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   August 07, 2015



FOCUS distributes relief goods to 320 families

By Zahiruddin

CHITRAL: Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) has been providing relief to villages in Chitral district which has been affected by devastating floods resulting from monsoon rains and glacial outbursts.

Talking to Chitral Times  here on Friday, the regional program manager of FOCUS, Amir Muhammad said that the flash flooding and debris flow events have washed away over 82 villages while disrupting access to roads and bridges and causing damage to property, crops and livestock, communication infrastructure and drinking water supply systems.

He said that over seven hundred trained volunteers from his organization’s Search and Rescue Team (SART), Disaster Assessment Response Team (DART) and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) were immediately mobilized to respond to the emergency.

He said that the teams have distributed food items and non-food items including tents, blankets, tarpaulin sheets, family hygiene kits and aqua tab for water purification to 320 families in Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Through the sorties of helicopter, the organization has transported life saving drugs and other essential items of daily use to the inaccessible areas whose roads and bridges have been washed away while in the return trips, it rescued hundreds of stranded people.

“The situation is becoming more critical as a number of valleys and villages in Chitral remain inaccessible and continue to be isolated from each other”, he said adding that the major roads remain cut off including Chitral-Booni Mastuj road, Garamchashmal road, Bumborate road, Booni-Mulkhow and Madaklasht road.

Mr. Muhammad said that FOCUS Pakistan plans to provide food supplies for one month to about seventy percent of the most affected communities in Lower and Upper Chitral wehere provisions have also been made to store items at the regional level since small local markets are expected to run out of supplies.

“Flash floods and unfavorable weather forecast continue to be a major threat to relief efforts making it difficult to airlift people and distribute supplies and medicine”,

“FOCUS Pakistan’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is working with local community and with the FOCUS regional office for early warning and timely response and during its 15 years presence in the country, it has trained over 36,000 local community members as a first responder with provision of over 90 stockpiles to effectively respond to disasters”, he said.



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