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Refresher Training of CERT by FOCUS

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

FOCUS News Update

FOCUS News Update
April 2007

FOCUS' Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) immediately commenced their search and rescue operation across the snowed-in valleys.
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Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) implemented an extensive search and rescue operation in Pakistan's north-western province of Chitral following a spate of severe avalanches which hit three villages in March.
The intense rainfall, sleet and snowfall resulted in the loss of many families and livestock and totally or partially destroyed dozens of houses. Despite the severe weather challenges, FOCUS Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), based in Chitral, undertook an intense search and rescue operation to assist those severely affected.
FOCUS distributed community stockpiles whilst medical supplies, kerosene, and food provided by the Pakistan army were distributed to over 1,200 affected people across ten villages in Chitral including Garamchashma and Shagore, as well as in the city centre. Helicopters of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) were critical in facilitating relief operations.
Entire villages in the region were engulfed in snow.
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At a local press conference, the Chitral Nazim thanked the Pakistan army, Chitral police and FOCUS Pakistan for being the first agency at the scene, and for providing emergency relief through the AKF helicopters. 
FOCUS Pakistan's Disaster Assessment Response Team continues to coordinate its relief effort with the District Coordinating Officer, the District Relief Commissioner and Nazims of the region.

Clearing the road in Bartang blocked by rock fall.
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Assisting families affected by torrential rain in Badakhshan, Tajikistan
The harsh weather of March and April continued unabated across the Hindu Khush mountain range also affecting the Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) of south-eastern Tajikistan.
FOCUS rushed diesel fuel, mattresses, stoves and coal to three districts in Gorno Badakhshan, after avalanches and mudslides triggered by torrential rains left several dead and destroyed livestock and homes of numerous families. FOCUS has helped resettle these families to safer areas.
In the town of Bartang, FOCUS facilitated the clearing of avalanche-blocked roads through the provision of diesel fuel while in Rushan and in Ishkashim, blankets, mattresses, stoves and coal were distributed to those in need.
Damage to homes caused by heavy rains.
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Many more families have been affected across the region as a result of complete or partial destruction of their homes. FOCUS has helped resettle these families to safer areas.
FOCUS has also been involved in creating and supporting the reconstruction of affected homes and severely damaged schools and medical facilities.
In collaboration with United Nations agencies, the regional government of Badakhshan and the CoES, FOCUS continues to monitor the situation while developing detailed longer-term recovery plans. Since 1997, FOCUS, as part of its strategic approach to disaster risk reduction, has responded to over 30 natural disasters and deployed over USD 500K of support to affected communities in Tajikistan.

The Search & Rescue Team induction weekend
at Deans Forest in Gloucestershire, UK. The team
was tested for individual participation and team
work as well as endurance, determination and
working in confined places..
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Investing in Disaster Response in UK
In Europe, FOCUS is investing in disaster response by establishing an international volunteer disaster search & rescue team trained by the world renowned search and rescue agency, Rescue and Preparedness in Disasters UK (RAPID-UK).
Working towards United Nations certified standards, the eighteen-month intensive training programme will commence in summer 2007. Training will include rescue from land (urban and rural), fire, medical and swift water rescue during various natural and man-made disasters. This FOCUS team will eventually be available to disaster affected communities globally as part of a first phase in response.





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