Appeal for Sialkot flood affectees

September 10, 2013 / OnetoAnother / Flood Reconstruction

Project Location

Gulu Kot and Kapurpur villages are located near Pasrur city in the Sialkot district of Pakistan. This district is located on the eastern side of the Punjab province very close to the Indian border. These two villages are situated north of Pasrur city which has a population of over 50,000. The villages are separated by approximately 4 kilometres and are close to the nullah Degh waterway.

Background

The monsoon rains of August 2013 caused widespread destruction. One of the particularly affected areas was the Sialkot district. On 7th  August it was reported that 20 villages in the areas surrounding Pasrur were inundated with high flood waters.[1] The majority of the flood damage in this area was caused by the waterway known as nullah Degh also spelled as “Dek”. The nullah Degh flows into Pakistan from India. On August 14 it was reported that once again the nullah Degh was flooded with about 34,000-cusec water passing through the water channel which has the capacity of only 10,000-cusec.[2] The month of August saw nearly constant rain which damaged houses, especially those constructed with unbaked bricks and mud mortar. In particular the roofs of these houses were badly damaged as they consist of a thick layer of mud supported by wooden beams and planks. Many homes which were not destroyed by flood waters becoming dangerous to live in as the constant rains caused the roofs to sag as the mud became waterlogged and put severe strain on the weak wooden beams. In many cases the lacks of proper foundations have caused homes to sink as the soil has become soft. The majority of the inhabitants of these villages do not own any land and work as tenant farmers in the fields of large land-owning families. The landowners give to these farmers a portion of the harvest as payment for their labour. The villagers live a hand to mouth existence and are constantly dependent on the respective feudal lords. Literacy rates are very low and the vast majority can only find jobs as unskilled workers. The few people who have found salaried jobs are in the city of Sialkot which is located about an hour’s commute from these villages. The populations of both these villages are mixed with both Christian and Muslim residents. OnetoAnother was able to send a team to survey the damage in the area south of Sialkot with funding providing from Earth Mission (USA). The team found that the village of Gulu Kot and Kapurpur to be particularly affected and at the same time very cooperative to work with OnetoAnother. A problem tree is attached at the end of this document.

Program Goal

In the short term OntoAnother would provide food rations and other emergency materials such as quilts and tents.  In addition to OnetoAnother seeks to provide free medical camp for each of these two villages. OnetoAnother has conducted several such camps in flood affected areas of Muzzafargarh district after the 2010 floods. For long term rehabilitation of the area OnetoAnother seeks to build strong and durable homes in these villages that can withstand future flooding and heavy rains. Homes would be built for the neediest villagers who lack the means to rebuild their homes. Given that this area is in a flood zone very close to the nullah Degh we feel that it is imperative that proper housing is provided in order to avoid such damage in the future. Our experience and expertise of providing good quality homes in the Muzzafargarh district after the 2010 floods can now be utilised in the Sialkot area. OnetoAnother proposes to use the same home design it has used in Muzzafargarh which features one 12’x14’ ft room and a 5’x5’ft bathroom. By providing water well, electric water pump, water tank, plumbing in addition to the bathroom OnetoAnother seeks to improve hygiene levels of the community leading to better health.
 
[1] The Nation newspaper (7-Aug-2013)
[2] Dawn newspaper  (14-Aug-2013)

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