Damage assessment: FDMA completes surveys in Mohmand, Kurram, Orakzai

Published: November 7, 2015
Efforts afoot to gauge extent of destruction in Bajaur Agency. PHOTO: REUTERS

Efforts afoot to gauge extent of destruction in Bajaur Agency. PHOTO: REUTERS


The FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) has completed its surveys to assess the level of damage caused by the October 26 earthquake in Mohmand, Kurram and Orakzai agencies.

FDMA Director Relief Dr Qasim Khan told The Express Tribune over the telephone, efforts are afoot to conduct surveys to determine the extent of property damage in other parts of the tribal belt.

Survey results

According to Qasim, 36 houses have been damaged while 102 were destroyed in Kurram Agency.

“FDMA has provided 110 tents to people in the agency,” he said. “On the other hand, 50 tents have been handed over to residents of Orakzai Agency where 45 houses were destroyed and 115 were partially damaged.”

The FDMA official said 265 houses were destroyed in Mohmand Agency. “Around 721 houses were partially damaged,” he said. “FDMA has provided 200 tents, 200 blankets, 200 bed sheets and 700 food packages to the affected population.”

However, preliminary estimates of losses painted an even bleaker picture of the level of damage. As per statistics available on National Disaster Management Authority’s website, 131, 400 and 550 houses were damaged in Kurram, Orakzai and Mohmand agencies.



Fingers crossed

The FDMA official said a survey is still being conducted in Bajaur Agency which was particularly affected by the catastrophe.

“So far, we have estimated around 5,000 houses have been destroyed and 2,500 houses have been partially damaged,” he said.

Preliminary statistics collected by NDMA revealed 8,184 houses were damaged in the agency.

“FDMA has provided 3,722 tents, 2,671 blankets, 2,300 sleeping sheets, 4,920 food packages, and 1,000 tarpaulin sheets to protect the affectees from snow and rain in Bajaur,” he said.

According to Qasim, FDMA officials hope the level of destruction and losses in Bajaur is less than what has been estimated so far.

Care packages

According to Qasim, 200 food packages have been arranged by the political administration for the affected population in Mohmand Agency.

“At least 500 packages were provided by the World Food Programme on the FDMA’s request,” he said. “The political administration has made it a point to listen to the grievances of the affectees.”

Qasim said 30 people have lost their lives while 209 were wounded in the earthquake in Fata.

“FDMA have provided Rs16.8 million to the families of the deceased and Rs14.3 million been given to the wounded,” he added.

Instant relief

FDMA had advised various political administrations to speed up the process of conducting surveys in the tribal belt before winter. This was done to ensure the affected population obtains relief and can get their life back on track.

An official of the Mohmand political administration told The Express Tribune political administration has conducted a six-day survey in the agency.

“At least eight survey teams were asked to assess the level of damage in the agency,” he said. “Officials of the political administration, the Pakistan Army, civil engineers, schoolteachers and media representatives were part of the team.”

Amid discontent

An insider familiar with the matter told The Express Tribune the survey was monitored by the assistant political agent.

“However, locals in the affected areas in Mohmand and Bajaur have complained about relief efforts,” he said. “They have urged the government to take more of an initiative in this regard. Many residents have termed government aid insufficient.”

He added MNA Shahabuddin Khan and former lawmaker Akhunzada Chitan have pressed the government to raise the compensation amount.

However, tribal elders from Pandyali said a survey team had not visited Dawizai area of the agency which was affected by the earthquake. They urged the government to take an initiative to address this matter.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 7th, 2015.

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