An idea, based on the donation of thoughts and ideas, rendered effective by closely working with all organizations that share similar goals: to help resettle the Indus.
I. Documentation, Assessment, Research
It is imperative to be able to create a network of organizations/NGO’s/individuals working and living in the flood affected areas in order to be assess the kind of rehabilitative efforts that would need to be initiated.
Besides circulating a survey form, which covers information such as assessment of current situation of infrastructure, sanitation, water, hygiene, housing, etc., we are currently gathering all data being made available through various organizations working for the flood relief effort.
Besides gathering data to channelize rehabilitation efforts, it is being attempted to look at the bigger picture, in order to equip us enough so that such a natural disaster does not have catastrophic consequences as this one. Topics being researched are vocational training for emergency reconstruction, policy revisions needed in order to avert such disasters,
After assessing and documenting several locations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and South Punjab, we have developed proposals for complete village rehabilitation that explain in detail the step by step process that can be followed by the locals in order to reconstruct their villages. These proposals have been prepared keeping the following in mind:
- This is a tragedy; this is not an opportunity. It is really important to not consider this disaster as an opportunity to experiment with radical ideas to improve the lifestyles of the people affected, which in this case unfortunately is the rural population.
- Keeping that in mind, we have to come up with solutions that are culturally and socially relevant.
- It is extremely important to rely on available resources, systems and materials, and not to try and bring in ‘imported’ ideas, methods and materials. The idea behind any rehabilitation project is to deliver results in a cost-effective and efficient way, which is best achieved by understanding the local lifestyles and their indigenous methods.
- Give a sense of ownership to the locals. As has been observed in multiple community initiatives all over the world, rehabilitation efforts work best when done at the grassroots level by involving the community by making them feel responsible for any kind of work carried out.
- Involve the women of the community.
These proposals have been forwarded to numerous NGO’s and (government/private) organizations working in the field for rehabilitation of the affected, and have been receiving positive feedback. If you wish to go through the proposals, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE: Since a step-by-step process of self-help is being adapted in villages along the Indus, we have begun taking on the next most immediate challenge to resettling the people along the Indus. While the local villagers are mobilized in a process to rebuild their individual homes, we can begin taking the responsibility to rebuild, for them, the civil buildings and sensible infrastructure of paths and drainage systems for all villages where the works of rehabilitation have already begun by the local population. By keeping the villagers involved in the rehabilitation process as much as possible, they will inevitable learn the processes to take on the larger tasks in developing their village.
These civil buildings would be: Primary schools, Mosques, Medical Clinic, Local Shops and a small cottage industry to teach crafts to villagers.
In doing so, we will be able to stay in direct exposure to the rehabilitation of houses that get done by the local villagers, helping us to maintain a presence to help them along the process. A prototype for each category of building will soon be developed (planned). The prototype will help us determine rough cost of each building. We can then experiment with usage of materials to make cost-effective buildings. This information will then be made available to any donor, NGO, student university/organization who is willing to take initiative in building for these villages the next set of things required once their homes are built: a. Primary school, b. Mosque, c. Medical Centre, d. Shops, e. Cottage industries, d. Clean/clear roads, e. Proper drainage systems.