016 to March 2017, Shewaram attended trainings on Project Design and Project Planning conducted by Community World Service Asia. The trainings aimed to provide a systematic approach to managing and maintaining different types of projects, organizational changes and development. Shewaram also nominated his team members to participate in other topic and subject specific trainings conducted by Community World Service to enhance the organization’s overall staff capacity.

Given a platform by Community World Service Asia, I thought of utilizing its benefits to the fullest. I sent relevant staff members to the trainings which were conducted under the Capacity Institutionalization Program. This capacity building opportunity offered to us provided all the necessary guidelines for seasoned and skilled professionals to effectively master project management,

quoted Shewaram. Prior to the participating in the trainings, the departments of Human Resource Management, Finance, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) and Programs lacked in quality management and technical knowledge shared Shewaram.

Coming back from the project planning training, I initiated work on revising all policies and manuals. All the documents for our Human Resource, Finance and M&E departments were updated. The Gender Policy, Child Protection Policy, Communications Strategy, Accountability Framework and other existing documentations were renewed. Each department assigned a focal person who was looking into implementation and enforcement procedures of the revised documents. That focal point would be contacted in relation to any query addressed by internal staff or external stakeholders, donors or partners.  The Logical Framework Analysis (LFA) of M&E was formed after two of our staff participated in the M&E Training conducted in March 2016 in Islamabad.

Shewaram further added that the M&E methodologies incorporated in the M&E LFA has helped to derive quality outcomes from the projects. The Complain Mechanism (CM) Policy was revised, providing a contact number to all staff members and assigning the number to the focal person appointed to handle complains according to the CM Policy.

Every focal person has a Terms of References (TOR) document according to which they deliver their duties. They are trained to research for new tools or methodologies for timely revision of all policies and manuals existing in all departments.

Shewaram also recognized that it is essential to have consistent collaboration among projects with multidisciplinary teams.

We established the Resource Mobilization Unit (RMU) lead by the CEO of Aware. The unit consists of seven members including the CEO, Manager Programs, three Project Managers, one M&E staff and a Finance Manager. The main function of the unit is to secure new and additional resources for the organization. It also involves making better use of, and maximizing, existing resources. This unit has filled the gap which existed between the employers and the management team. The RMU has become a useful tool through which we communicate effectively and share necessary updates about the status of the project and departments. The progress and challenges faced internally and externally on field by all departments are discussed and inputs are shared in the meetings we conduct on a monthly basis.

The training I attended on project proposal writing was very beneficial. I use to write basic proposals due to lack of knowledge in technicalities. The training helped built a better understanding in format writing, word limit, line spacing and various components attached to make a good proposal. We often overlooked these minor details which resulted in improving the quality of our proposals immensely.

Shewaram and his RMU have developed five project proposals since the proposal writing training out of which two have been accepted.

We developed the proposals as a team. I would draft the project proposal which was reviewed by the RMU individually or in a joint meeting.

The HR officer of Aware took part in the Human Resource Training held in July 2016 in Islamabad.

The training highlighted various HR tools which can be effective for the organization. Web Human Resource (WebHR) was one of the tools shared in the training, which is a cloud based HR application. After revising the HR manual, we brought WebHR through which we have been working efficiently. We are currently in contact with the purchasing company for more information on its working. WebHR has made it easy for the HR Department to start managing HR processes and maintain databases effectively. It acts as a bridge between human resource management and information technology. WebHR has converted human resources information into a digital format, allowing that information to be added to the knowledge management systems of the organization.

 In addition, three of Aware’s Finance staff participated in the Financial Management Training conducted in May 9-13, 2017 in MirpurKhas to which Shewaram opined,

The quality of financial and budget monitoring reports have improved significantly due to the technical knowledge learnt in the training.

According to Shewaram, Aware is working in a more organized manner.

The teams’ capacity has enhanced allowing the deliverance of quality work. With polices and manuals revised, the working of all departments is running smooth and orderly. Some documents are in process of being revised. Moreover, the staff sent to the trainings, shared their learning with their concerned departments This exercise allowed enhancing the knowledge of all departments in their field of work. I am pleased to say that we have progressed immensely in a year and half,

reported Shewaram proudly.

The series of skill-building opportunities not only reinforced the need to encourage unity and a sense of purpose where teams are working towards a common goal, it also allowed to assess areas where we can improve to be effective leaders with a result-oriented, yet humane, focus,

concluded Shewaram.

