SIX MONTHS AFTER PAKISTAN QUAKE - A MUSLIM AID UPDATE
April 8 2006 will make it six months since that powerful South Asia earthquake devastated parts of northern Pakistan and Kashmir, killing over 73,000 people in the process.
Tanzeem Wasti, who is a Trustee of Muslim Aid’s head office in the UK, has visited Pakistan twice since the disaster, and he was responsible for spear-heading the relief effort of the UK-based charity. But even though half a year has passed since the October 8 earthquake made millions homeless, he acknowledges that there is still work to be done.
Located in Kashmir not far from Muzaffarabad, Bagh was one of the areas that was worst-hit by the quake, which measured 7.6 on the Richter scale.
Mr Wasti notes, “In Bagh, between 80 and 90 per cent of the houses were destroyed,” Tanzeem Wasti remembered. “Teachers were killed, students were killed. Whole sections of Bagh were destroyed, and for quite some time, many people were unable to remove the bodies from the houses, because of the rubble.”
“When I first went, it was very difficult, because most of the places were blocked by the landslide, and the roads had not been re-opened. We started clearing the roads, but still it took us 10-12 hours by car to get to and from a village that needed help. I spoke to needy families, and in the first week Muslim Aid gave half a million pounds in aid to the survivors of this disaster.”
In all, Muslim Aid responded to the needs of the communities to the tune of £1 million, to cover emergency relief and to focus on longer-term rehabilitation and reconstruction programmes. Muslim Aid provided, among other relief supplies in great demand, 900 waterproof, double-ply family tents and more than 11,000 blankets.
Source: Muslim Aid Press Release, 3rd April 2006