Bagh district lies in Azad Kashmir (AK) province, NE of Islamabad, bordering the Line of Control to the East, Muzaffarabad to the north and Poonch to the south.
There are three tehsils - Dhirkot, Bagh and Haveli - running west to east. Havali is the most isolated in winter. Routes from Bagh to Bhedi Valley, through Haji Pir, are winding, dangerous and inaccessible in winter.
Roads to Bhedi Valley:
1. Bagh - Dhulli - Rakot - Sankh Dhok - Haji Pir - Bhedi Valley
2. Bagh - Dhulli - Lasdanna - Sankh Dhok - Haji Pir - Bhedi Valley
3. Forward Kahutta - Haji Pir - Bhedi Valley
4. Via the Jheelum Valley and through Urdi (India). This requires crossing the LOC, but it would afford good access.
Mostly mountainous divided by rivers and valleys. The elevation varies. Bagh town is at 1101 m, the settlement of Garong Dhok at 3136 m. The population of Bagh district is almost 400,000, Bagh town is the most populous centre. Communities occupy the limited areas of flat ground or are terraced and scattered up through the mountains.
Artery and link roads are metalled and solid but narrow, sharp and winding, which limits distribution in certain areas. Smaller tracks are only suited to smaller four-wheel drives or animal transport.
Climate and Seasons
Cold Season - December to March
Temperatures in the mountainous regions fall far below freezing with low humidity.
Hot Season - April to June
Rain and melting ice, often causing flooding in low lying areas. Dry riverbeds rapidly and sometimes violently fill up.
Monsoon Season - July to September
Post-Monsoon Season - October and November
Disaster (flood/drought) prone areas
Bagh district is still subject to earthquakes and tremors causing landslides. If the intensity is high, further damage to infrastructure is likely.
Line of Control
There are two border crossings in or near Bagh. Crossing points are;
- Haji Pir - Uri (AKA Khoja Bandi, also spelt Khawaj Bandi) in Bhedi, Havali.
It opens twice to three times a month according to mutually agree times between Pakistan and India. Relief goods only. Minefields on both sides of the border.
- Titrinote, Poonch district (just south of Haveli). Again, negotiated openings at ad hoc times. People permitted. Visa requirements to be confirmed.
Roads: General Conditions
Pre-earthquake Bagh District was connected by a network of roads of differing size, quality and function. The routes vary through a spectrum of flat, mountainous, narrow and steep.
|Double lane roads||
|'Fair' weather roads||
|Arja Bagh road||
|Bagh Dhulli Lasdana M.Gali road||
|Bagh Sudhan Gali road||
|Link roads Bagh/Dhirkot/Kahutta||
The camp is administrated by the Norwegian Support Team.
Team leader: Paul Runi Drageset. #00 479 572 9560. Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sleeping accommodation is in personal partitioned 'cabins' in large tents or a shared open plan guest tent. Cot, mattress and pillow provided.
Accommodation bookings through Sune.email@example.com, minimum 48 hours in advance.
Office facilities are limited and agency specific.
The camp is currently due to close on May 15th, solutions for UN staff remaining in Bagh are currently under discussion.
- Stable at UN camp - generators used.
- Throughout district there are regular instances of power outages of short duration.
- Not all villages have power.
- Local telephone land line is efficient across most of the district.
GSM/SIM and Internet Services
- Generally good mobile phone coverage in Bagh town and immediate surroundings. Infrequent episodes of nil coverage, usually of a short duration.
- Mobile phone coverage ineffective when travelling though mountains. Also negligible in areas around Kahutta and through Haveli tehsil.
- Thuraya coverage unstable at times when moving beyond Bagh.
- Wireless connection available in the camp.