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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05ISLAMABAD16819
2005-11-12 07:10:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Islamabad
Cable title:  

PAKISTAN - EARTHQUAKE: USAID/DART SITUATION REPORT

Tags:   EAID  AEMR  ASEC  MASS  ECON  KMDR  KPAO  OIIP  OPRC  PGOV  PREL  PK 
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 09 ISLAMABAD 016819 

SIPDIS

STATE ALSO PASS TO USAID
USAID/W FOR A/AID ANDREW NATSIOS, JBRAUSE
DCHA/OFDA KISAACS, GGOTTLIEB, MMARX, RTHAYER, BDEEMER
AID/W FOR DCHA/OFDA
SOUTH ASIA RESPONSE MANAGEMENT TEAM
SOUTH ASIA EARTHQUAKE TASK FORCE
DCHA/FFP FOR JONATHAN DWORKEN
ANE DEPUTY ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR MARK WARD
BANGKOK FOR OFDA SENIOR REGIONAL ADVISOR TOM DOLAN
KATHMANDU FOR OFDA REGIONAL ADVISOR WILLIAM BERGER
ROME PASS FODAG
GENEVA FOR RMA AND NKYLOH
NSC FOR JMELINE
EUCOM FOR POLA/J3/J4/J5
BRUSSELS FOR USAID PLERNER
NEW YORK FOR TMALY
SECDEF FOR SOLIC/PKHA, USDP/J3
JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC FOR J3/J4/J5
HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE FOR J3/J5


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID AEMR ASEC MASS ECON KMDR KPAO OIIP OPRC PGOV PREL PK
SUBJECT: PAKISTAN - EARTHQUAKE: USAID/DART SITUATION REPORT
#13: FIELD VISIT OF DEPUTY DIRECTOR GOTTLIEB TO MEHRA TENT
CAMP, BATAGRAM, AND BALAKOT


-------
Summary
-------



1. On November 5, Deputy Director of the Office of U.S.
Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) Greg Gottlieb,
accompanied by the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team
(DART), traveled to earthquake-affected areas. The group
met with implementing partners and members of the Government
of Pakistan (GOP) military in Mehra tent camp, Batagram, and
Balakot. This cable summarizes the group's findings.



--------------------------


Batagram


--------------------------





2. The USAID/DART Field Officer (FO) working at the forward
base in Mansehra accompanied the group for the day. Mr.
Gottlieb and the USAID/DART traveled to Batagram, where they
met with representatives of the GOP military, the Austrian
Red Cross, and two of USAID's implementing partners, Save
the Children (SC) and the International Organization for
Migration (IOM). The SC representative told the USAID/DART
that SC has treated 25,000 patients and performed 450
operations in SC medical facilities in Batagram. GOP has
designated SC as the coordinating agency for all of Batagram
District.



3. Mr. Gottlieb met with the regional GOP army commander,
Brigadier Khalid, to discuss current relief efforts in
Batagram. The GOP military remains focused on providing
shelter materials, particularly tents, to populations in
remote areas, although they did not present statistics on
how many households have been reached. The team observed a
large stock of tents being airlifted to mountainous areas.



--------------------------


Mehra


--------------------------





4. The USAID/DART traveled with Mr. Gottlieb to the Mehra
tent camp, where they met with GOP camp commander Colonel
Fraz and other GOP representatives operating the camp, as
well as representatives of NGOs providing services to the
camp. The tent camp currently occupies an area of 53,000
square meters. The GOP plans to add three additional
subsectors, each with an approximate area of 50,000 square
meters, for a total of 195,000 square meters. GOP
representatives estimate that each subsector can accommodate
900 to 1,100 families.



5. With an average family size in this camp of eight or
nine people, the Mehra site will accommodate up to 30,000
people and has been designed to house people from the Allai
mountains and valley, which has a total population of
approximately 190,000 people. Established on October 31,
the tent camp was a temporary home to approximately 300
families, or approximately 2,700 people, as of November 5.
Thirty new families arrived in the morning of November 5,

and Colonel Fraz stated that he expected high numbers of
families to arrive as winter approaches. After the Eid
holidays, more people may come down from higher elevations.
Since the camp site is only at about 2,000 feet elevation,
snowfall should be minimal.



