EA33 2015 Earthquake Rapid Response

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A 7.7 magnitude earthquake in HINDU KUSH REGION, at 09:09:32.70 UTC on Oct 26, 2015 struck Pakistan, including the northern areas. The epicentre of the earthquake was 269 km NE of Kabul, Afghanistan approx. 350 km from Islamabad. The tremors were felt all over Pakistan, Afghanistan and India as well.
Over 107,903 houses have been damaged, 280 people died and 1770 have been injured. Relief activities were led by government agencies and supported by humanitarian agencies. Earthquake victims were given compensation grants by the Government. Grievance Redressal Cells have been established for earthquake victims to make sure that neglected beneficiaries could voice their concerns and have access to Government assistance.
An estimated US$317 million will be required for earthquake recovery according to the UNDP Recovery and Reconstruction strategy based on consultations with PDMA, Chitral district officials and other UN agencies including UNICEF, WFP, FAO, UN Habitat, and ILO. Thematic maps were used to show the extent of damage in various sectors in earthquake affected areas of Chitral, Dir, Swat and Gilgit Baltistan, such as damage to homes, schools, roads, bridges, and water supply schemes.
The earthquake affected areas in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas remain the focus of relief efforts. The region is still affected by rain and snowfall and temperatures reach freezing points while recovery interventions have not yet started at a large scale.

[/td_block_text_with_title][td_block_text_with_title custom_title=”RESPONSE IMPLEMENTED “]

The project was implemented in district Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Initially it was planned to implement it in districts Malakand and Dir as well, but in close coordination with the district government, Provincial disaster management authority (PDMA) and Pakistan Army, it was decided to implement the project in one district only in order to avoid duplication.

GOAL: To restore the lives of earthquake victims

The purpose of Rapid Response was based on the provision of relief items to earthquake victims.

For the distribution of relief packages the following methodology was adopted:

  • Initially meetings were conducted with key informants/stakeholders i.e. Assistant Commissioner, Union Councils elected representatives, Pakistan Army officials and community members.
  • In most villages Community Development Groups (CDGs) were formed. Particular attention was paid to ensure adequate representation of women in earthquake affected areas. Selection criteria was shared with CDGs and then with the affected communities.
  • Initial assessment for beneficiary identification.
  • Caritas Pakistan identified the most vulnerable earthquake affected households
  • Priority was given to female headed households, families with elderly people and households with handicapped people.
  • The lists of beneficiaries was prepared and shared with the relevant authorities (district government, PDMA officials and Pakistan Army)
  • Distribution coupons were provided to the selected households one or more days prior to the distribution. The coupons contained beneficiaries Name/Parents name, CNIC number which was signed and stamped by the Caritas Pakistan officials.
  • At the time of distribution, coupons were checked to ensure that they contained the required information and the same beneficiary was receiving the relief package. Coupons were received and relief packages handed over to beneficiaries.
  • Beneficiaries’ acknowledged the receipt of relief packages with a signature/thumb impression on acknowledgement sheet.

The majority of distributions took place at a common location in small clusters at village level, with the purpose to avoid any unfavourable situation. The local government administration and security agencies provided security during distributions. The local police and volunteers were deployed in every distribution.

Duplication of aid to the same beneficiaries was strictly watched through cross-checking of coupons. The same methodology was applied in all distributions.

A field office was established at the Public School (Presentation Convent) in Sangota, Swat. One Field Officer along with a locally hired Social Mobilizer stationed at the field office. Several male and female volunteers were also engaged for smooth implementation and detailed need assessment.


  • Result 1. 1,200 earthquake affected families have appropriate household items and withstand during winter season;
  • Result 2. 1 000 earthquake affected families have safe & adequate shelter facilities;
  • Results 3. 1200 earthquake affected families have adequate knowledge and supplies to follow safe hygiene practices;


  • 1,200 earthquake affected families received appropriate household items. Notably, kitchen sets and winterization packages helped affected families withstand the extreme winter season;
  • 779 earthquake affected families have been provided with safe & adequate emergency shelter facilities before the start of the winter season;
  • 1,200 earthquake affected families received supplies and adequate orientation to follow safe hygiene practices;

Field staff/volunteers and community health workers (government staff) provided services at community level to raise awareness and promote best hygiene practices. Hygiene promotion sessions were organized prior to the distribution of the hygiene kits which helped communities to adopt sound hygiene practices.