Social mobilization is the backbone of any non-governmental organization.  Since most work of NGOs are centered around communities, social mobilizations becomes essential,

insightfully remarked, social worker Umme.

Social workers act as changing agents in the society by motivating communities to think about their social and economic problems in a community forum. This enables the community to work together in achieving their mutual goals of social welfare.

Forty-seven-years-old Umme Kalsoom Siyal, resident of one of the poorest and most under-developed areas of Punjab, Pakistan, has always had a passion for social empowerment and improvement. Umme is the first woman social worker from Dera Ghazi Khan, a district in Southern Punjab province of Pakistan, and home to a community that largely discourages women from stepping out of their homes, even for basic needs. Umme, however, is a fearless lady who not only stands up for herself but also for the disadvantaged community around her. Her numerous demanding experiences in her social work reveal this inner strength and resolution, encouraging her to never give up.

Umme first began her career in social work in 1994 as a supervisor, along with her husband, in an education project called “Alif Laam Mim.” The education department tasked them with conducting a survey of fifty nonfunctional schools so that they could devise school improvement plans. Umme recalls,

This field task was extremely difficult. We had to travel for 7-8 hours on a motorbike to reach the schools, which were located in the desert. Sometimes, it would take days to reach the right places. When we started working in the field, we observed that people had to deal with manifold issues; low income, poor health, food, education and others.

As Umme and her husband sought to empower struggling communities, the communities developed high expectations from the couple. Consequently, Umme and her husband decided to establish Social Youth Council of Patriots (SYCOP), which works with communities to improve their lives. SYCOP was registered in 1996 under a government act in 1961. The organization had humble beginnings, as it began in a one-room office in Rajanpur. However, it slowly expanded over the next twenty-one years into a highly distinguished non-governmental organization.

Umme and her husband first worked as supervisors in SYCOP, but after her husband’s death, Umme took charge as Executive Director. In addition to this role, Umme is a member of Zila Council Assembly and Punjab Commission on the Status of Women from Dera Ghazi Khan Division.

Notwithstanding her countless years of social work, Umme had never received proper training on social mobilization before she attended Community World Service Asia’s training in July this year. Rather, she learnt all her social mobilization skills through her fieldwork and had no knowledge of the specific tools used in social mobilization. However, this summer, Umme learned the fundamentals of social mobilization through the training in July.

The training not only personally benefited Umme, but it also had positive impacts on SYCOP.

During the training, Umme easily connected with the other participants, and they exchanged their field experiences and discussed community behaviors. This exchange of ideas benefited the participants, as they had diverse experiences and came from all over Pakistan. Umme is still in contact with the friends she made at the training, and they share networking and funding opportunities with each other. Umme explained,

Sharing this experience and conversing with participants has left me with innovative ideas and ambitions for the future.

Furthermore, Umme learnt risk management and conflict resolution at the training.

That was the first time I realized how important it is to go to a new community fully prepared. Social mobilizers should be aware of the underlying community conflicts and risks so that they can develop a risk management plan.

Umme also appreciated the experience of conducting a mock survey on Disaster Risk Reduction with a trainer in a village since she learnt all the practical steps of initiating such a field survey. She particularly benefited from this exercise as SYCOP is also working on Disaster Risk Reduction, so she says it could help SYCOP to replicate the same activity with their communities. In the activity at the social mobilization training, the participants conducted a field survey on hazard identification and then held a community meeting.

Another key part of the social mobilization training was cost management. The training improved Umme’s budgeting skills, so now Umme can discuss SYCOP projects with partners and donors with more clarity. Therefore, Umme is more confident in negotiating project agreements for her organization. Moreover, her communication skills have also improved through Community World Service Asia’s social mobilization training. These skills have helped her build contacts and linkages with other stakeholders’ including government departments, civil society organizations, communities and staff.

Umme replicated the social mobilization training with the SYCOP staff and also shared training results with her board members. They plan to develop a social mobilization strategy for SYCOP, as the organization intends to register with the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan at a national level.

SYCOP has enhanced its’ mobilization skills, and now the staff is working on the field on challenging projects, such as reproductive health. Umme believes that it is important to work with men first in order to break social taboos as it is difficult to get women participation in such projects. She said that her team discussed the health issues of women in the community with their husbands openly and made them realize to prioritize health needs of their wives. After listening to them, they acknowledged SYCOP for taking such useful initiatives and asked them to work with women and protect their lives.

