We would like to draw your attention towards the devastation caused by flash floods in a very remote area of Pakistan that still lies unnoticed and abandoned by the Government of Pakistan and the news media.
The University of Lahore (UOL) Relief Team visited the area after getting a distress call from a local member of the community named Qari Rehmat Ullah
You may kindly note that The Trekking Team of UOL has been to the area many times in the past and has developed strong ties with the community there.
The village of Tatto is located in the Himalayas near the foothills of Nanga Parbat. This village lies along the Raikot Nalla which emerges from Raikot Glacier. This year due to unusually heavy monsoon rains, the Nalla caused immense damage to the village of Tatto, which already is a very poor community.
The terrain to Tatto Village is very tough. Not many people can reach this area because of the dangerous jeep road at a very steep and high altitude. The meager earnings by the locals are made only during three months in a year as jeep fare and porterage.
Tatto Village is famously known as the ‘Jeep Stop’ for all expeditions going to Fairy Meadows and Nanga Parbat Base camp. Their livelihood depends on livestock, agriculture and small time tourism. The flash flood has destroyed all these sources of sustenance.
The village of Tatto was severely hit during the earthquake in 2002. The extent of abandonment from the government of Pakistan can only be gauged by the fact that the buildings destroyed during that time still lie wrecked and desolated. This year however we want the world to hear about their plight and we want to help them rebuild their washed -away village, which exists no more.
The population of this village is approximately 1500. The community here moves with the change in seasons. Approximately 100 households have a permanent home at Tatto. Their crops are sown and harvested on the slopes at Phantori near Fairy Meadows and Jale at Tatto. However, their livelihood depends on having permanent winter and summer abodes from Bayal to Gunar Farm for timely migration during heavy snowfalls. They can only bring down their livestock from grazing grounds at high altitudes to lower areas once the crops have been completely harvested there. This is done on fixed dates during the year when the whole community shifts lower during winters.
The Village of Tatto plays a central role in these migrations for the survival of the whole community and their livestock during harsh winters.
This year’s flash floods have destroyed this infrastructure and have created havoc in their way of living. The survival of the community depends on timely help and extended effort from all philanthropists.
Our aim is not only to rebuild the infrastructure for this poor community but also to uplift their standard of living.
The poor villagers of Tatto face a terrible fate without any external help.
To bring immediate relief to these poor people we organized the disbursement of tents, tarpals, food and other items that included flour, rice, daal, ghee, sugar, tea, dates, spices, washing and bath soaps, clothes and beddings. A team of volunteers set out for help even before the Karakorum Highway opened for travel.
The survey team met all the displaced families living in tiny abodes scattered in the harshest areas all over the mountains. Their proposal for rebuilding is based on the first hand information collected by our team members.
To repair the water channel we need:
The total cost will be approximately Rs.275,000 (See annexure I)
Beneficiaries of the school are the families (around 50) who live in Tatto village year round. Other families who migrate to Tatto in summers go to their houses in Gunar Farm in winter for their children’s’ schooling or to Chilas.
There is no tuition fee for studying in this school. Students purchase their own books. They do not wear any uniforms.
Cost of construction for the school is Rs. 880,000/- (See annexure II)
The annual running cost of the school is approximately 100,000 Rs that include the salary of an additional teacher and uniforms for the students.
Estimated cost of basic health unit is Rs.370,000/- (See annexure – III)
In the light of the above mentioned facts and analysis, we plead to all donors to help us alleviate the plight of poor people of Tatto and to help us eradicate problems of health care and education from that area once and for all.
We are the voice of hundreds of poverty ridden villagers who have destroyed livelihoods and threatening weather conditions working against them.
Time is running out in this land of forgotten…
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