Source UNJLC
Theme
Countries Pakistan
Document type Other

UNJLC Pakistan Earthquake
BULLETIN No. 15 (Day 34)
As of 1800 hours local, Friday, November 11th, 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

  • Long range planning for the sustainment of the affected population throughout winter and into spring is progressing well and will be finalised within the coming fortnight.
  • Two CH-47 Chinook helicopters, co-ordinated by UNJLC, will operate out of Muzaffarabad from 15th through 20th November to shuttle up to 1000 tonnes of relief supplies forward.
  • Access to the Alia Valley is proving particularly difficult with poor roads and landslides severely limiting the use of heavy vehicles. This will be a key area to be addressed before the severe onset of winter.

Contents
1.    Winter Sustainment Planning
2.    Security
3.    DFID Chinook Operation: Muzaffarabad
4.    Field Co-ordination: Batagram
5.    Pakistan Weather Information

1.    Winter Sustainment Planning

The UNJLC Planning Team comprises a four-person cell seconded by the UK Department for International Development from the Ministry of Defence. Their task since deployment two weeks ago has been to develop an overall coordination plan to sustain the earthquake-affected population through the winter and into spring when the rehabilitation and reconstruction phase can begin and people may start to rebuild their livelihoods. Particular emphasis is given in this Winter Sustainment Plan to the needs of those living in the more isolated and remote regions.

The plan is being developed in concert with the priorities, intentions and aims of the Government of Pakistan and will complement the Government’s National Action Plan. The team have now completed the initial phase of their assessment and information gathering and are now developing actionable recommendations. Detailed analysis has progressed rapidly largely as a result of the co-operation extended to the team by the Government of Pakistan, humanitarian agencies and foreign militaries operating in support of the Government.

The team has consulted with each humanitarian cluster, key agencies and NGO’s to construct an operational outline based on these discussions. The plan continues to use the existing general concept of the Main Operating Base (MOB) at Abbottabad, Extended Delivery Points (EDP’s), which are generally hubs but may also be points where beneficiaries receive aid, and Final Delivery Points (FDP’s), where beneficiaries residing beyond the hubs are serviced. Thus, an EDP may also be an FDP for people at the EDP.

The plan, however, introduces Forward Area Support Sites (FASS). These sites would be located in areas inaccessible by road in winter and be able sustain the affected population within an approximately 10 km radius for at least 15 days at a time. They would be resupplied by air, light vehicle or pack animals, weather permitting. Each FASS would generally be managed by a lead agency. UNJLC will develop and publish guidelines on establishing and implementing FASS’s and FDP’s in the near future.

Agencies are highly encouraged to participate in the implementation of the plan as a way to make the most effective use of scarce aid resources.

2.    Security

To date, there have been few security-related concerns in the relief operation but following a recent incident involving the looting of relief items from a truck belonging to the NGO CARE International, all agencies are encouraged to continue to submit incident report information during logistics cluster meetings. This is important so that any patterns may be identified and appropriate representations made to the authorities.

Several agencies have expressed concern about the security implications of bypassing affected populations on main roads en route to more inaccessible areas prior to the onset of winter. Save the Children Fund have indicated that they are considering food for work or cash for work schemes along operational routes and have encouraged other agencies to take a similarly proactive approach to security.

3.    DFID Chinook Operation: Muzaffarabad

As part of its role in co-ordinating air cargo movements to the affected area, UNJLC will be facilitating the operation of two British CH-47 Chinooks provided to UNHAS by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), flying out of Muzaffarabad from the 15th to 20th of November (see photo at right).

The operation will make better use of the aircraft by focusing on short-cycle operations between the Muzaffarabad extended delivery point and nearby areas that are generally inaccessible by road. This will reduce expensive helicopter time shuttling cargo from Islamabad to forward areas. Cargos will be trucked to Muzaffarabad by much more economical road transport, and then flown forward.

In addition to increasing the number of sorties possible each day, loads will be underslung – with up to 7.5 tonnes on each load - rather than carried internally. This will further improve turnaround. Using this approach, the operation should be able to lift up to 200 tones per day for an overall target of more than 1000 tonnes during the six-day period, subject to weather and sufficient cargo being provided by agencies.

The standard UNJLC cargo request booking system should be used for this operation. The UNJLC operations team can also provide information on warehousing in the vicinity and sling load preparation. UNJLC emphasises that maximising the use of the Chinooks requires all organisations to work together and share information on logistical plans and non-food item pipelines.

4.    Field Co-ordination: Batagram

A joint UN assessment mission involving UNJLC was conducted in the Alai Valley, one of the most difficult areas to access during winter. Indications are that many people have not yet received sufficient aid. Some have received none at all. The Pakistani Army has been very active in the area clearing access and establishing displaced persons camps but much remains to be done.

Access to the main town of Banna in the valley itself is difficult with poor road conditions and the constant threat of landslides limiting the use of heavy trucks. However, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and various NGOs have been able to operate light vehicle convoys to shuttle shelter material forward for distribution to beneficiaries (see photo at right).

In the larger hub town of Batagram, south of the Alai Valley and on the Karakorum Highway, WFP has started to bring forward food items for pre-positioning before winter.  Several Rubbhalls have been erected and over 150 tonnes of food had been trucked there by the beginning of the second week of November. WFP will also use Chattarplain, further north of Batagram on the Karakorum towards Besham (essentially the western entrance to the Alia Valley) as a distribution hub.  

UNHCR has reported that the level of aid given to the people in the camps appears to exceed that received by people who stayed in their villages. This issue may eventually have security implications with perceived inequities causing discontent and unrest. See item 2 above on Security.

5.    Pakistan Weather Information

With the weather having such a major potential effect on humanitarian logistics operations, information on current and forecast conditions will be increasingly important as winter closes in.

The Government of Pakistan’s Meteorological Department produces a wide range of information products relevant to the relief effort. Highlights of the site include a comprehensive weather forecasting service with daily forecast of conditions, a seven day forecast, fortnightly outlook and seasonal outlook for the affected areas. A number of other products including maps on the earthquake affected region, rainfall data and information on flooding are also available. This can accessed at www.pakmet.com.pk/.

Information is also available from the UK Met Office at www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/asia/earthquake.html.

BULLETIN ENDS