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    March  25,  2016



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.



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