Umme asserted,

The social mobilization training met my expectation, and I am happy that I not only learnt myself, but also that I passed on the information to the other staff. In this way, I transferred the training’s benefits to the communities with which they work.

Umme recently experienced an incident of community conflict while working with the community. A dispute between two community members of a target village of SYCOP was adversely affecting the progress of one of their projects. Umme called both members to the SYCOP office and had individual meetings with them. In these meetings, she discussed the matter in detail with them by listening to them and identifying the reasons for conflict. Hereafter, Umme held a joint meeting with both of them in which she calmly discussed the issue. She gave both of them time to talk to each other and understand each other’s point of view. Both the parties were able to clear their misunderstanding by the end of the discussions. Umme expressed,

I believe that there is no conflict which cannot be resolved through discussion.

The Social Mobilization Training equipped Umme with necessary tools that will strengthen her social work, harnessing her potential to achieve even greater accomplishments in social mobilization.

Students come together to learn history and strengthen interfaith peace

This May, thirty-two students from universities and colleges in Lahore, Faisalabad, Abbotabad and Peshawar, got together to visit the Katas Raj Temples located in the town of Choa Saidan Shah in the Potohar Plateau area in Punjab. The trip among students was planned as a step towards strengthening relations among various youth groups through exploring Pakistan’s rich cultural history and recognizing the tradition of interfaith harmony practiced here in the past.

Upon nearing the temples, the group crossed a huge cement factory and golden wheat fields, as the complex surrounding the temples, gradually became visible. Before entering the temple, the local experts and the guide of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) narrated the history of the Satgraha Katas Raj Temple and explained the many religious practices that were carried out in each temple. The Katas Raj Temples complex originally consisted of a cluster of seven old temples, remains of a Buddhist Stupa and also some medieval sanctuaries and Havelis[1]. However, today, only four of the seven temples are intact. These ancient ruins are scattered around a pond that practising Hindus consider sacred.

The Katas Raj Temples signify a long history of interfaith synergy, as the site is also home to a historic mosque and another Buddhist temple. The students on the site were also told a Brahman tale narrating the history of the pond. It is believed that the pond was formed after Lord Shiva’s wife, Sati, died. Lord Shiva’s inconsolable grief at her death resulted in a flow of tears forming a pond at the Katas Raj Temples. With this story, the magnificent temples also represents unconditional love between partners.

Students formally introduced themselves to each other and comfortably interacted and shared experiences with another throughout the trip. Many of them planned to organize similar activities for other youth members to encourage an awareness and appreciation among people of different faiths. Asma Syal, one of the students, shared,

I have perceived that all cultures, religions and beliefs deserve the same amount of respect even if they are different.

. The Katas Raj Temples visit not only raised awareness about interfaith harmony, but also connected students from various universities. Students with disparate backgrounds were motivated to build an understanding regardless of race, color and religion.

[1] A traditional townhouse or mansion with historical and architectural significance.

A seven-day workshop on the use of visual communication tools was organized for humanitarian and development workers at a training centre in Pakistan’s hill-station, Murree, this July. Twenty-two participants representing a mix of local non-governmental organizations and internationals ones took part in this residual training which focused on building their visual communication skills. Through this engaging training,  participants enhanced their capacities required to translate development and humanitarian related messages used for various purposes, such as educational, behavior change or advocacy and campaigning into visual language. Hands-on techniques on when, how and innovatively to use them were taught and practised.

Participants Experience:

  • A Third Eye

    “I came here to acquire new skills. Being a part of this training has given me the ability to now translate what I see and how I feel into visual imagery. I feel that the camera is my third eye now.”

    Sarfaraz Qamar (TIPU Foundation Pakistan)
    Participant

     

  • Learning Through Diversity

    “The highlight of my seven days at O’Spring was the opportunity to learn from such a diverse group of trainees. Diversity has so many layers: age, experience, themes, even geographic. Community World Service Asia brought us all together on one page, offering a chance to absorb so many perspectives.”

    Mehr Aftab Salma (Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, Pakistan)
    Participant

  • Role of Media in Development

    “I am really glad that I got the opportunity to be a part of this workshop. It met all the current needs of development sector and built our capacity to use the basic visual tools in our work. Now I can present visual stories more efficiently and effectively.”

