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Surviving on the Faultline: 3 years after the earthquake . . .realities of people’s lives

by sacw.net, 6 October 2008

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From: Rashida Dohad at oakdf.org.pk>
- Date: Sun, Oct 5, 2008 at 5:27 PM

Dear friends:

In 2007-08, Omar Asghar Khan Development Foundation and its local community partners in the earthquake-affected areas of Hazara conducted research on the government’s rehabilitation policies and performance. The findings of the research provide evidence showing:

1. The pace of rehabilitation is unacceptably slow. There is little
progress against the government’s planned targets for rehabilitation which
is adversely impacting the lives of people already affected by the quake.
People’s testimonies of slow pace are also supported by ERRA’s own data
drawn from its August 2008 report;

2. The government’s rehabilitation policies are not supporting people.
The research has focused on the government’s subsidy for house
reconstruction. The analysis shows that even if an affected
individual/household is able to access the full subsidy amount of
Rs.175,000, net loss incurred is Rs.23,671. This is due to the out-of-pocket
expenses incurred to access the subsidy and the opportunity costs due to
loss of income while pursuing the subsidy. Moreover, the value of the
subsidy promised in 2006 has nearly halved in 2008 due to inflation.

These findings demand urgent policy attention. Without prompt reform
measures, the people affected by the devastating 2005 earthquake will
continue to shoulder the burdens placed by ineffective policies that are
inefficiently implemented.

The Foundation’s research conducted in 2007-08, is based on 37 Village
Rehabilitation Action Plans prepared by local people in 37 villages of 15
affected union councils of Districts Battagram, Mansehra and Abbottabad of
NWFP. It also draws on the findings of a questionnaire survey and 45 case
studies that estimate the costs incurred by local people to access the
government’s subsidy for house reconstruction. Local affected people were
involved in data collection and analysis.

The findings of the research are presented in the Foundation’s publication:
Surviving on the Faultline (will be available on 6 October). The enclosed
media brief (hard copy also available on 6 October) presents a summary of
the findings of the research. It provides evidence of people’s lives for
journalists investigating the impact of government’s rehabilitation
policies. Official data is also presented to assist a comparison of people’s
analysis against the government’s reported performance. And, a selection of human stories is included that help understand lives behind the statistics.
Names used in the case studies have been changed to protect people’s
identities.

People affected by the quake will travel to Islamabad and will be here from
6-8 October to present their testimonies, their realities, and their Charter
of Demands. Details of events planned on 6, 7, and 8 October in Islamabad
have been sent to your offices. We will ensure that you are kept updated and informed about the activities.

Soon after the disaster struck in 2005, the media played a sterling role in
projecting the realities of those that perished in the quake and the
survivors. On the occasion of the third anniversary of the quake (8th
October 2008), survivors look to continued media support as they strive to
rebuild their homes and lives.

All best,

Rashida Dohad (Programme Director) and Ali Asghar Khan (Executive Director)
Omar Asghar Khan Development Foundation

See: Media Brief 1 | Media Brief 2
- For More information people may contact the Omar Asghar Khan Development Foundation