Source UNJLC
Theme
Countries Pakistan
Document type Other
Publication date 17/10/2005

UNJLC Pakistan Earthquake
BULLETIN No. 12 (Day 27)
As of 1800 hours local, Friday, November 4th, 2005

UNJLC Bulletins aim to provide a clear and concise regular overview of the situation as it exists in the earthquake-affected area of Pakistan and contiguous areas with regards to logistics matters affecting relief work by the humanitarian community. They focus on practical issues that affect the welfare of the afflicted populace and related humanitarian work such as the status of transport routes for humanitarian supplies and personnel into the area, relevant administrative or commercial developments, air (including strategic airlift and helicopter operations), Customs and immigration matters, and availability of accommodation and fuels. They further seek to identify major issues for the humanitarian community and other interested parties, to provide relevant background and constructive recommendations on current issues, and to alert responsible parties to emerging issues. This bulletin was produced daily from October 17th – 22nd but as the emergency has matured is now produced on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, until further notice.

Summary and Highlights

  • Operation “Winter Race”, an interagency initiative co-ordinated by UNJLC, is in full operation now, dropping small teams of IOM and IFRC experts into the most remote of the affected areas to ensure that people in those areas are catered for with shelter supplies for the imminent winter.
  • Field co-ordination is increasing at the main hubs, particularly Muzaffarabad, Mansehra and Bagh, with staff soon to be deployed at the main forward supply base of Abbottabad.
  • Free road transport is available for humanitarian agencies from a variety of sources, and trucks may also be available from WFP on a cost-reimbursement basis.

Contents
1.    Operation “Winter Race”
2.    Field Co-ordination: Muzaffarabad
3.    Road Transport: Free Service
4.    NGO Aviation Operations
5.    Eastern Access: The Line of Control
6.    Pakistan Earthquake “Yellow Pages”

1.    Operation “Winter Race”

Operation Winter Race, involving the airlifting of five-person IOM and IFRC teams into isolated villages using WFP-UNHAS helicopters to assess earthquake damage and deliver shelter repair kits to homeless families, has successfully completed its pilot phase. It now aims to expand to 20 teams over this month and ensure that the several hundred thousand people living in the most remote areas are supported for the winter. See Bulletin 11 of November 2nd for further information.

The teams include both men and women to ensure cultural sensitivity and facilitate the involvement of especially vulnerable groups such as widows. Each team spends two days in a selected location, going house-to-house and dealing with community leaders to identify vulnerable people. They then move on rapidly to other villages to ensure wide coverage.

Based on teams’ assessments, the first operation airlifted in shelter repair kits for 65 families. These locally-procured IOM kits include corrugated iron roofing sheets, plastic tarpaulins, hammers, nails, spades, pickaxes, hand axes, saws, wire, buckets and other items useful for salvaging the remains of houses and rebuilding habitable shelters. They address the shortage of tents and provide an alternative and complementary shelter solution.
With the co-operation of partner agencies with supplies and staff, it is planned to deliver 10,000 kits this month before the severe onset of winter, covering at least 50,000 individuals. Winter Race will assist in ensuring that the shelter relief aid gets to where it is needed in a fair, fast, transparent and accountable manner.

2.    Field Co-ordination: Muzaffarabad

UNJLC staff in Muzaffarabad report that warehousing in the town – the closest major settlement to the epicenter - is in very short supply. There is a lack of existing warehouse space and suitable sites for temporary warehousing. There is a dearth of both skilled and unskilled labour, despite the increased population of the town from people relocated there from outlying areas.

As an alternative to Muzaffarabad, several agencies are considering the crossroads town of Garhi Habibullah for humanitarian logistics operations. This location, about 30km and an hour west of Muzaffarabad, provides good access north to Balakot and the Kaghan Valley, west to Mansehra and east to the already well-served area of Muzaffarabad (and from there, to the Neelum and Jhelum Valleys. Garhi Habibullah has an accommodation camp, helicopter landing zone and as much storage as all sites in Muzaffarabad combined.

A ground assessment mission is being planned for the Upper Neelum Valley to determine warehousing capacity closer to affected communities, the general need, road conditions, vehicle availability, fuel supplies and potential access to and from Indian-administered Kashmir. Sustainability of food supply is a key concern as the valley appears to be cut off more than damaged. Being in conflict area, it has generally relied on food distributions from the Pakistani Army.

