A Powerful earthquake struck Baluchistan on 24th September 2013, the quake’s epicentre was in the Awaran District, but other districts of Baluchistan – Kech (Turbat) and Panjgur were also affected. According to reports, the tremors registered were of 7.8 on the Richter scale. After the initial incident, another earthquake of 7.2 magnitude hit same area of Baluchistan on September 28, 2013.
The initial results of rapid assessment by HANDS (Health And Nutrition Development Society) International and the data presented by PDMA (Provincial Disaster Management Authority) Baluchistan showed that 42000 families and nearly 300,000 people were affected. Around 90% of the buildings including shops and houses in 8 union councils of District Awaran collapsed. According to PDMA Baluchistan 399 people died and 599 were injured. Dozens of health & Education facilities, water wells were also damaged.
HANDS Believe in community participation and works with group methodology, thus 400 Community support Groups(CSGs) were formed. Each group comprised of 25 beneficiaries.
Realising the immediate needs of targeted communities in the relief and early recovery phase of the earthquake, HANDS distributed 10,000 emergency shelter roofing kits, 20,000 blankets and 10,000 ceramic filters and 10,000 solar lights to the affected as per their need assessment.
In the heath sector the contribution of HANDS included 7 mobile medical teams sent from Karachi to provide health services to 27,000 sick and injured people. Emergency health care services package included maternal & child care, physiotherapy of injured, rehabilitation of disabled through developing a cadre of Community Health Workers. HANDS also distributed 50 wheelchairs to disabled people. HANDS is also in process of providing 2 Hilux ambulances to the District Headquarter Hospital Awaran.
In education sector, considering the urgent needs, 25 Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) were established. Learning and sports material was provided which played a vital role to increase the interest of children, the change in environment probably attributed to the increase in enrolment up to 1,469 children. One teacher from each school was trained and equipped with psycho-social wellbeing skills. Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services were provided at 25 targeted locations of Government schools along with provision of furniture and learning material.
HANDS in recent years has developed and excelled in providing low cost shelters in disaster affected areas. Through its Infrastructure, Development, Energy, WASH and Shelter (IDEAS) program arranged to deliver the knowledge and skills at local level for construction of disaster resilient shelters through conduction of orientation sessions to community groups. The project provided the opportunity of “Cash Grant” through bank transaction of PKR 49500 to 4500 families. Cash grant of PKR 223 million is in process.
HANDS also intervened on the livelihood aspect and “Cash Grants” for 1200 livelihood schemes to benefit 10,000 community members is in process as livelihood enhancement support. Out of 1200 schemes 32% are water related, 28% - Cleaning & Hygiene, 1.4% - Community Physical Infrastructure (CPI), 11% - Handicraft and 10% - Shelter. HANDS also enhanced the livelihood of community groups through provision of 800 toolkits each of comprised of 6 tools to be used in agriculture and non-agriculture labour.
To ensure the transparency HANDS signed an agreement with United Bank Limited for an online cash transfer direct to the beneficiaries on presentation of National Identity Cards (NIC). HANDS has also established an online complaint mechanism called “Suggestion And Complaint (SAC)” system to give direct access for all complaints to Chief Executive Secretariat for sharing of any concerns and grievances through telephone, letter, messaging or emails.
HANDS Monitoring & Evaluation Program also appointed “Baluchistan Engineering and Technology University Khuzdar” as 3rd party monitors, after signing an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The Monitoring & Evaluation Program also made it mandatory for different cadre of staff to make monitoring field visits to ensure timely sharing of challenges, smooth implementation and sharing of monthly progress.
HANDS requires your generous support to continue these efforts, to make our dream come true through rebuilding affected areas of Baluchistan and achieve our vision of “Healthy, Educated, Prosperous and Equitable Society”. Millions of Baluchi women, children and survivors are looking forward to us. Let’s work together to give them a ray of hope.