    Saira Basharat (Community Support Concern, Pakistan)
    Participant

  • Essentials of Learning

    “The participants made this training an effective one: their eagerness to learn and their relevant yet diverse experiences in communications, made the learning process a wholesome one. I am happy that the participants did not allow their differences to come in the way of their learning.”

    Imran Lashari (Plum Studios, Ogilvy & Mather Pakistan)
    Trainer

     

  • Your Behaviour Matters!

    “Good behaviour leads to constructive learning. I observed that the participants of this group were helpful towards each other. Also, I have never seen such cameras and poses before. Where do you get them from?”

    Liaquat Ali (O’Spring)
    Support Staff

     

  • My duty, Your safety

    “I don’t make exceptions for anyone. I treat everyone who comes here for a training, the same. I have learned to ignore when someone gets upset with me or happy because only by staying true to my duty can I ensure your safety.”

    Asghar Khan (O’Spring)
    Security Guard

     

As part of developing the syllabus for the Post-Graduate diploma in NGO Management, faculty from universities and colleges of Punjab, Peshawar and Sindh (Jamshoro) along with representatives from the provincial social welfare department and Community World Service Asia staff came together for a three-day consultative workshop in Lahore this August. The key objective of the workshop was to discuss and agree on the main contents of the teaching guideline for each of the modules taught under the NGO management course and develop clear action plans for the course.

The interactive and discussion filled workshop facilitated by Takeshi Komino, Deputy Director and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Expert, Community World Service Asia, had a participation of twenty academia practitioners, fifteen women and five men. These included University Professors, Assistant Professors, Lecturers and college teachers, from across Pakistan.

To support universities in teaching about humanitarian and development practices (based on field work) and empower them on tools and approaches used by development professionals, Community World Service Asia succeeded in developing partnership with two Universities i.e., University of Peshawar and University of the Punjab. Both of these universities are among the oldest institutions in Pakistan. In both the universities, the Department of Social Work has been assessed to being very similar to the work of the aid and development sector.

Community World Service Asia then initiated the process of supporting both institutions in designing this new post-graduate diploma course through a six step process leading to the launch of the degree. Peshawar University already launched the degree in February this year and received an overwhelming application response from graduate students and some NGO practitioners. While, University of Punjab aims to start offering the course in December this year and University of Sindh plans to initiate it sometime in their 2018 semesters.

This workshop is part of the technical and consultative support that Community World Service Asia is providing to the academia in assuring that the degree fully meets its objective of familiarizing students with the fundamental concepts of NGO management and its project implementations, its role in bringing about social change through explaining the various dimensions in which it works. The next step in this process is to conduct a Training of Trainers on “Creative Facilitation Skills” to further strengthen the capacity of faculty members teaching the various course modules.  This is planned to be held in Peshawar University this October.

Academia Insights:

  • Sonia Omar, Assistant Professor, Social Work Department, Punjab University

    “This course is really a need of the hour as far as the significance of this degree is concerned, considering the situation in Pakistan. We are a developing country; we cannot always rely on the government alone. Therefore, we have to support and encourage NGOs and the university and academia needs to take a step ahead. We must add specific development and aid practice related programs to our departments and courses. These will help future practitioners and those who are already in the field. It will also help those who want to establish NGOs to serve the people of the country.

    This three-day workshop really helped in building the right curriculum for the NGO management course. We are expecting that the drafted curriculum will be further refined. We at Punjab University really intend to start the degree within 6 months. I am sure we will be getting a great response from the students.

    Community World Service Asia has been very facilitative through our collaboration. When so many think tanks from NGO sector, academia and social welfare departments working together always ends in very positive outcomes.”

  • Sumera Farid, Teacher of Introduction to NGOs Module, Social Sciences Department, Peshawar University

    As teachers, this course has been very interactive with a lot of participation from students. For students, this course has been very interesting and new. They have all been very enthusiastic, sometimes critical and very active in discussions. It has been more of a two-way learning process for us. With teaching this course, we really felt like we’re contributing a lot in the learning process of students and youth. The exposure visits and special lectures that we have included as part of the modules acts as developing linkages for these students and helps to set a foundation for future professional careers for students. We organised a visit to the Drug Addiction Centres and lectures from representatives of Social Welfare Departments as part of the first semester. Admissions for fall semester have also been announced for new students for this degree and we are expecting many applications.”

