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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05ISLAMABAD16881
2005-11-15 01:55:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Islamabad
Cable title:  

PAKISTAN - EARTHQUAKE: USAID/DART WATER AND

Tags:   EAID  AEMR  ASEC  MASS  ECON  KMDR  KPAO  OIIP  OPRC  PGOV  PREL  PK 
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 ISLAMABAD 016881 

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 WATER AND
SANITATION SECTOR ASSESSMENT


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



1. From October 19 through November 13, a water and
sanitation officer (WSO) was deployed to Pakistan as part of
the USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). Through
numerous trips through affected areas; assessments, and
interviews with representatives of non-governmental
organizations (NGOs), Government of Pakistan (GOP) officials,
and others, the USAID/DART WSO has determined that the
greatest water and sanitation needs are in urban camps,
particularly those in Muzaffarabad. The lack of water and
sanitation facilities in these camps places the internally
displaced persons (IDPs) in the camps at risk of acquiring
sanitation-related diseases. The U.N. Children,s Fund
(UNICEF) and other relief groups are gradually addressing
this critical issue, although progress is slow. In rural
areas, the water and sanitation situation is not ideal, but
people appear better able to cope with existing conditions.
The primary risk to the rural population is the damage to
spring systems, which forces rural residents to obtain their
water from contaminated streams. The primary water and
sanitation intervention in rural areas is the distribution of
hygiene kits and individual water purification materials. In
rural areas with denser populations, the quick repair of
heavily used spring systems is necessary. End summary.



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



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Coordination of Water and Sanitation Interventions


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





2. The coordination of water and sanitation interventions is
being conducted at the five humanitarian hubs: Mansehra,
Balakot, Batagram, Muzaffarabad, and Bagh. Overall water and
sanitation coordination is being conducted out of Islamabad.
The following information is based on site visits made from
October 22 through November 9.



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



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


Islamabad: Current Water and Sanitation Situation


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



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





3. At the national level, water and sanitation activities
focus on acquiring and delivering resources to implementers
at the humanitarian hubs, developing a national disaster
strategy, and allocating UNICEF human water and sanitation
resources. At present, the critical resource shortage is the
limited supply of latrine slabs. However, the USAID/DART has
purchased plywood for the U.S. Navy Construction Battalion,s
(Seabees) construction projects in earthquake-affected areas.
Additionally, UNICEF has investigated numerous options to

resolve the shortage, including procuring locally
manufactured sheet metal slabs, obtaining plastic latrine
slabs manufactured in Dubai, arranging for the local
manufacture of plywood slabs, and accessing slab construction
materials. UNICEF is aggressively addressing this issue.



4. UNICEF has developed an immediate water and sanitation
relief strategy that involves four major interventions. The
first is the delivery of hygiene kits with basic instructions
to rural populations. Where feasible, rural gravity-flow
spring systems will be repaired. Where this is not feasible,
individual water purification supplies will be provided to
families. The second intervention is providing basic water
and sanitation interventions to residents of spontaneous
camps in urban areas. Basic interventions proposed include
providing a chlorinated water supply, simple pit latrines
designated by sex, hygiene kits for each family, and
rudimentary solid waste collection. The third intervention
is providing water and sanitation interventions in planned
camps. Given the more permanent nature of planned camps,
proposed interventions include potable water sources on site,
pour flush latrines designated by sex, washing areas
designated by sex, hygiene kits for each family, and solid
waste collection. The fourth intervention is coupling
simple, standard hygiene education programs with all water
and sanitation interventions delivered to affected
populations.



5. UNICEF is actively recruiting and assigning water and
sanitation professionals for the relief effort. UNICEF water
and sanitation professionals who deployed at the beginning of
the relief effort are due to return to their permanent
positions. UNICEF says it will replace them with locally
recruited staff.



6. The USAID/DART will continue to monitor UNICEF,s
progress in resolving the latrine supply issue. UNICEF has
requested that USAID provide 10,000 sheets of marine-grade
three-quarter-inch plywood and plans to construct latrine
slabs from the plywood. The USAID/DART has sourced a local
supply of marine-grade plywood for the Seabees and UNICEF.



7. The USAID/DART will also monitor UNICEF,s replacement of
field staff. Failure of UNICEF to replace field personnel in
a timely manner will result in disruption of water and
sanitation coordination activities at the humanitarian hubs.