6. Colonel Fraz stated that when a family arrives, the GOP
requests the family's identification cards to register camp
inhabitants. Following registration, the GOP gives each
family a basket of commodities, which comprises a tent,
mattress, blankets, utensils, and food rations for a week.

-- Food



7. Inhabitants of the Mehra tent camp arrive without food.
They are dependent upon the GOP for food. There appeared to
be adequate food stocks for the current population. Colonel
Fraz told the USAID/DART that he would like a communal
kitchen to be built. At present, women are cooking meals
for their families inside their tents, which presents a fire
hazard. SC is procuring 300 small propane burners for
cooking.

-- Water and Sanitation



8. At present, two 10,000-liter water purification units,
provided by the Austrian Red Cross, are in the camp. Water
from the Indus River is pumped into these units, where it is
purified and then pumped to access points in the camp. The
GOP plans to install two water tanks, with a 100,000-liter
capacity each, on a hill above the camp.



9. When the USAID/DART visited Mehra, sanitation was the
primary problem in the Mehra tent camp. As of November 5,
there were no latrines in the camp. However, according to
representatives of Save the Children, who spoke with the
USAID/DART on November 9, 100 latrines - 50 for men and 50
for women - had recently been installed in the camp.

-- Health



10. The GOP told Mr. Gottlieb and the USAID/DART that 14
doctors from Cuba are volunteering in the camp. However,
the doctors speak minimal English and no Urdu. Camp
inhabitants have reported a number of illnesses, including
bloody diarrhea, watery diarrhea, a few cases of tetanus,
and many cases of scabies.

-- Livelihoods



11. According to a SC representative, more people would come
to the Mehra tent camp if the camp had a site for livestock
grazing, which it currently does not. People are afraid of
coming to the tent camp if that means leaving their
livestock, which is often their livelihood, behind. SC is
planning a corral for animals, with an attendant
veterinarian. This will enable families to maintain their
animals rather than sell now in a depressed livestock
market.



12. SC plans to establish a cash-for-work (CFW) committee
to maintain the tent village. SC will pay members of the
committee to perform maintenance and repairs on the physical
facilities of the camp. The GOP military representative
told the group that because many of the men living in the
camp are skilled workers, the GOP is interested in
implementing CFW programs.

-- Protection



13. Colonel Fraz stated that the majority of the population
of surrounding areas lived in mud houses prior to the
earthquake. In order to preserve a sense of community and
local culture, the GOP has laid out the tent camp site at
Mehra such that people in the camp live close to people from
their home village, in separate areas representing the major
villages in the region.



14. Among the Cuban doctors in the camp are female doctors.
Members of the GOP military and NGO representatives working
in the camp were acutely aware of the cultural needs for
females, ranging from having female doctors to adequate
latrines and working stations, in addition to better
lighting for the camp.



15. IOM representatives told the USAID/DART that male heads
of households might send their families to the camp but
remain with their livestock. If this happens, additional
protection issues will arise.

-- NGO Assistance at Mehra



16. NGOs have provided a significant amount of the
commodities and services at Mehra. SC provided blankets,
rations, and tarpaulins, and it is in the process of
procuring hygiene kits and establishing a play space,
educational center, and area for livestock grazing. As
described above, the Austrian Red Cross is working to meet
the water and sanitation needs of the camp. The U.N. was
seemingly absent. Colonel Fraz noted several times that
representatives from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) had visited several times but had not done anything
to date.

-- Outstanding Needs



17. The GOP military representative in charge of the camp
remarked that the Mehra tent camp needs additional large
generators for the health unit and water system;
searchlights, which provide light and enhance camp security
at night; and latrines.

-- GOP and NGOs' Two-Pronged Strategy



18. The GOP and NGOs are engaged in a two-pronged strategy
to provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by the
earthquake. The GOP and relief organizations are
simultaneously delivering relief commodities to hard-to-
reach areas in order to promote shelter in place, and the
GOP and relief organizations are also attempting to provide
basic services to tent camps to encourage people in need of
shelter to temporarily relocate to camps.



19. This strategy is evident in Mehra camp. The GOP
military, in conjunction with NGOs in Mehra camp, is
attempting to move supplies up the Allai Valley. The road
up the valley recently opened to small vehicles and pickups.
The GOP and NGOS have a limited ability to move humanitarian
commodities up the valley, however. Under the direction of
the GOP military, IOM is sending small pickups up the valley
to encourage people in the valley to come down to the Mehra
tent camp. Concurrently, the GOP is overseeing the
establishment of facilities in the Mehra camp to entice
people to come down from the valley and into the camp.

