Aasthan Latif Welfare Society has been actively engaged in disaster response & humanitarian aid activities. So far some following activities have been carried out by ALWS from the year 1989 to 2014 under this program :
- Disaster Management & Risks Reduction Program (2012-2013)
- Rain, cyclone & draught affectees Assistance
- Cloths, Sweaters, Shoes, Warm Cloths to poor families.
- Free textbooks, & Scholarships to poor students
- Earthquake response program.
Rain, Cyclone, Flood & Drought Affected Assistance:
The coastal areas of district Thatta have been victims of rain and cyclone since ages. Since its establishment in 1989, ALWS has been actively engaged in the relief activities of the affectess of rain, cyclone & draught through provision of free transportation to victims /affectees to safe areas/ camps, food, cloths etc. Cash donations have also been distributed among poor through zakat distribution.
In the year 2010. Aasthan Latif Welfare Society initiated its relief activities during the unprecedented rains and the worst ever natural catastrophe in the form of a flood in District Thatta. It raised more than 2 million Pak rupees donations from its well wishers, members & philanthropists. It provided some following relief to flood victims:
Establishment of 50 tents – tent city in front of ALWS, Makli Office and provided shelter to 50 families with food, water, cloths & other necessary required items for more than 1 month.
- Food items / rations / drinking water and jucices to more than 100 other families in Taluka Mirpur Bathoro, Jati, Shah Bunder & Sujawal of the district.
- Cash donations to 50 families.
- Transportation facility to their villages for return.
- Medical camps through Homeopathic doctors.
- Many More
Disaster Management & Risks Reduction Program:
Aasthan Latif Welfare Society started its disaster awareness & risk reduction program in the 15 villages of the district Thatta and Sujawal with an objective to create awareness & raise consciousness among children & youths about hazards of disasters and risks reduction measures and improve their level of knowledge & skills to cope up with disasters due to rain & flood.
In this regard, some following activities were carried out in the 15 targeted villages of Union Council Bijoro of the district Thatta:
- Social Gatherings/ Seminars for Community Awareness on DRR.
- 15 Community Youth disaster management groups formation (50% female members)
- Capacity Building Training of 15 community youth groups
- Poster on DRR
- Networking of Youth Group of UC Level
These 15 organized CYDMDs were further empowered and strengthened through imparting 2 days necessary capacity building training (separate for males & females) with an objective to enhance their knowledge as well as equip them with skills and tools to effectively run & manage affairs of CYDMGs and to cope up with any alarming situation arises due to heavy rains and flood forecasts in their respective villages.
Earthquake Disaster Relief Program:
Some parts of NWFP province of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir faced a heavy earthquake (7.6-magnitude) at 8:42 AM on 8th October 2005 which resulted in damage to many buildings and have claimed many lives in these regions. This high magnitude quake has wiped out several villages and so far killed at least 85,000 people and injured 80,000. An estimated more three million people became homeless. Therefore, in order to cope up with the challenge of providing better shelter to our dear fellow citizens who were the victims of 8th October 2005 natural disaster/ earthquake, Aasthan Latif Welfare Society initiated its disaster response—shelter project through installing pre-fabricated houses in the affected areas in order to provide better shelters to the homeless victims of the affected region.
We are very proudly to state that we were the first organization who presented such a practical & viable solution to provide better shelters to earthquake victims than tents and one of our model houses type ‘A’ placed at PAF Museum, Karachi on 13th October 2005 just after 5 days after earthquake.
Aasthan Latif Welfare Society designed, manufactured and installed three types of dwellings and installed in earthquake affected areas of Gharri Duppatta, Timmy, Mustanba, Malooka, of AJK and Ghata Sheri, Thakot Barser & Jeeraid of KPK province during the year 2005-2006.
Cloths, Sweaters, Shoes, Warm Cloths to poor children & women:
Every year in the winter season since 1989, ALWS used to distribute free warm cloths & sweaters to rural population of district Thatta especially females & children. It has so far distributed hundred of thousands of cloths & sweaters to poor. Similarly, ALWS is also engaged in free distribution of shoes to school children of the district Thatta.
Women Led DRR Project:
In the year 2014-15, ALWS initiated and advanced its objectives of women empowerment for protection of their rights in case of any emergencies and disasters through implementation of its project titled “Women Led DRR and Resilience Project” in the 15 villages of the districts of Thatta and Sujawal of Sindh Province, Pakistan with some following objectives:
¨ To build leadership among women in the areas of disaster risk reduction and resilience.
¨ To link women and their networks to the media to raise their issues.
¨ To advocate for gender sensitive disaster prevention policies and practices and support to improve some local infrastructures.
In order to achieve objectives of the project, some following activities carried out and outputs achieved during the 8 months project period:
- Community Awareness & Mobilization Meetings:
A total 60 community awareness & mobilization meetings carried out in 15 targeted villages. As an outputs & outcomes of these meetings, 1386 community members participated and their knowledge level increased about disasters and participatory efforts for disaster risk reduction and role of females during emergencies & disasters. Community members themselves provided their feedback about the potential risks as per their local conditions and risk reduction/ mitigation strategies and resilience. Through these meetings, 30 community volunteers / focal persons (15 males & 15 females) also identified in 15 targeted villages for this project.
- Female Groups Capacity Building and Leadership Training:
Fifteen (15) village Female’s Disaster Resilience Groups (VFDRGs) formation meetings organized with total 472 females. As an outcome 15 groups formed with total 375 members (300 females & 75 males) in 15 targeted villages with increased knowledge about the roles and responsibilities of these groups.