  • Bashir Khan, Deputy Director, Social Welfare Department (KPK) & Visiting Faculty at Peshawar University.

    “I am teaching the students of this Diploma course on social legislation policies in regards to the non-profit sector. Most of the students in the course have social sciences background, and only few who are actually NGO practitioners, so this is a great learning opportunity for them. This is mostly new information for them and many students have joined this course with a hope to be employed in the private social/development sector with knowledge of this additional information. Today, we are here at this workshop to review the course modules and revise and design the course to best fit the understanding level and requirements of students.”

     

  • Farhana Noreen, Human Rights Teacher, Social Sciences Department, Peshawar University.

    “I am teaching the Human Rights modules to students in this degree. We received more applications from new under-grad students for this diploma course. Therefore, we have started the modules and subjects from the very basic level. The teachers for this course have been given 30% flexibility on teaching methodologies which is great. Students are very enthusiastic to learn as they are eager to join the NGO sector. As part of the course, we organised exposure visits of students to the Ministry of Human Rights as practical learning. This aspect of learning has been very effective and of great interest to students.

    As one of the inputs for this workshop, we do feel that some of the modules of the course need reshuffling in terms of where to be taught in the semester timelines for it to be more effective.”

  • Mohammad Arshad Abbasi, Assistant Professor, Social Work Department, Punjab University

    “NGO management and leadership is a new concept in Pakistan. A large number of organizations are working in the NGO sector but very few of them have the expertise skills and are academically qualified to work on social issues and in the humanitarian/development sector. This diploma has been designed to equip our students with the skills, knowledge and expertise on how to work with NGOs, specially on enhancing skills on developing project proposals, fund-raising and on human rights issues and the various laws and policies related to NGOs. I hope that our students will get maximum benefits through this diploma. Furthermore, this diploma program will assist in developing expert and trained human resources that will ultimately play an important role in the NGO sector and in improving the sector. The consultation by Community World Service Asia and their technical and financial assistance has played a key role in developing the curriculum of this degree program. And time to time, training and exposure opportunities provided by them have helped us a lot in refining and finalizing the course contents and to get it approved by the concerned authorities.”

  • Waheed Akbar, Lecturer, Social Work Department, University of Sindh in Jamshoro.

    “As far as my department and our university is concerned, this is a very helpful course for the future of our students, given that they will get this sort of professional knowledge through all the modules included in this one-year diploma. I think this will be a milestone in our department and as well as for students of social work in this area. During this course and after completion, students will be equipped with specialized knowledge and skills and their capacities will be enhanced. Our university will be creating resources for the development and humanitarian sector of our province.  The NGO management diploma is also offered to professionals who are already working in the field, though many of them don’t have the exact NGO academic qualification. Therefore, this will be an added platform and capacity building opportunity in the form of a certified degree for them.

    This consultative workshop gave us a chance to share and learn a lot of knowledge from faculties from universities from Peshawar and Punjab. Through this workshop, we aimed to polish and develop the syllabus, we discussed new ideas and possibilities. We also realized that there are some specific and technical areas in the course, for example social entrepreneurship or financial management etc., that we as faculty need to build our own capacity in as well to teach the students. For this we seek opportunities to enhance and build our own competencies to make this degree a sure success.”

photo credit: https://www.samaa.tv

Monsoon rains have made its onset in Pakistan started Monday, June 26, 2017 and since then different parts of the country have received precipitation with intervals. Karachi and Hub are the most affected areas where flooding and electrocution has claimed seventeen human lives. Five persons were electrocuted in different parts of Karachi city and two children drowned in a pond, while nine people including two children died due to heavy rains in Hub and Lasbela areas of Baluchistan. Flash floods have also swept away several houses in Hub, Baluchistan.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Gilgit Baltistan intermittent rain was witnessed in various regions, out of which Chitral, Lower Dir, Bajaur, Shangla and Upper Dir saw minimal rain while Attar Pak saw received the heaviest spell. One boy lost his life in Chitral in rain related incidents.

Rain-thundershowers with gusty winds may occur at scattered places of Hyderabad, Karachi, Mirpurkhas, Tharparkar, Shaheed Benazirabad division, and at isolated places of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore, Malakand, Hazara, Kohat, Bannu, D I Khan, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

There is risk of landslides in hilly areas of upper Khyber-Pakhtukhwa, Malakand, Hazara, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir.