Distribution of Relief Package:
Overall, the set target of 1,200 households were provided with Hygiene Kits, Kitchen Sets and winterization kit (beddings) while 779 affected families have also received tents.

a) 1st Distribution

The first distribution was conducted on 11th November 2015. Details of target areas and number of beneficiaries are as follows:

District Tehsil UC No. of Beneficiary families Relief Package for each family
Swat Babuzai Tando dak 50 Kitchen Set, Hygiene Kit, Winterization kit, (bedding set)
Balogaram 25
Kambar – Rahimabad 60
Manglore 60
Guligaram 42
Damgram (Gulkada) 50
Bari Kot 63
Total 350


1Due to the widespread destruction, two distribution spots have been set-up in consultation with the concerned officials.

Initially, identification and listing of beneficiaries was done by government officials for government compensation package. They also shared the list with Caritas Pakistan’s field officer in order to synergise efforts and avoid duplication. The final selection was done by CDG and Caritas Pakistan.

The Halqa Patwaries (village Revenue Officer) was present duration distributions.
Distribution Point 1 – Balogram Ground (areas covered: Tando Dak, Balaogaram, Kambar, Manglore)
Distribution Point 2 – Patwar Khana / Press Club, Saidu Sharif (areas covered: Guligaram, Damgaram,Barikot)

b) 2nd Distribution

Pictorial view of Relief Package distribution in presence of security officials in Swat
Pictorial view of Relief Package distribution in presence of security officials in Swat

The distribution was carried out on 19 November 2015 with the help of Army and district government. 100 tents and 350 relief packages (Kitchen sets, hygiene kits and winterization bedding sets) have been distributed in collaboration with the District government and Army. Affected families of UCs Gul kada, Rang Mala, Saidu Shareef, Aman kot / Faizabad, Landikas / Malakra and Malakabad of District Swat, received the relief assistance.

As agreed, the acknowledgement list of beneficiaries was shared government authorities with purpose to avoid duplication.

c) 3rd Distribution

Mr. Victor Shad distributing relief package to affected
Mr. Victor Shad distributing relief package to affected

3rd distribution activity was held on 01 December, 2015 for 250 earthquake affected families. The distribution was carried out in the presence of District government officials i.e. Halqa Patwaris (Village Revenue Officer) and Tehsil Nazim. Target areas were UCs Odigaram, Kokari, and Nawa kiley Shah dara, Rangwala, Malukabad of Tehsil Babuzai and District Swat. Diocesan Executive Secretary / CPIR Mr. Victor Shad also participated in the distribution. 250 Relief packages and 75 tents were distributed.

d) 4th Distribution

Distribution was held on 10 December, 2015. The distribution was carried out in presence of District government officials i.e. Halqa Patwaris (Village Revenue Officer), district government representatives and Pakistan Army. Target areas were UCs– Bannr, Shahdara & Kokari. 250 Relief packages and 85 tents were distributed.

Old beneficiaries receiving relief package
Old beneficiaries receiving relief package

C) 5th Distribution
This distribution was held on December 22 & 23, 2015 for the affected families from UCs – Odigaram, Kokari, Nawa kiley Shah dara, Rangwala, Malakabad, Gulkada, Rang Mala, Saidu Shareef, Amankot and Faizabad. Two distribution points were established for affected families. Local elected representatives, district government officials and an official from Pakistan Army participated in the distributions. A total of 519 tents were provided to affected families.

Details of the target areas and number of beneficiaries are provided below:

Activity No. Date of Distribution No. of Beneficiaries Relief Package Area


11 Nov. 2015 350 Families 350 Kitchen Set,
350 Hygiene Kit,
350 Winterization kit,
Tando dak, Balogaram, Kambar – Rahimabad, Manglore, Guligaram, Damgram (Gulkada), Bari Kot
19 Nov. 2015 350 Families 350 Kitchen Set,
350 Hygiene Kit,
350 Winterization kit,
100 Tents
UCs – Gulkada, Rang Mala, Saidu Shareef, Amankot, Faizabad, Landikas/Malakra, Malakabad
01 Dec. 2015 250 Families 250 Kitchen Set,
250 Hygiene Kit,
250 Winterization kit,
75 Tents
UCs – Odigaram, Kokari, Nawa kiley Shah dara, Rangwala, Malakabad
10 Dec. 2015 250 Families 250 Kitchen Set,
250 Hygiene Kit,
250 Winterization kit,
85 Tents
UCs – Bannr, Shahdara & Kokari
5th Distribution 22 &23 Dec. 2015 519 families 519 tents UCs – Odigaram, Kokari, Nawa kiley Shah dara, Rangwala, Malakabad, Gulkada, Rang Mala, Saidu Shareef, Amankot, Faizabad,

