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KLWT IDPs Relief
 Bhunja Visit Report (July 01 – July 03, 2006)

Jawad Khan

Need Assessment Leader


Dr Ayaz Khan, Dr Sami Ullah Khan and Jawad Khan made a visit to Bhunja Valley from 1-3 July 2006. The purpose of the visit was to carry out an assessment of the progress of the Schools and Basic Health Unit project and also carry out necessary coordination with all concerned offices. The dates of the visit were planned keeping in view the closing dates of the schools for summer vacations.


The condition of the road from Islamabad to Fareedabad has improved considerably since the earthquake. The density of the traffic has come to normal and the return of the people to their native villages from tent villages has helped in opening the roadside shops etc due to which all amenities are easily available throughout the journey.

The monsoon rains however do block the road every now and then. This has been addressed by the Army Engineers who are deployed all along the route by placing dozers and earth moving machinery at intervals. Care is needed once passing through slide prone areas especially between Balakot and Paras.

The track linking Fareedabad with Bhuja remains precarious and all care is needed to traverse it. Although a French NGO, ACTED, is doing a great job by keeping it open through regular maintenance but travelling on the track needs to be avoided during rains and hours of low visibility.

Project Coordination

A number of coordination issues were addressed during this trip. On 1 July ,in Mansehra, after Mr Zahid Jamil joined us from Bhunja, Mr Shahjee, EDO was called upon. This meeting helped in addressing all educational related matters with the EDO. These issues included the supply of furniture, the positing in of the required teachers and the confirmation of the duration of the summer vacations. The Meeting in Mansehra with the EDO was followed up with a meeting with the ADO   ( Mr Akbar sadiq) showed enroute to Bhunja>

The next coordination meeting was held on the same day with Mr Intisaar of Rural Water Supply, Sanitation Services Pakistan (RWSSP). He was found very forthcoming in extending all possible help in providing water and sanitation facilities to Schools and Basic Health Unit (BHU). His team had already visited the site few weeks ago after which Mr Intisaar ensured KLWT team that during the current week the installation work will commence.

On 2 July, Mr Marc of Medicin du Mond (MDM) was invited to the field HQ of KLWT at Bhunja to coordinate all issues related to medical. Mr Marc was updated about KLWT’s future plans about the reconstruction of BHU. He was also informed about the correspondence taking place between KLWT and ERRA on the subject. Mr Marc confirmed further coordination between MDM and KLWT in the future also to ensure better medical facilities for the people of Bhunja Valley. MDM will get back to KLWT about its future plans after their major meeting scheduled in the second week of July. As the first measure, MDM showed its desire to shift their present camp to any suitable place inside Bhunja Village.

On 2 July, a coordination meeting was also held between KLWT team and the teaching staff of all schools. In this meeting, issues related to the working of the school after the summer vacations were discussed. The utilization of marquees, the layout of the classes, the preparation of the lists for uniform items and the overall state of teachers were discussed in detail.

Meeting with Elders and Nobles of Bhunja Valley

KLWT team held an important and a historic meeting with elders and the nobles of Bhunja Valley. Representatives of all villages, social workers and community representatives attended this meeting. The faculty members of schools were also present. KLW T Project Director, Dr Ayaz Khan headed the meeting in which three main issues of the ongoing project were addressed. These are:

  • The concerned authorities be asked to ensure complete demarcation of the boundaries of all government buildings and removal of all illegal encroachments.
  • The location of Government Girls Primary School be switched with Government Boys Primary School
  • Basic Health Unit be re-established in Bhunja with full medical facilities.

All attending the meeting then signed a document to be passed on to concerned offices through KLWT for the voice of the people of Bhunja Valley to reach out of the mountains of Kaghan. Project Director, Dr Ayaz Khan, did emphasize to all the importance of living in peace and harmony. He said that recovering after such a major calamity necessitates tolerance, patience and affection. These attributes are a must to ensure that every person of Bhunja Valley benefits from the ongoing rehabilitation projects in the area.

Work and Coordination on Project Site

During this visit, following issues were addressed related to the Project Site:

Demarcation of the boundary. The visit by concerned revenue department officer is still awaited however work on the western wall of school has commenced. The overall work on the parameter wall will commence once the land is demarcated and all illegal encroachments are removed.

Filling and Levelling of Land.By bringing all the boys schools in one locality the need for a playing ground has increased. With this in view, filling and levelling of the low-lying ground has commenced for which the rubble is being used. This has been planned in order to ensure that the transitory phase does not get hampered once the main construction work starts.

Plantation. With the arrival of monsoons, a need was felt to plan plantation on the site also. For this it was decided to plan all this in a way to ensure that the efforts do not go waste on the commencement of the main construction work. Project Coordinator was tasked to plan the plantation of grass, tree saplings and flower seeds in and around the construction site.

Water and Sanitation Facilities. Sites for water and sanitation facilities were selected for all schools. Special attention was paid to the hygiene, health and environment issues once deciding the final sites.<

Space for MDM. As MDM is presently running medical facilities in Bhunja Valley so on request of their representative, Mr Marc, an area was selected and allocated for housing their set up. They are likely to be shifting to within Bhunja Valley after finalization of their future plans i.e by the end of July.

Alignment of Track Within Bhunja Village. KLWT team identified the alignment of the track passing through the village as a source of major discontentment between the villagers. In order to address this irritable issue and to bring about more harmony amongst them, KLWT team carried out a survey to look for more options in constructing the track. It was then decided that this would be addressed with the village elders and nobles at an appropriate time.

Prize Distribution Ceremonies in Bhunja Schools

Prize distribution ceremonies were held in all schools of Bhunja. This marked the first ‘happy event’ for the young boys and girls of the valley post 8 Oct 05. This ceremony was held for the boys primary and secondary schools on 29 Jun and was organized by Project Coordinator with the help from two volunteers of University of Edinburgh, Adil and Sam. Prizes were given to the first three position holders in each class.

KLWT team held and organized the same ceremony for Girls Primary School on 2 July. Miss Noreen arranged the function on the new premises of the school. It was a delightful event with young girls dressed in their best clothes and sparkling eyes and glowing faces who had some happy moments not far from the rubble where many of their school mates had perished last year. Dr Sami Ullah Khan gave away prizes to the position holders. Dr Ayaz spoke to the young students after which the lone school teacher, Miss Noreen, thanked KLWT for providing help to the young boys and girls of the Valley for getting back into studies as the schools of Bhunja Valley are the only schools north of Balakot to be opened.

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