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



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


Muzaffarabad: Current Water and Sanitation Situation


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



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





8. The USAID/DART WSO reported that UNICEF is coordinating
water and sanitation activities in the Muzaffarabad
humanitarian hub, where water and sanitation cluster meetings
are held twice weekly. Addressing unacceptable water and
sanitation conditions in the urban tent camps is the priority
water and sanitation issue in the region around Muzaffarabad.
The Muzaffarabad city water plant is operating, and the
water distribution system is functioning. Tanker trucks are
delivering water to tent camps.



9. In the Muzaffarabad urban area, over 19 camps are a
temporary home to more than 10,000 people. With many
residential, government, and retail structures destroyed,
Muzaffarabad city sustained extensive damage in the
earthquake. While drinking water has been provided in the
tent camps, sanitation conditions in the camps have been
neglected. The poor sanitation conditions in the urban camps
are due to several factors: the lack of camp managers and
latrine slabs, limited water and sanitation human resources
among the relief agencies due to NGO focus on rural areas,
and the failure of NGOs to monitor and ensure proper
maintenance of the urban camp latrines.



10. Recent outbreaks of diarrhea in urban camps have brought
increased attention and resources to bear on improving
sanitation conditions in urban camp areas. The U.N. World
Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, USAID, and the rest of the
relief community are actively working to improve sanitation
conditions in urban camps. The relief community is
refurbishing or replacing latrines. UNICEF has coordinated
the reassessment of the urban camps, using a survey tool
approved by the water and sanitation cluster group. The
reassessment will allow the cluster group to appropriately
target resources and water and sanitation interventions.



11. Water and sanitation interventions in rural areas of
Muzaffarabad District are limited to providing basic hygiene
items and dispatching emergency response teams. These joint
WHO/UNICEF teams take specimens to investigate the cause of
severe diarrhea cases, provide water purification materials,
and conduct basic hygiene education.



12. The USAID/DART will closely monitor water and sanitation
activities in urban camps in Muzaffarabad and, when possible,
provide technical support. The Seabees, construction of
latrines and latrine slabs for urban camps is an excellent
example of directing U.S. military assets towards addressing
critical needs.



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

---
Mansehra: Current Water and Sanitation Situation


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

---



13. Mansehra city was not as severely damaged by the
earthquake as was Muzaffarabad. Because the urban population
in Mansehra was not heavily impacted, sanitation in urban
camps, while an important issue, is not a priority. Rather,
the priority in the region is the water and sanitation issues
at planned camps in the area. The GOP military has assumed
responsibly for management in many camps. Unfortunately,
camp managers have allowed IDPs to settle in these camps
prior to the completion of the camp infrastructure. This has
led to rapid unplanned construction of inadequate water and
sanitation facilities. The cluster group in Mansehra focuses
much of its efforts on responding to the water and sanitation
needs in these camps.



14. In Mansehra District, UNICEF has assumed responsibility
for coordination of the water and sanitation sector.
However, UNICEF appears to be more a passive participant than
the coordinating agency. In Mansehra, the water and
sanitation cluster meeting occurs twice weekly and is led by
the Mansehra District Water, Environmental, and Sanitation
Department (WES) manager. Water and sanitation cluster
meetings focus primarily on water and solid waste. When the
USAID/DART WSO asked the WES manager whether latrine-related
issues were ever discussed at these meetings, the WES manager
stated that Oxfam was building latrines. Oxfam told the
USAID/DART WSO that they were building latrines but that the
latrine construction program was poorly coordinated and NGO
resources were scarce.



15. In Mansehra District, the local Rural Water Supply and
Sanitation Program has identified a total of 107 camps, each
of which has more than 20 tents. Of these 107 camps, the
cluster group is focusing its efforts on 47 camps designated
by the government as critical camps. IDP camps in Mansehra
region are in rural areas and appear to have adequate space
for planned sanitation facilities.



16. According to UNICEF, the UNICEF Hygiene Promotion
Specialist for Mansehra District held a Hygiene Program
training on November 12 and 13. NGO hygiene promotion
specialists attended the training, where they were trained on
implementing a standardizeD hygiene promotion program.



