Primary School Tato
Tatto village, Raikot, Chelas 2012

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 Community Background

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.

Importance of Tatto Village

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.

Damage Report

The poor villagers of Tatto face a terrible fate without any external help.

  • The flood has destroyed their ripe crops and has brought tons of debris rendering the lands useless for future. They are too poor to reverse this devastation.
  • The winter abodes of around 30 families have been completely destroyed.
  • The animal shelters for winters have been totally wrecked, threatening the lives of their most prized asset: livestock
  • The water supply system for domestic and agricultural usage has been badly destroyed.
  • The temporary Basic Health Unit that served both animals and humans has also vanished due to these floods.
Relief Effort by UOL Volunteers

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.

Proposal for Rebuilding and Uplifting of Tatto Village
  1. One room houses: Immediate measures must be taken for rebuilding homes for the poor villagers. We plead you to help us in this cause. House construction is necessary as the winter is approaching and it is difficult to live in a tent. The temperature here drops below zero degree.
    The cost of one house has been estimated to be Rs.40,000/-
  2. The restoration of the water supply system must take place with immediate effect.
    • During the flash floods the water channel was destroyed completely and the water supply to Jale at Tatto was suspended.
    • Water is now being supplied to around 22 families and their fields on a self help basis which is only temporary
    • The irrigation system for agriculture depends on the revival of this water supply system.
    • The restored water system will also supply water for domestic purposes.

    To repair the water channel we need:

    • Water tank built with stones and cement (size 4x4x4) and a three inch plaster on the inner wall
    • A 6” pipe of 200’ length
    • • Metal wire to hold the pipe structure

    The total cost will be approximately Rs.275,000 (See annexure I)

  3. Rebuilding Primary School: The uplifting of the community for long term prosperity can only be done through education. The community elders are aware of this and are keen for a proper school system for the children. This is a good sign of self-help considering their level of poverty. In this regard we would like to draw your attention to the following facts:
    • There was one Government Primary School from Class 1 to 5 in Tatto Village. This school was sanctioned in 1975 by the government and was constructed in 1979.
    • This School building was initially destroyed in 2002 earthquake and was never built again by the government.
    • The only teacher present now teaches the children under a huge walnut tree year round. During snow or rain he takes the children to the mosque.
    • Initially two teachers were appointed by the government there: one was Mohabat khan (55 years old who doesn’t know a word of English) and the other one never showed up.
    • The previous school building had 4 rooms, 1 kitchen and a bathroom. There was a wall only on the back side
    • At present approximately 45 boys and 25 girls are enrolled
    • As there is no school building presently, the female students study in the evening at the teacher’s house. After the construction more girls will be encouraged to go to school and the number of female students will increase
    • Some students have to go down the mountains just for education purposes.

    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.

  4. Basic Health Unit: Immediate measures are required to rebuild the Basic Health Unit for the community and for their animals for the following reasons:
    • The first Animal Hospital was built in 1992-93 by the government,
    • It had three rooms ( insulated ) and a bathroom
    • It was destroyed in 2002 earth quake
    • Two persons were appointed officially as grade 1(Mr. Shakoor Ahmed) and (Mr. Zarmast Khan) grade II dispensers.
    • This vet nary hospital building was used by the dispensers to treat the people and to store few medicines which the government sometimes provided them on demand.
    • One chokidar and one sweeper were also appointed but they never showed up.
    • No doctor was ever appointed.
    • After the destruction of the hospital the staff started to work from home.
    • A vetnary hospital was constructed in Jale at Tatto in 2005 consisting of three rooms, a store, and a washroom. It also had boundary walls with a gate.
    • The flash floods of 2010 destroyed this only health facility in the area
    • The nearest available health care centers are in Chilas or Gilgit which are several hours ( 6-8 hrs) away from Tatto

    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…

Sr #ItemQty Unit cost Total Cost
Jill Smith 50
Eve Jackson 94
John Doe 80
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