One 5 days capacity building training of 15 Female Groups (7 members per group) organized.
iii. Capacity Building Training of Female Groups:
In order to strengthen “Village Women’s Disaster Preparedness & Management Groups” and building their capacity, 5 days training of 15 groups organized in which 103 females participated.
As an outcome participants have increased knowledge level about meaning and essence of an organization, organizational structure for CO, VO & LSOs & record keeping, organizational behaviour, use and process organizational management tool, Difference between manger & leader and able to define disaster, hazard, risk, elements at risk, vulnerability, capacity, response, relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction, development, mitigation, preparedness and prevention & early warning system.
- Networking & Capacity Building of “Village Women’s Disaster Preparedness &
In order to further strengthen and mobilize trained 15 “Village Women’s Disaster Preparedness & Management Groups” and streamlining their activities and providing them a platform to raise their issues and voices at union council and district level for achieving their groups objectives, they were networked through formation of 3 “Women Disaster Preparedness & Management Networks”. These networks were built at union council levels i.e. at UC Bijoro, Bello and Sonda.
These networks were constituted through meeting of all female groups at UC level in which 5 office bearer/females of respective village participated. As a result of these meeting with an agenda to form women networks at Union Council level, following 3 networks were formed through consensus among members/ participants.
- Women Disaster Preparedness & Management Networks, UC Bijoro with 18 members from 9 villages (2/village) of UC Bijoro, District Sujawal.
- Women Disaster Preparedness & Management Networks, UC Bello with 12 members from 4 villages (3/village) of UC Bello, District Sujawal.
- Women Disaster Preparedness & Management Networks, UC Bijoro with 8 members from 2 villages (4/village) of UC Bijoro, District Thatta.
To further strengthen and build capacity of three constituted Union Council Female’s Disaster Risks Reduction & Resilience Networks of Union Council Bijoro, Bello and Sonda, they were further provided training through meetings and material/ stationary support
- Improved Coordination with District Authorities:
The 15 “Village Women’s Disaster Preparedness & Management Groups” through their Union Council Female’s Disaster Risks Reduction & Resilience Networks were facilitated in building their linkages and coordination with district DRR authorities so they may benefit through government programs and initiatives for providing necessary support for their networks in case of any disaster in the district to help their communities for disaster’s risks reduction initiatives. In this regard, district social welfare officer who is also focal person for District Disaster Management Authority oriented these 3 women networks through 1 day session with each Network.
vii. Community’s Disaster Management Plan Development:
One day workshops / meetings were organized with each Village Women’s Disaster Preparedness & Management Groups in their respective villages for designing and development of their own Community’s Disaster Management Plans for females. As an output of this activity, 15 contingency plans has been developed with consultation of female groups and now they have their own village’s contingency plan to cope up with any disaster situation in their respective villages.
viii. Support Community’s Disaster Management / Contingency Plans:
In order to support, contingency plans of 15 Women’s Disaster Preparedness & Management Groups, material support has been provided to each group in the second quarter of the project. Some of the items in the provided DRR kit include:
1) Blood Pressure Check Apparatus with Stethoscope
2) First Aid Box with Necessary Items/ Medicines
3) Wheelbarrows Steel Fold 4 ply Tyre and Tube
4) Wheel Chair
6) Pick axes (with handles) (Tekum)
7) Axes with handle (Koharo)
8) Shovels No. 5 with handle (Kodal )
9) Plier 8″ with rubber insulation
10) Electric tester
11) Hand held torches Solar Powered
12) Main Climbing Rope
13) Safety Rope
14) Radio Set
As an output & outcome of this activity, 15 Women’s Disaster Preparedness & Management Groups are well equipped with necessary DRR kit in support of their own developed Community’s Disaster Management / Contingency Plans.
ix. Community’s Training / Practice / Orientation Disaster Management Plan:
In order to provide practical knowledge for implementation of the community contingency plans, 15 sessions conducted in each village in which practical knowledge was imparted to 300 female group members by a medical practitioner about the use of BP apparatus and first aid. He also briefed lecture to each group about the possible health impacts on community members in case of any disaster and what could be the first aid remedies provided to affected person at local level. Apart from providing practical knowledge imparted to female groups, session was also carried out with female group about use of hardware equipment provided in DRR kit and how could be used to minimize risks and preparedness in case of any disaster threats. As a result, more than 300 females are well aware of possible measures for disaster preparedness and better management and also have increased knowledge about risks reduction measures at local level to minimized losses.
x. Advocacy & Social Mobilization:
As a part of community awareness & education on theme of DRR, 12 functions/ events / seminars organized in 12 villages during the the project period in which more than 3000 community members participated and have increased knowledge level about disaster, its hazards and need & importance at preventive measures at local level . In these events, apart from speeches by local community members, notables, guests and other speakers, 45 minutes stage theatre/ drama also played by local theatre group on the need & importance of disaster preparedness, collective efforts to reduce disaster risks and role of women.
As a part of community awareness & education through media campaign on theme of DRR, one poster designed, published and pasted on prominent places of 15 ALWS targeted villages during the month of September 2014. The message reached to more than 3000 community members on the need & importance of disaster preparedness and collective efforts to reduce disaster risks.
In the second quarter of the project, as a part of community mobilization, one public awareness rally was organized on 29th November 2014 in which 132 community members (22 males & 110 females) participated from the 5 targeted villages. The majority of the participants belonged to the female groups of Bijoro Union Council of district Sujawal.
The rally organized in the city of Thatta in which participants walked from Deputy Commissioner office to Press Club and raised plycards and banners on DRR and presented their demands at press club Makli for protection of their rights, demanding district DRR authorities for adequate preventive measures in case of any disaster threat and inclusion of community members in the district DRR committee. The local print media also provided coverage to this event and published about this rally news in their daily newspapers.