17. The USAID/DART has encouraged the water and sanitation
cluster in Mansehra meeting to include latrine construction
activities in its meeting agenda. The USAID/DART has also
encouraged the establishment of a latrine working group, if
time constraints do not allow this issue to be discussed at
the regular cluster meeting. Such a group could tackle
latrine construction issues and report at the water and
sanitation cluster meeting.



18. The USAID/DART closely monitors progress on the
development of water and sanitation in planned camps. It is
highly likely that camp managers will allow tent camps to
become overpopulated. If the USAID/DART determines that the
population of a camp is overloading the camp,s sanitation
facilities, the team can take immediate action to encourage
the camp management to stop settlement in the camp or, if
possible, increase the number of sanitation facilities in the
camp.



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

---
Batagram: Current Water and Sanitation Situation


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

---



19. In Batagram District, the earthquake significantly
damaged rural homes. However, Batagram town itself does not
appear to be severely damaged. The commercial district of
Batagram does not appear to have sustained significant
damage. Local shops are open, and business appears brisk.
The Batagram city water plant is functioning. Only one major
urban camp with approximately 100 tents was observed in
Batagram city. The USAID/DART WSO received reports that
residents of this camp were IDPs from the hills surrounding
the town.



20. UNICEF is coordinating water and sanitation sector
issues in Batagram District. Water and sanitation cluster
meetings are held twice weekly. The priority water and
sanitation issue in Batagram District is increasing NGO
presence in the region and at Mehra tent camp, located one
hour north of Batagram on the Indus River. The GOP is
planning Mehra tent camp to accommodate 40,000 IDPs, who the
GOP expects will arrive from higher elevations in the Allai
Valley. In Mehra tent camp, Save the Children/US has done an
excellent job providing basic sanitation interventions in a
timely manner as residents have begun to arrive at the camp.
The Austrian Red Cross is providing safe water at the camp.



21. In rural areas of Batagram District, the water and
sanitation priority is the delivery of hygiene kits and water
purification supplies to remote areas.



22. As in Mansehra, the USAID/DART will closely monitor
progress on the development of water and sanitation in
planned camps in Batagram District. It is likely that camp
managers will allow overpopulation of tent camps if left
unmonitored. If the USAID/DART determines that the
population of a camp is overloading the camp,s sanitation
facilities, the team will take immediate action to encourage
the camp management to stop settlement in the camp or, if
possible, expand the camp,s sanitation facilities.



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

--
Balakot: Current Water and Sanitation Situation


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

--



23. A town of approximately 50,000 people, Balakot was
completely destroyed by the earthquake. Local NGOs reported
an 80% fatality rate in the urban area. The lack of large
numbers of urban camps in the city of Balakot supports this
figure. The absence of urban IDPs may also be the result of
previous residents evacuating Balakot city.



24. ACTED reported that in Balakot, the GOP military is
coordinating relief operations, and Action Contre la Faim
(ACF) is holding informal water and sanitation coordination
meetings. Representatives of ACF stated that they are
constructing 100 latrines per week for the IDPs located in
Balakot. ACF is combining the latrine construction ) the
informal sector priority in Balakot ) with a hygiene
promotion program. In Balakot, the German Red Cross is
providing clean water



25. In rural areas of Balakot, the water and sanitation
priorities are repairing gravity-flow spring systems in
valleys north of Balakot and supplying remote rural residents
with hygiene kits.



26. The USAID/DART is encouraging UNICEF to place a water
and sanitation professional in Balakot to coordinate sector
activities and assist NGOs with the implementation of water
and sanitation interventions. UNICEF must take an active
role in the coordination of water and sanitation activities
in the area, as the Balakot water and sanitation sector
cannot be effectively managed from Mansehra, as is currently
the case.



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


Bagh: Current Water and Sanitation Situation


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





27. The USAID/DART WSO visited Bagh but had insufficient
time to assess the area. Like Balakot, Bagh is a small rural
community. Although the town sustained significant damage,
businesses appeared to be operating. The displaced urban
population did not appear to have access to latrines.
Displaced urban residents are living in spontaneous camps
along a mountain stream and at a larger camp near the center
of town. UNICEF is the lead water and sanitation sector
coordinator in Bagh. Cluster meeting are held regularly but
meeting dates and times were not available at the time of the
visit.
CROCKER