Community World Service Asia Response: Community World Service Asia will monitor the situation and will try to get updated information from different stakeholders. Its emergency response teams are ready and will be deputed immediately if the need to respond to the crisis arise.

Contacts:

Dennis Joseph
Associate Director – Disaster Management Program
Email: dennis.joseph@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 300 855 7414

Palwashay Arbab
Head of Communications
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Tel: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources:
www.samaa.tv
www.tribune.com.pk
www.dawn.com

Community World Service Asia’s Capacity Institutionalization project (CIP) continues to provide trainings and technical assistance resources that caters to the requirements of civil society organizations. In an effort to build the capacity of local humanitarian and development organizations and to expand the use of evidence-based practices, Community World Service Asia hosted two networking events in Islamabad and Lahore in the month of June.  Participants from different organizations shared their learnings, success stories and future implementation and partnership ideas in this event.

The first networking event took place in Lahore. Representatives and participants from various organizations attended the session and explored new possible partnerships. Organizations of the same professional community got to know more about each other’s’ work, upcoming trainings and how to participate in them, areas of priority and published work.

The second event of the same nature was held in Islamabad with the aim to promote the trainings the organization offers on various topics on organizational development and humanitarian quality and accountability at national and regional levels among the aid sector in Islamabad.

Participants Tête-à-Tête

FarkhandaDr. Farkhanda Ather – Mercy Corps

“This was an interesting event, which provided an opportunity to know the local NGOs as well as the diversified scope of work of Community World Service Asia”

NobaNoba Anil- Community Advancement Society

“This networking event was very useful, because it gave us a chance to interact with different organizations. These kind of networking events are beneficial for developing relationships between humanitarian organizations.”

mahrukhMahrukh Saleem – Plan international

“We got to find out a lot of helpful information regarding trainings today. This will  help us in enhancing the capacity of our organization’s staff. Moreover, the  event was very interactive and it provided an opportunity for organizations at all levels to get to  know each other.“

Hafeez AhmadSHafeez Ahmed- Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

“The session on Community World Asia’s work, domain and focus areas was quite an informative one. It is good for new learners as well as for those who are running their own CBOS and NGOs to get this sort of information. Vital information about upcoming trainings, their procedure to participate, very important themes like project management and financial management were covered. This session serves as a key for new avenues of development especially for those who are eager to do something in future.”

TariqTariq Rahim- ACF (Action Against Hunger) International

“It is a great experience of working with Community World Service.  They always bring us together and provide us with an opportunity to sit together and share ideas.  The event was a successful platform for networking.”

Photo credits: Saleem Dominic

Floods 2015 (Joint Update)

f15map

The ongoing flood emergency is continuing to adversely affect the lives and livelihoods of thousands of communities all across Pakistan and its AJK state. The rains that started in the mid of July have continued for weeks disrupting the lives of many communities. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) have reported 917,791 people as affected; 173 deaths and 127 injuries owing to the devastating floods. In Sindh, the rainfall leading to floods has affected the Katcha area of the six districts however it is anticipated that the floods will drift down to the low lying districts of the province as well.

Damage statistics caused by the floods in the country are indicated in the table below:

Province Deaths Injured Houses Damaged Villages Affected Population Affected
AJ&K 22 5 237 17
Baluchistan 13 33 798
Gilgit Baltistan 7 6 812 286 136,000
KPK 83 70 3,320
Punjab 48 13 2,025 496 362,863
Sindh 2,097 418,928
Total 173 127 7,192 2,896 917,791

Government authorities have predicted an increase in flooding particularly in Sindh in the upcoming days as heavy monsoon rains are continuing, thus increasing flood water levels in Kabul, Indus, Jhelum and Chenab rivers. The persistent melting of glaciers in Diamer district are further adding to the rise in river waters. The authorities have warned of massive destructions in interior Sindh in the coming weeks when flood water from all of over the country is expected to pass through catchment districts of Indus River in the Sindh province.