Staff orientation:
Two training sessions were organized for staffs and volunteers on the code of conduct and on DRR/ integration of basic preparedness concepts even in the response phase. The same knowledge was transferred to Community Development Groups (CDGs) and further to beneficiaries during meetings and sessions. Government officials and local representatives were also oriented about the need for and basic concepts of preparedness.

[td_block_text_with_title custom_title=”BENEFICIARIES”]


Total no. of households: 1,200
Total no. of individuals: 84,000 (1200×7)
Average HH size: 7

Involvement of beneficiaries
The involvement of a wide range of beneficiaries in beneficiaries’ selection through Community Development Group (CDG) ensured that most vulnerable and deserving households received assistance. Caritas Pakistan has a history of working in the areas affected by recent earthquake through a wide range of different interventions. Caritas Pakistan has staff from the same areas, therefore field staff is very well aware of the cultural norms and behaviour of the communities which helped in selecting the deserving households and ensured a smooth implementation of the program with maximum participation of the communities.

Community Development Groups (CDGs) were formed in every village/settlement prior to the identification of the beneficiaries. These groups were educated about the selection criteria of beneficiaries therefore. . Caritas Pakistan staff facilitated the process without exerting any pressure on CDGs.

It was ensured that affected/deserving households were given priority:

  • Women have difficulty to access facilities because of cultural limitations. Caritas Pakistan ensured that accurate information on relief assistance reached women. Distributions were well organised and planned, and could be easily accessed by women.
  • Low income HHs and daily wagers are already neglected members of society and during disasters they risk to lose everything including livelihood opportunities. Therefore it becomes extremely hard for them to cover their basic needs for food, health and shelter. Caritas Pakistan prioritised these HH during beneficiary selection.

Caritas Pakistan raised the awareness of CDGs and other stakeholders to ensure that people with disabilities had access to relief. Pakistani society is not supportive of people with disabilities. Therefore in the time of a disaster they face the high risk of being neglected Caritas Pakistan prioritised households with a disabled member.

[/td_block_text_with_title][td_block_text_with_title custom_title=”COORDINATIONAND SUPPORT”]

Caritas Pakistan response was in close coordination with Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), District Government Swat, Pakistan Army and UNOCHA.

Caritas Pakistan’s Team is in close coordination with all of the departments mentioned below and regular meetings were conducted before and after the provision of relief ;

  • Assistant Commissioner (AC) Mr. Ashfaq Ahmed (he also has the position of DDMU)
  • Army Representative (Stationed at AC Swat office)
  • Said Ullah – Project Officer PDMA (Stationed at Swat)
  • Tehsil Nazim of Tehsil Babuzai
  • Halqa Patwaris of target Union Councils.

Field Officer participated in a meeting held at DC Swat Office on 13 November 2015. UNOCHA, District Government Officials, PDMA along with other humanitarian agencies operative and / or planning to conduct relief activities in Swat participated. The main highlights of the meeting were the following:

  • Issue of NoC was discussed. DC Swat highlighted the issue of NoC and the problems faced by NGOs with high level Government Officials’ visit.
  • UNOCHA supported the PDMA in speedy process.
  • DC shared that the district government has drafted to develop a cost effective, EQ resistant house module in coordination and consultation with UN agencies.

Executive Secretary CPIR held a meeting with the AC Swat on 01 December 2015. During the meeting the relief activities of CPIR were discussed. AC Swat applauded the efforts of Caritas Pakistan and shared that there is still a huge need for relief material in the upper areas. He shared that there is eminent need of shelter reconstruction and if Caritas starts its Rehabilitation activity this component should be taken into serious consideration. AC Swat also assured the cooperation of district government.

Field officer has been in continuous coordination with District Government, Pak Army and other relevant authorities. All the distributions have been carried out in close coordination and collaboration with them.

[/td_block_text_with_title][td_block_text_with_title custom_title=”SECURITY”]

  • A large number of security agencies were deployed by the government therefore no major incident occurred, even the national staff had to pass through several security checks while entering in Swat.
  • The general security situation remained volatile in most part of affected areas but there were some very high risky areas as well.

