Emergency aid and village reconstruction Image 1

Emergency aid and village reconstruction

INDIA (Kashmir)

Project in numbers

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Location

Kashmir – Sahadra, Western Himalaya

Project Duration

2005–2007

What happened?

A devastating earthquake occurred in the western Himalayas on the morning of October 8, 2005. Places like Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Muzaffarabad, Uri, Baramula and Sri Nagar suffered extensive damage.Several thousands of people died, and more than 80% of the houses in Uri and Handwara either collapsed or underwent extensive damage.

AMURT International arrived in Sri Nagar in order to assess people’s needs in the affected areas. AMURT visited a number of devastated areas at Baramula sector and finally decided to improve the living conditions of the earthquake survivors of the Uri Sector. AMURT intended to intervene with a community-centred response for shelter development.

The Uri Sector was one of the most badly affected areas. Approximately 922 lives were lost, 5,209 people were injured, and 1,286 people went missing in 65 villages; 5,000 homes collapsed. Electricity supply lines, telephone lines, road networks, community and religious centres, market places, schools and health facilities of incalculable value were destroyed.

Since October 8, 2005, a number of efforts had been made by the Government of India and humanitarian agencies to recover this sector. Yet, socio-economic problems mainly with recreating livelihood bases and finding permanent settlements for the displaced people became clearly obvious.

What we did

Relief operation in winter

In 2005, winter in Kashmir started in November. Roads narrowed due to the high snow fall. Mountain areas, where most of the villagers live, became inaccessible due to landslides. Hence, it was impossible to start with the reconstruction of new homes before the end of the winter in February. During the winter, people were forced to live in tents.
In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake and throughout the winter, AMURT distributed food, blankets, clothes, firewood and approximately 200 water tanks to the affected people near Chhappar and Sahadra village in the Uri sector.

Reconstruction of houses

Upon completion of relief activities in these areas, AMURT started with the reconstruction of fully-damaged houses for 160 families in Sahadra Village in the Uri sector. Beneficiaries had been identified in close coordination with the relevant village authorities, the Uri sub divisional magistrate office, and the Army media unit.

In total, AMURT had pledged to provide 160 houses, of which, 63 were constructed in the village in 2006. On November 4 2006, AMURT handed over the newly built houses to the earthquake victims. The 63 houses were built in this village with the help of the community, who provided the manpower. The construction materials were provided by AMURT. The transport of the materials turned out to be very strenuous as the Sahadra village is situated in the high mountains.

Project Partners

Foundation „Life for All“ Switzerland / Germany / India

Project Duration

Project Start
2005
Project End
2007

Impressions

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