July, 2009-September, 2009
Distt. Swat, Mardan KP
The conflict between Pakistani armed forces and Islamic militants in Bajaur, Dir, Swat and Buner districts of north Pakistan displaced around 2.4 million persons, with an estimated 1.9 million leaving the conflict zone. Although a peace deal was agreed upon in February 2009, military operations resumed in April, resulting in the mass displacement. As the government cleared areas of militant presence, it announced internally displaced persons (IDPs) could begin returning on July 13. As of July 27, the Government of Pakistan reported that over 573,000 IDPs have returned the majority to their homes in southern Swat, with the remaining to Buner and Dir Districts in NWFP.
The hardship faced by the IDPs due to hot weather, congestion, lack of basic facilities and homesickness speeded up the return process with passage of every single day. They even entered those areas that were not declared clear by the Pakistan government, in the first place. The return itself was a nightmare for IDPs, as long queues on the security check points, lack of food supplies, higher food prices, limited supply of drinking water due to damaged water supply schemes. Low electricity voltage further increased their hardships (out of the frying pan into the fire).
LASOONA- Society for Human and Natural Resource Development and Malteser International under the MoU signed in mid July started a project under the title of “Humanitarian Aid for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) (out of camps) in the North West Frontier Province to reduce the sufferings of the displaced families living with host communities in district Mardan. The project aimed to provide people affected by the displacement with the most necessary relief items and support in the area of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene.
Initially the project was supposed to be implemented in selected Unions Councils of district Mardan but as majority of the displaced people returned to their respective areas, major part of the project was decided to be implemented in the conflict affected UCs of district Swat. A well-organised campaign of hygiene promotion, sanitation improvement and safe drinking water was chalked out by LASOONA in collaboration with Malteser International for the conflict-affected people.
- Health and Hygiene Awareness Sessions
- Non Food items (NFIs) distribution
· Beneficiaries were identified for Health and Hygiene sessions and for NFIs kit distribution.
- Separate sessions were held with male and female project beneficiaries by male and female project staff respectively.
- Distribution points were arranged in center of the Union Councils to issue NFIs kits on the doorstep to IDPs in Mardan and the same strategy was adopted in District Swat.
- 500 NFIs kits were distributed to 157 Female and 343 Male IDPs in District Mardan.
- But as majority of the displaced people returned to their respective areas, then 3500 NFIs were distributed to 3018 Male and 482 Female beneficiaries in District Swat.