Keeping in view the fragile security situation, Caritas Pakistan developed a security strategy in consultation with district government and field teams were informed about the security procedures.

[/td_block_text_with_title][td_block_text_with_title custom_title=”MONITORING AND EVALUATION”]

Being part of whole process and executing body at village level, Community Development Groups (CDGs) regularly monitored the activities on the ground right from assessment to distribution of relief to beneficiaries. CDG also facilitated monitoring visits conducted by Caritas Pakistan and different government agencies.

At diocesan level Executive Secretary, Program Coordinator and Finance Manager CPIR, have monitored the activities on fortnightly basis. They were also present during most distributions. During the visits they checked the progress of work, met with the beneficiaries and other stakeholders.

During the response, all information was shared with relevant district government prior and after the execution of activities. The district Government also conducted monitoring visits on a regular basis and participated in all distributions.

Caritas Pakistan National Secretariat stationed in the field to speed up the process, to provide technical assistance, to be involved in the whole process and to monitoring the activities.

At National Secretariat level, a two person team comprising of a National Coordinator for DRR& Emergency Response and a Communication Officer conducted periodic monitoring visits to target areas and also participated in the activities of the project on a monthly basis.

The National Secretariat team also conducted meetings with CIMOs in county and local government officials to discuss the progress of Caritas Pakistan interventions.

Real Time Reflection
A real time reflection was conducted to capture the experience of those dealing with the initial part of the response at an early stage. The main findings were used in developing the rehabilitation plan. The real time reflection was carried out in a participatory way with field office staff, Assistant commissioner (AC) Mr. Ashfaq Ahmed of district Swat and Review Officer of village. Caritas Pakistan also engaged Mr. Zeeshan Waheed (Consultant in Disaster Risk Management) as an external observer for more transparent and actual findings of the exercise. All field staff, diocesan and national secretariat staffs engaged in the project have participated in the process. Diocesan Executive Secretary and Executive Director also participated in the process.

The following methodology was adopted for the real time reflection

  • A meeting was conducted with district government officials
  • Two focus group discussions have been organised with beneficiaries (male/female)
  • A meeting was organised with the elected representative of union councils /Village revenue officer
  • A joint consultation with national secretariat and diocesan staff was held in Rawalpindi office, the external observer facilitated the process the reflection meeting

The main findings of the real time reflection are as under:

  • Special attention was paid to vulnerable groups, including unprivileged, both by employees and involved CDGs.
  • Village committees/volunteers took part in the signing up of recipients/coupons.
  • Community members, especially females, were motivated through contribution and active participation in program actions. Strong group linkages were built, which proved a useful system to implement the response and will also be helpful for the rehabilitation stage.
  • Government authorities were fully aware of program targets and selection criteria but were not fully conscious of the budget cost.
  • Communities were conscious of the items of relief package, numbers of beneficiaries of program and selection criteria as well but don’t have knowledge about budget or of the approximated price of different tasks, especially the development of tents etc.

Lesson learned
The real time reflection identified the following major lessons learnt from the program:

  • Long term rehabilitation program are required to fulfil the needs of the affected communities.
  • Community led interventions must be supported. This has a positive impact on the effectiveness of the rapid response.
  • Efforts should be continued to enhanced communities’ participation and involvement in rehabilitation phase planning, implementation and monitoring as well.
  • More strategic efforts are required to further improve the participation of women. One way might be to involve full time female staff.
  • Strong linkages with government and Pakistan army are required in affected areas.

On job training or workshops for newly hired local staff as well are required for the effectiveness of the programme.

[/td_block_text_with_title][td_block_text_with_title custom_title=”SUSTAINABILITY”]

The rapid response covered the immediate needs of earthquake victims, Caritas Pakistan has designed interventions that responded to the ongoing crisis but also have long term impact i.e. the provision of kitchen sets is beneficial for the long term as beneficiaries will not have to buy them again.

Even in a 2 months duration project, Caritas Pakistan has initiated a continuous connection with communities. Significant knowledge and skills were transferred to build resilience at community level through hygiene promotion sessions. Hygiene promotion helped communities improve the quality of lives by mitigating risks breakout of diseases in the future.

The knowledge gained by Community Development Groups (CDGs), beneficiaries and Government officials through sessions on preparedness will help communities and Government Units be better prepared for future disasters.


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