-- USAID/DART Assessment and Recommendations



20. The USAID/DART acknowledges that many more people may
come down into tent camps. However, the USAID/DART holds
that current programming must focus on supplying those who
will stay at higher elevations with shelter or shelter
materials, sufficient to protect them against the winter
weather. Many of the affected people may eventually come
into camps, in which case the USAID/DART intends to adjust
funding and shift program focus to camp situations if
necessary.



--------------------------


Balakot


--------------------------





21. Mr. Gottlieb and the USAID/DART also traveled to
Balakot, where they discussed the distribution of
humanitarian relief supplies with GOP military
representatives in charge of the distribution and assessed
the situation on the ground. The population of Balakot and
the surrounding areas is approximately 350,000 people. In
this area, approximately 20,000 people perished in the
earthquake, according to a member of the GOP military.
Areas of Balakot, including the area that the USAID/DART
visited, are nearly 100 percent destroyed. A member of the
GOP military told the USAID/DART that despite this total
destruction, people are reluctant to leave their homes, as
they hope that they will be able to salvage any remaining
personal effects once they are able to sift through the
rubble. The USAID/DART observed a number of people living
in makeshift shelters above the ruins of their destroyed
homes. Recovery of bodies had only ended a few days
previously.



22. A representative of the GOP military told the
USAID/DART that the GOP encourages the establishment of tent
villages because such villages facilitate the distribution
of commodities. The USAID/DART observed piles of
commodities for distribution near the helicopter landing pad
in Balakot. The GOP military was coordinating the
distribution of these commodities. (Comment: In Balakot,
as at the Mansehra tent camp site, Mr. Gottlieb and the
USAID/DART observed a distinct absence of the U.N. End
comment.)

-- Meeting with ACTED



23. In Balakot, Mr. Gottlieb and the USAID/DART met with
two representatives of ACTED, one of USAID's implementing
partners. According to these representatives, ACTED arrived
in Balakot and Bagh o/a October 15. ACTED is targeting
remote areas in the west valley above Balakot, where other
NGOs are absent. Through funding from the USAID Office of
U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), ACTED aims to reach
3,000 beneficiaries with housing interventions. ACTED might
decrease the materials it is distributing to each family in
order to serve more families. Many heads of households
located at higher elevations are descending to Balakot to
obtain blankets and quilts, which they bring with them back
to their families. Very little information about targeted
populations is available. It is unclear how many people
live in the valley where ACTED is working, although there
are indications that the number is very large.



24. ACTED reported effective cooperation with the GOP
military. ACTED stated that when it has commodities for
distribution, it relays this message to the GOP military the
day before the distribution, who in turn relays this
information to affected populations. People from affected
areas travel by foot up to four hours to obtain commodities
supplied by ACTED.



25. In the absence of a shelter strategy from the
international community, ACTED is distributing plastic
sheeting and tools. ACTED is attempting to procure these
materials and move these materials as quickly as possible to
remote locations.



26. ACTED stated, and the USAID/DART observed, that the
U.N. was noticeably absent from Balakot. ACTED
representatives told the USAID/DART that Balakot lacks
coordination from the U.N. Thus, the GOP military hosts
daily coordination meetings with NGOs. Because of a
shortage of undamaged office space, the majority of the NGOs
active in Balakot are based in Mansehra, which compounds the
coordination problem in Balakot. Most of the NGOs in
Mansehra are focused on humanitarian relief efforts in
Batagram, not Balakot.

-- USAID/DART Assessment and Recommendations



27. As is the case with other areas that the USAID/DART has
assessed, the U.N. was absent in the area of Balakot that
the USAID/DART surveyed on November 5. The U.N. is not
coordinating cluster group meetings in this area, and the
GOP military has begun hosting such meetings. The apparent
absence of the U.N. in its role as coordinating mechanism,
as well as the lack of U.N. commodities in this area, is
problematic.



28. Organizations providing humanitarian assistance in
Balakot, as in Mehra, should pursue the two-pronged strategy
of both providing humanitarian commodities for those who
have sought refuge in camps and also transporting and
distributing commodities in hard-to-reach areas.


CROCKER