3.    Road Transport: Free Service

Free road transport for humanitarian agencies is being provided by the International Organisation for Migration and by French NGO Atlas Logistique. It is understood that National Logistics Corporation, a major local firm affiliated with the Federal Relief Commission and the military is also proving free transport for relief supplies.

  • IOM: To date, it has been possible to arrange transport via IOM by telephone or by calling at the IOM office at No. 6, Main Embassy Road, Sector G-6/4, Islamabad, telephone +92 (0)51 287-6948, 287-3526 or 282-4737. From now, a form downloadable from IOM’s website, www.iom.int, will have to be used and bookings made at least 24 hours in advance. Transport is generally to the main logistical hubs.
  • Atlas: Bookings may be made by telephone or by meeting representatives of the NGO at the regular Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning logistic cluster meetings. A Transport Request Form is available from Atlas. For now, Atlas is providing transport; it hopes to soon provide storage. The service uses 100 8-tonne Bedford trucks and goes as far as possible to the final delivery points of the aid, not just to the main hubs. Exact locations to be serviced in the field are still being ascertained but will be demand driven. Atlas provides loading at Islamabad but consignees must arrange unloading at destination. Contacts are Mr. Christophe Vergeron, +92(0)301 536-3793, e-mail: atlaslogpakistan@yahoo.com.
  • National Logistics Corporation may be contacted through the Federal Relief Commission at its Earthquake Relief Operations Room on +92 (0)51 449-3878, See www.earthquakepakistan.com.

World Food Programme may also provide trucks but on a cost-reimbursable basis. WFP is unable to provide free trucking for non-food items because of the terms of the project under which they receive donors’ funds. WFP has 15 6-tonne trucks in Muzaffarabad with another 10 expected. It has two in Bagh and three in Batagram.

The greatest need for road transport is from the main hubs out to the final delivery points. Suitable trucks are in short supply and traditional alternatives such as mule trains are being used and considered further.

4.    NGO Aviation Operations

At present, the only NGO’s known to be operating rotary wing aircraft in the region are the indigenous Agha Khan Rural Programme with a UH-1 light to medium helicopter and Oxfam UK with an Mi-8.

From November 8th, Air Serv International, an international NGO, will commence operating two Squirrel AS-350 light helicopters in Muzaffarabad to support the work of MSF-Holland. The aircraft are understood to be well-equipped for winter conditions, with at least one having a winch. It is unclear  whether they may be used by other parties but enquiries may be made of Mr. Chris Gillanders, AirServ International Country Director-Pakistan, cgillanders@ airserv.org or admin-ca@airserv.org, telephone +92 (0)333 563-5573. 

5.    Eastern Access: The Line of Control

Media reports indicate that India and Pakistan will eventually open up to five points along the Line of Control between the parts of Kashmir they control respectively. These are said to be at Nauseri-Teethwal, Chakoti-Uri, Hajipur-Uri, Rawalakhot-Poonch and Tattapni-Mendhar. These crossings, if opened would provide alternative access to the Muzaffarabad and Mansehra areas, and to Poonch/Rawalakhot.

Five locations along the Line of Control

Five locations along the Line of Control may be opened eventually. For now, only the Rawalakhot-Poonch crossing will be open, and only for relief traffic on foot.
Map courtesy of BBC.

However, for technical reasons (including clearing of roads and mines) it is understood that Rawalakhot-Poonch will be the only location open by the first week of November, and then only for humanitarian aid. Special permits will be required from both the Indian and Pakistani Governments to allow crossing. It is not yet known what the procedures will be for obtaining these. UNJLC will investigate. No vehicles or aircraft will be allowed to cross at this stage.

Given these restrictions, together with the distance of the area from major supply centres in India (at Jammu and Srinigar) and India’s own need to address the needs of people in the part of Kashmir it administers, the crossings are unlikely to make a significant contribution to humanitarian logistics with Pakistan-administered Kashmir or the North West Frontier Province in the near future. They may, however, be considered a supplemental option for agencies in immediately contiguous areas.

6.    Pakistan Earthquake “Yellow Pages”

UNJLC has published the first edition of the Pakistan Earthquake Yellow Pages, a listing of firms and organisations that may be able to offer services such as transport, storage and accommodation typically required by humanitarian organisations.

UNJLC welcomes additional entries at Pakistan@unjlc.org, particularly from humanitarian organisations who have been satisfied with services provided.

This information is provided as a service and UNJLC makes no assurances as to the suitability or otherwise of organisations listed.

BULLETIN ENDS