AKDN team visits Sosum Village to monitor the search operation
and meet the community
Chitral Times Report
Chitral: A high level delegation of AKDN including Mr.
Hussain Tejani – Vice President National Council for Pakistan,
Khadija Jamal Shaban Chairperson FOCUS Pakistan, Shams Ajani Vice
Chairperson FOCUS Pakistan, Salmanuddin Program Manager FOCUS
Pakistan, Presidents of the Regional Councils for Upper and Lower
Chitral and FOCUS regional management team visited Sosum village to
oversee the search operation by FOCUS search and rescue team and
also met volunteers working on the site and the local leadership.
The team was also joined
by the Deputy Commissioner Chitral
The search operation was started on March 19 to rescue the students
who were hit by high magnitude wet slab avalanche near Sosum
Village in Karimabad valley in Chitral. The team also extended
condolence to the bereaved families.
The Vice President National Council for Pakistan assured the people
of AKDN’s full support during this disaster and in the future as
well. He prayed for the departed souls and for early recovery of
those still missing. He appreciated the efforts being made by the
Government, NGOs and local volunteers particularly people from
Sosum. Ms. Khadija Jamal Shaban – Chiarperson FOCUS Pakistan said
that FOCUS Pakistan has been working in Chitral for the last 16
years and has trained over 20,000 community volunteers, created 50
Community Emergency Response Teams and established about 50
community based stockpiles for local disaster response. The
organization also has well trained and certified on international
standards, search and rescue team of 12 volunteers which is
vibrantly contributing its services towards the search rescue
operation in Sosumvillage.
She reminded the communities that this disaster was anticipated
well in time by FOCUS and people were informed through
announcements, and text messages to take precautionary measures.
She stated that FOCUS had identified about 110 avalanche prone
villages in Chitral last year on the bases of which special
awareness and training sessions have been arranged in these
villages to prepare the communities. In addition, local weather
posts have been created in about 50 villages to anticipate
avalanche risks based on the local weathers. This provides more
accurate data and helps in providing early warning to selected
villages. In addition, to provide early warning to local
communities through general announcements in villages, schools,
announcements are also being made through radio network. Sosom
village is one among those villages. In future, we expect that
together with the CERT and SART team, and early warning systems in
place , the communities will themselves follow the precautions in
harsh weather conditions said the Chairperson of FOCUS.