Shelter – a new life for quake survivors
Umar Rahim, 63, travels two hours on foot
and then four hours in a jeep to join one hundred and five heads of
households from Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) of Kala
Dhaka. Along with everyone else, he’s standing in the rain,
waiting to receive shelter kits being distributed by IOM in Thakot,
25 kilometers from Batagram District of NWFP.
Umar is a resident of Kala Dhaka’s Getto
village that is 90 kilometers from Batagram and 65 kilometers from
Thakot, a town situated along the Karakorum Highway. His 10-member
family survived but many extended relatives perished. Those that
survived are living in tents beside their partially damaged houses,
as every house was rendered uninhabitable.
“The shelter kit is hope for a new life
for the people who have been spending a miserable life after the
earthquake. It will provide a solid shelter to my family until we
build a new house,” says Umar who belongs to Basi Khel tribe,
one of the biggest tribes in Kala Dhaka according to their
population and geography.
Life continues to be hard for Umar’s
family. Two sons moved to Karachi to find work and send money back
to their family. But their wages as a rickshaw driver and unskilled
laborer are not enough, and both sons plan to ask their bosses for
loans to help feed and shelter their family. The compensation
checks the family had been relying on from the government remain
un-cashed and a source of frustration. They have large VOID
markings on them as the local banks have refused to cash them.
In Thakot, IOM will be distributing shelter
kits provided by Norway through the United Nations Development
Project (UNDP) for 600 quake-affected families of Kala Dhaka
through its implementing partner, ACTED. A shelter kit includes
construction tools, corrugated galvanized iron (CGI) sheets,
bucket, mattress, kitchen set and four jackets for children and
After the distribution of shelter kits among
the people of Getto village, people in Bak Tooni, Fakir Abad and
Pisni villages of Kala Dhaka will receive the aid material to build
“IOM has done something which no one
else in the world can do for us. People of Kala Dhaka have become
without hope, but these shelter kits have boosted the morale of the
people. We know that someone is here who can help us in this time
of need,” says Umar.