Friday, January 20, 2006

Introduction to RSPN and RSPs

I was requested to provide information on my organization and the work we are doing in the earthquake affected areas. I hoep the summary below suffices. Feel free to contact me for any other information. This is related to the CGI Appeal.

RSP Background

The Rural Support Programmes Network ( is a network of ten non-governmental rural development agencies in Pakistan. The RSPs operate in all four provinces, Azad Kashmir and the Northern Areas of Pakistan. The RSPs have mobilised over a million women and men, who have themselves formed Community Organisations (COs) to manage their own development. RSP benefits through multi-sector programmes are to over five million people.

The National Rural Support Programme ( and the Sarhad Rural Support Programme ( had long-term development programmes in seven of the eight worst-hit districts prior to the earthquake. Their programmes covered an estimated 89,000 families (over 500,000 people).

All RSP activities, including those in disaster areas, work from the foundation of ‘social mobilisation’. This begins with community members defining their own needs and priorities, and extends to their involvement in every stage of a project. In the present scenario, Social Organisers and RSP management work as an interface between mobilised communities, local governments, the army, and national and international agencies and NGOs in activities related to advocacy (for example, in receiving goods and services to which people are entitled) on behalf of the economically-marginal and vulnerable.

NRSP responded to the emergency by sending medical aid (doctors, paramedics and medicines), food, water and emergency shelter to its programme area in AJK in the days immediately following the quake. NRSP’s relief efforts have been driven by the desire of most people to stay close to their families and communities, homes and assets. As the scale of the devastation became clear, a procurement and distribution system was established, with goods flowing from a central warehouse close to Islamabad, through a Base Camp in each District (3 in all), and 20 Distribution Points close to the worst-affected villages.

NRSP has extended existing partnerships (e.g., with UNDP, the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Programme, UNICEF, the ILO, WFP) and worked with new partners (the UK-based ‘Shelter Box’ and the Turkish ‘Support to Life, WFP, for example), to deliver relief goods.

In order to help people earn a living and to restore some degree of normalcy, NRSP has set up a training centre in Bagh. Men are learning to be carpenters, masons and women are learning tailoring skills. New training courses will be added as needs emerge.

SRSP is in a position to facilitate national and international relief agencies with little knowledge about the area. Most significantly Tareen Farms, Care International, World Vision, Mercy Corps, Relief International, Hidaya Foundation and a team of doctors from Singapore utilized the SRSP outreach during the relief operation. SRSP took the lead in establishing and managing 90 tent villages, each with 15-20 families, in Mansehra, Battagram and Abbottabad.

Residents of the tent villages are given temporary shelter, bedding and clothing, food, medical care, water and sanitation through the assistance of different donors. Through the DFID-funded Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) Project, SRSP now intends to cover 100 water supply and 100 sanitation schemes in the affected areas, as well as sanitation facilities in camps.

SRSP has also prepared a “permanent winter shelter” model, which will act as a substitute for damaged houses. 40 of these have been erected in the small villages in Andrasi of Mansehra. A detailed writeup may be requested from Zohare at RSPN.

Both RSPs have established cash for work projects.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Emergency Appeal


This is an emergency appeal for donations towards the purchase of Corrugated Galvanized Iron Sheets, commonly known as CGI sheets. These are metal sheets used as roofs in the earthquake affected areas.

If you have seen any photographs of the affected areas, you will notice that the roofs are generally made of a curvy shaped tin top, that is a CGI sheet. It usually takes about 8-10 to make a complete roof, housing about 7-10 people.

The cost of one CGI sheet is approximately $16-18 dollars per sheet (970-1100)

The specifications are:

Each sheet will be 10 ft X 34 inches
24 gauge
.55 MM thickness

The cost in the open market is:
Rs. 70,000 / ton
72 Sheets / ton

Any amount of donations submitted will be used for purchasing CGI sheets. You can use the donation link along the right menu area, below the archives section to donate using PayPal.

We desperately need your help! Please remember that the winter is worse than we anticipated and it is progressively getting more difficult to help on our own, we urge you to donate!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Pakistan hit by 'mild' earthquake (5.1)

A moderate earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale has struck northern Pakistan, the meteorological department officals say. But there has been no immediate reports of damage or casualities, they say. The epicentre of the quake is said to be 200km (125 miles) north-east of Peshawar, the capital of the North West Frontier Province.

The earthquake struck at 1049 (0549 GMT) and was felt in several cities including the capital, Islamabad, as well as parts of Pakistan-administered Kashmir which was badly hit in October. The region has been hit by more than 1,500 aftershocks following the recent earthquake.

Source: BBC News