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

Sindh:  Six districts have been severely affected by the floods in Sindh so far and the number of the affected villages is expected to increase rapidly in the following days. The affected districts in Sindh include Kashmore, Gothki, Shikarpur, Khairpur, Sukur and Qambar Shahdadkot.  The displaced communities have no choice but to live in tents under open skies on embankments and elevated areas in the affected districts. Anticipating displacement from these districts the government has established relief camps at various embankments.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Eleven districts of the KPK province have been affected by the floods and a lot  more damage is expected in the near future due to the unending monsoon rains, land sliding, melting of glaciers and increase in flood level in Kabul and Indus rivers. The affected districts in KPK include Bannu, Batagram, Charsadda, Chitral, DI Khan, Karak, Kohat, Lakki Marwat, Peshawar, Swat and Shangla. However Nowshera and Charsadda are at a higher risk because of the mounting pressure being caused in Kabul River due to the continuing rains.

Gilgit-Baltistan: Diamer, Gilgit, Ghizar, Ghanche, Skardu and Hunza districts have been reported to be severely damaged. A number of roads and connecting bridges have been washed away leaving many villages disconnected from the main towns.

AJK: District Sudhnoti, Neelam, Havaili and Bhimber have been reported to have been affected by the rains and flash floods in 17 villages in the region.

Punjab: Almost 500 villages in Mianwali, Layyah, DG Khan, Rajanpur, Rahimyarkhan and Muzaffargarh districts are left inundated by the floods. Agricultural land spread across 378,172 acres of land have also been destroyed.

Baluchistan: Heavy rainfall, windstorms and the inevitable floods have left districts Zhob, Musakhel, Killa Saifullah, Kohlu and Dera Bugti severely damaged; flood protection bunds, electricity poles, roads, plantations have been impaired. The floods have caused breaches at various locations in the protection bunds claiming four lives so far.

FATA: A number of villages and houses have been reported as damaged in the Khyber and Mohmand agencies of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. However, exact figures are yet to be reported by the authorities and the national media.

Response by Act Alliance: Community World Service Asia’s project teams are present in KPK, Sindh and Punjab provinces as well as in Azad Jamu & Kashmir. Sindh, positioned on the tail-end of Indus River, is one of the most flood-prone provinces. A number of districts in Sindh are already affected and the thousands of people displaced are in need of food, non-food items (NFIs) and health assistance. Community World Service Asia’s team in Sindh has carried out assessments and has also completed the distribution of monthly food packages to 100 flood affected families. The assistance is to be continued as 2,221 additional families will receive monthly food packages in the coming weeks. Community World Service Asia will also establish a water treatment plant in district Ghotki which will provide treated, clean drinking water to approximately 5,000 flood affected people on a daily basis for a month. Provision of Emergency Health Services has also been proposed in district Ghotki.

Our partner, NCA’s WASH team have also completed an assessment in Punjab and Sindh. In Sindh province, NCA has jointly assessed the situation in district Ghotki together with Community World Service Asia focusing on WASH, health and livelihoods. NCA’s assessment covers Layyah, Muzaffargarh and Rajanpur districts in Punjab province and Ghotki, and Kashmore districts in Sindh province.  The assessment team has conducted a rapid survey using semi-structured questionnaires, key informant interviews, FGDs and interviews with government stakeholders to gather important information on access, vulnerability, coping capacity, available resources and existing key risks. The assessment has been compiled.

As part of NCA’s emergency preparedness plan, the organization is mobilizing its pre-positioned mobile Water Treatment Units (WTUs) for immediate use. Each unit can purify and provide clean drinking water to 5,000 individuals based on SPHERE standards. Keeping in view the urgent needs and NCA’s life saving response capacity, it is utilizing its internal funds (through their head office) to provide emergency funds to immediately mobilize the WTUs. As planned for this response, six WTUs will provide water to alteast 30,000 individuals at this crucial stage. The budgeted amount is calculated for a three months response.

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
Head of Communications
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Ph: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources:
www.ndma.gov.pk
www.pmd.gov.pk

The monsoon rains that struck Pakistan in the third week of July are still continuing across the country. As a result of the heavy monsoon rains and melting of glaciers in the north of country, there has been widespread flooding in different regions of the country. The table below shows the level of damages reported till today:

No. of Casualties People injured Houses damaged Villages affected Total affected population
146 66 3,133 2,073 752,274

The floods have also severely damaged the infrastructure and local livelihoods of many parts of rural and semi-urban Pakistan; agricultural fields and crops have been damaged. A number of local markets, link roads, connecting bridges and micro-hydro power stations have been reported damaged as well.

