Singapore’s own and only implementing humanitarian relief and development NGO, Mercy Relief (MR), today completed its reconstruction programme at Taluka Jati, District Thatta in the southern Pakistani province of Sindh. Partnering the National Rural Support Programme (NRSP), a residential estate for 50 flood-affected families was established to house and provide a base for the families to rebuild their lives.
Each house measures 192 sqft and comprising a bedroom, kitchen, veranda and toilet. In addition, each family is provided with a plot of garden space to farm vegetables for household consumption, and another 84-acre communal plot to grow commercial crops.
(top left) Post-floods devastation at Wazir Ali Jat village in 2010. (top right) MR Assistant Director Jaffar Mydin (wearing cap) and NRSP partners seeking inputs from villagers at one of the community discussions for reconstruction planning of the village in 2011.
(bottom) Houses with a new Lease : The villagers who provided sweat equity towards the project now enjoy a new lease of life with a promising future.
Wazir Ali Jat village in District Thatta was chosen due to the strong desire and enthusiasm of the flood-affected community to embrace development and actively participate in the rebuilding of their lost homes and livelihoods. The community contributed ‘sweat equity’ by providing their time and labour towards the construction of their respective houses, with masonry training and supervision provided by the project partners throughout the reconstruction period.
The aim of the integrated reconstruction approach of low-cost model village project includes reviving of livestock & agriculture farming to enable the residents of Wazir Ali Jat to get back on tracks and to move on into the future independently. Each family was provided with 11 chickens (10 hens + 1 rooster) and 3 goats (2 female + 1 male).
At the completion ceremony in Thatta, MR Chief Executive Hassan Ahmad said in his speech, “This reconstruction project not only provides the survivors with new homes but also new lease of life including livelihood opportunities. With better village infrastructure and healthier living environment through environment-friendly practices e.g. proper waste management, improved water & sanitation systems, and energy-efficient cooking stoves, the community is expected to be in a much better position moving forward, both economically and socially. This would provide the community with the enhanced capacity to face future challenges, working together to serve one another in times of crises, such as severe rains and winters.”
(From left) After unveiling the project plaque which signifies the completion of the project together with NRSP General Manager Ali Javad, MR Chief Executive Hassan Ahmad presented the certificates of ownership to the families, observed by Singapore’s Assistant Honorary Consul-General in Pakistan, Jamil Ahmed Mughal (seated right). CE Hassan thenmet and personally thanked Mr Wazir Ali Jat (in light blue traditional outfit), who donated his family’s land for the housing reconstruction.
The 11-month reconstruction project, which cost SGD223,000, was funded by the people in Singapore, comprising donors from various ages, races and religions.
Mr Wazir Ali Jat, 50, who donated 14,000m2 of his family’s land to support the reconstruction, remarked with great joy, “You saw our houses before this (reconstruction), and today you can see the happiness on the faces of the villagers. We – the men, women and children of this village – will always remember the people of Singapore for the support they have provided us.”
From top left – (Photos 1 & 2) Livelihood enhancement project includes supply of goats and chickens to enable families to be more economically stable and independent. (Photo 3) Easier access to clean water through the construction of supply pipelines, storage tanks and distribution system allow for better hygiene and improved health. (Photo 4) A solid waste management system was introduced to cultivate the villagers’ mindset and culture of sorting reusable waste and environment-friendly lifestyle. (Photo 5) The green green fields of Wazir Ali Jat brighten the lives, spirits and futures of its villagers.
The first MR response team was dispatched to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa within 48hours from the appeal made by the Pakistani High Commissioner in Singapore in 2010. MR had worked alongside committed local humanitarian organisations and relevant institutions, namely the NRSP; the Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA), the Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) and the South City Hospital during the emergency, rehabilitation and reconstruction phases. Medical personnel from Singapore’s largest health cluster, Singhealth, was deployed as part of the Singaporean aid. A total of SGD 1.7 million has been spent over the 3 phases of assistance since August 2012.
For news coverage by ChannelnewsAsia on Mercy Relief, click here.
About Mercy Relief
Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance.
In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.
For more information, you may call us at 6514 6322 or email firstname.lastname@example.org