Monday, October 10, 2005

Oct 10, 2005 12:57 PM

media coverage is beginning to show signs of the real disaster. most distressing is that the army has not really reached areas like balakot and muzaffarabad in substantial numbers yet. international aid agencies are showing support.

update from today's TCF relief meeting

- the first shipment of 600 tents, blankets & sweatshirts were sent today via PIA to islamabad. i've seen the tents, they are made of army canvas with a tough parachute lining on the inside for waterproofing, and can house at least 10 ppl each. in the immediate relief effort, the tents, blankets and supplies are being distributed based on need to any and all affected areas including those not covered by the organizations already in operation. we are expecting another 2000 tents and 4500 sleeping bags to come in from carrefour via dubai. other immediate requirements identified were 2000 pick axes and shovels for the locals to facilitate the clearing out of rubble, which are being procured. most people are using their hands to move the debris right now.

- dozens of boxes of medical supplies (including pain killers, antibiotics, syringes, etc.) are on a flight to islamabad to be administered by a team of doctors flying out tonight. they will join up with another team of 12 surgeons & doctors already operating in mansehra from today. a major risk is the outbreak of disease & infection so this is just the first small step to curbing this.

- the warehouse in pindi was activated and is now setup to receive the relief goods with phone / fax lines, and is communicating with karachi HQ in the NIC building for logistical assistance & lead time to manage the distribution.

- the most critical area of the relief effort is long term (LT i.e. the next 8-12 months) during which the TCF relief effort will reconstruct and rehabilitate an estimated 5000 homes, long after the media has left the area. the idea is not to forget that immediate relief only goes so far. plans and designs are being drawn up by a team of the top architects, engineers and consultants in the country to create options for affordable, sustainable diaster-proof homes. the models will be replicated on a large scale over the course of the next year.

- TCF Relief Fund headquarters are in karachi, at the NIC building (9th floor) next to FTC. there was an overwhelming response today with inquiries about what ppl can do to help:

- donations are being accepted via cheques made payable to "TCF Relief Fund", or cash depositable directly to the relief HQ at the NIC building or at any Askari Bank branch all over pakistan. DAWN will carry an ad on Tuesday with the bank account number for wire transfer & other contact information for donations. the online donation system for TCF relief has been slightly delayed, but will be activated within the next 24 hours.

TCF Relief Fund
9th Floor NIC Building
Abbassi Shaheed Road

more to follow...


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