As per the latest reports of the Pakistan Meteorological & Hydrological Department, the River Indus at Guddu Barrage is likely to attain a High to very High flood level ranging between 650,000 cusecs to 750,000 cusecs during 1400 PST of August 1st to 2400 PST of August 3rd 2015. It was further added that the flood levels will continue to remain high for the following seven days.

River Indus at Sukkur is also reported to maintain a High to very High flood level ranging between 650,000 cusecs to 750,000 cusecs during 1200 PST of August 2nd to 2400PST of August 4th2015. Flood levels will remain high for the next seven days in this region as well.

Unceasing heavy monsoon showers are expected in the coming days across Pakistan and a further increase in the water levels in Kabul, Indus, Jhelum and Chenab Rivers may intensify the flooding in Sindh. The Director General of the Meteorological Department still maintains as per his earlier message that India is also likely to release excess water from its dams in the following days which can upsurge flooding in the low-lying areas of Pakistan also. The authorities have warned of massive destruction in interior Sindh in the subsequent weeks as flood water from all of over the country will pass through catchment districts of Indus River in the Southern province.

The impact of the latest flash floods on different provinces of Pakistan are indicated briefly below:

SINDH
No. of Casualties People injured Houses Damaged Villages Affected Total affected population
16 -* -* 1,423 281, 921
* No definite number available yetThe affected communities displaced are forced to live in tents and under the open sky or on embankments and elevated places in the affected districts. The government has established relief camps at various embankments for the affected people however people have been reported to prefer to live in open spaces instead. The provincial government together with the Pakistan Army is providing rescue and evacuation services to the flood affected communities and villages.
KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA (KPK)
No. of Casualties People injured Houses Damaged Villages Affected Total affected population
73 31 348 292 -*
* No definite number available yetChitral is the worst affected district in KPK province. Majority of the villages have lost land-connections that they had between major cities as link roads and connecting bridges, micro-hydro power stations have been severely damaged. The Government has distributed relief items including tents among the displaced families and has also announced a cash compensation of PKR. 0.5 Million for each affected family that has lost their house in the floods in Chitral.
GILGIT BALTISTAN
No. of Casualties People injured Houses Damaged Villages Affected Total affected population
5 2 653 175 136,000
* No definite number available yetGhizar, Astor, Skardu and Hunza districts have been reported to be severely damaged. A number of roads and connecting bridges have been washed away that has left many villages disconnected from the main towns. 
Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK)
No. of Casualties People injured Houses Damaged Villages Affected Total affected population
20 8 189 -* -*
* No definite number available yetDistrict Sudhnoti, Neelam, Havaili and Bhimber have been reported to affect by the rains and flash floods.
Punjab
No. of Casualties People injured Houses Damaged Villages Affected Total affected population
22 4 553 466 334, 353
Villages in Mianwali, Layyah, DG Khan, Rajanpur, Rahimyarkhan and Muzaffargarh districts are most severely swamped by the flood water of River Sindh.  Out of the total affected population in Punjab, 59250 are reported to be living in 27 relief camps established by the Government.  Crop fields spread across 233,688 acres of land have been totally destroyed.
Baluchistan
No. of Casualties People injured Houses Damaged Villages Affected Total affected population
10 24 620 -* -*
* No definite number available yetHeavy rainfall, windstorms has affected Districts Zhob, Kohlu and Dera Bugti with flooding. Flood protection walls, electricity poles and links roads have been damaged while trees and plants have been uprooted as well. High flood levels in Guddu and Taunsa barrages are posing a probable threat to more districts of Baluchistan.
Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)
A number of villages and houses have been reported to be damaged in Khyber and Mohamand agencies of Federally Administered Tribal Areas. However, exact figures have yet to be reported by the authorities and national media.

Response by Community World Service Asia: Community World Service Asia’s Disaster Response Team are present in KPK, Sindh and Punjab provinces as well as in Azad Jammu & Kashmir. Sindh, positioned on the tail-end of Indus River, is one of the most flood-prone provinces. A number of districts in Sindh are already severely affected and thousands of people are in dire need of immediate food, NFI and health assistance. Community World Service Asia has been able to assist 100 most vulnerable flood affected families in district Ghotki with provision of one month food rations.  One month food ration among another 827 families will be distributed in the coming weeks.

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
Head of Communications
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Cell: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources:
www.ndma.gov.pk
www.pdma.gov.pk
www.tribune.com.pk
www.dailytimes.com.pk
www.express.com.pk