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Pakistan - Katastrofen forværres af vintervejr og ødelagte boliger

PAKISTAN: Winter tents needed now

IRINnews.org, 19. oktober 2005

Det største problem i jordskælvets skygge er telte - mange telte, og telte, der er vejrbestandige. Op mod tre millioner mennesker har mistet deres boliger, vinteren er på vej og mange af de nødstedte er man end ikke nået frem til på grund af de meget vanskelige naturmæssige forhold. En meget stor del af de nødstedte kan kun nås til fods.

The need for winterised tents is now a priority - ©  Tahira Sarwar/IRIN
MUZAFFARABAD, 19 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - “Tent please,” Muhammad Rustam pleads. “We don’t need food. Just give me a tent, just one tent,” the father of two adds, crying in the open air in quake-devastated Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

But with more than three million people left homeless by the deadly quake that ripped through northern Pakistan on 8 October, there are simply not enough tents to meet the demand.

“We’ve already exhausted all the supplies of tents in Pakistan,” said Amanda Pitt, a spokeswoman at the UN Emergency Response Centre in the capital Islamabad. “Over 30,000 have been delivered. Another 150,000 are in the pipeline.”

Pitt said it was impossible to accurately assess how many tents were needed but authorities were working on a homeless figure of between 2.8 million and 3.2 million, with an average of five members per family.

According to preliminary estimates by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 250,000 to 450,000 winterised tents were needed.

On Tuesday, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) launched a worldwide appeal for winterised tents.

“The window of opportunity for saving the lives of earthquake survivors is closing fast,” said IOM Director General Brunson McKinley. “Victims have been exposed to freezing temperatures and heavy rainfalls for 11 days now. It is vital to get them into shelter.”

IOM has appealed to NATO, governments and international bodies with air transport resources to help move tents and other essential relief items into Pakistan and onwards to remote mountain communities.

Meanwhile, as aid agencies scrambled to deliver warm tents before snowfalls set in, the Pakistan government said it was banning the export of all tents to ensure maximum availability for quake victims.

Federal Relief Commissioner Maj-Gen Farooq Ahmad Khan said 37 tent-making factories in the country were capable of producing 75,000 tents daily.

“All exports of tents have been banned with effect from today (Tuesday),” Pakistan daily The News quoted Khan as saying.

Khan said the country was in dire need of weather-protected tents. “All the tents produced in the country may not be weather-protected but these will be helpful in improving the situation at a time when more than three million people have been rendered homeless,” he said.

Time, however, is running out and with a death toll estimated by the UN to have already passed 40,000, aid workers warn an even greater humanitarian crisis is looming.

“The situation is dire,” Ismail Yaqab, manager of the UK-based charity Islamic Relief, said in Muzaffarabad.

“The disaster is unimaginably horrific. We’ve got to keep the pressure up, keep donating, keep going, keep helping if we are going to make any real difference in the lives of the victims.”

Yaqab said over 70 percent of the affected population had not been reached, and in outlying areas, no house was standing.

“There is nowhere for shelter in such cold and rainy weather. Every structure that could have served as shelter, such as schools and hospitals, [is] already destroyed,” he said.

© IRIN - This article appeared originally on IRIN News.org and is published by engelund.dk according a general agreement. To view the original article, please click here.
IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks) is a project of UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
[This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.]


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Opdateret d. 9.1.2006