In Singal, Pakistan, a village that had been destroyed by flash floods in the past, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) is helping villagers construct protective walls on either side of the river in order to reinforce the riverbank and protect their land, homes and assets.
AKDN / Christopher Wilton Steer
In Singal, Pakistan, a village that had been destroyed by flash floods in the past, the Aga Khan Agency for Ha...
AKDN / Christopher Wilton Steer
In high altitude areas of Pakistan, AKAH holds simulation exercises with specialist partner organisations to ensure its search and rescue teams have updated skills and are ready for deployment at any time.
In high altitude areas of Pakistan, AKAH holds simulation exercises with specialist partner organisations to e...
Immediately after the disaster in July 2018, AKAH Pakistan's trained Disaster Assessment Response Team assessed the damages caused by the disaster and prioritised the immediate needs of the affected population.
Immediately after the disaster in July 2018, AKAH Pakistan's trained Disaster Assessment Response Team assesse...
If the river in the village of Gharbochung, Pakistan rises by a certain percentage due to an imminent flash flood, an alarm is set off in the village, warning villagers to evacuate (the solar-powered system can be seen on the left).
AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer
If the river in the village of Gharbochung, Pakistan rises by a certain percentage due to an imminent flash fl...
AKDN / Christopher Wilton-Steer
AKAH has produced hazard and risk maps for 677 villages in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral
In 2009, our global DRR work was acknowledged by the Jury of the United Nation’s (UN) Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction and awarded the Certificate of Merit for enhancing disaster risk reduction in Pakistan. In 2020 our work using hazard, vulnerability and risk assessments for disaster risk management and sustainable habitat planning and development was awarded the World Habitat Gold Awards. Read the press release
Our programmatic areas include:
In Gilgit-Baltistan, a volunteer caretaker checks the Flood Early Warning System installed by AKAH.
We have completed 106 structural mitigation projects since 2005. These include construction of protective walls to shield against a variety of hazards such as floods and debris flows in disaster-prone areas across northern Pakistan.
Non-structural mitigation projects include:
We construct protective infrastructure to prevent hydrometeorological hazards. These include:
Informed and organised communities are more resilient and better prepared to cope with risk and disasters. Community-based disaster risk management builds upon local knowledge with technical skills that enable and empower communities to cope with, prepare for, prevent, mitigate, respond to and quickly recover from natural and man-made disasters in urban and rural areas. We involve community members in identifying and understanding local hazards. We build their skills in first aid, search and rescue, fire safety, safe evacuation and village-based disaster risk management planning.
Community volunteers trained by AKAH are aware of their local hazards and can be first responders in disaster situations. The role of these community emergency response teams (CERTs) is critical, particularly in communities located in risk-prone mountainous and isolated locations. Over the years, AKAH has established 172 structured CERTs across Pakistan and has trained over 36,000 community volunteers (over 50 percent women) as first responders. We provide emergency stockpiles for communities, with items such as tents, blankets, search tools and first aid supplies, to strengthen local response capacities. AKAH also supported the Government of Pakistan to prepare the country’s National Disaster Management Plan and Community-Based Disaster Risk Management guidelines (2012).
AKAH’s School Safety Programme, initiated in 2006, builds the capacity of students, parents and school management to assess hazards to their schools, develop emergency and evacuation plans, and build response capacity.
We organised an international conference on school safety in 2008. In collaboration with the Government of Pakistan, various donor and UN agencies, and international non-governmental organisations (INGOs), we provided technical and financial input to develop a School Safety Strategy for the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan. The conference also marked the declaration of 16 May as the annual National School Safety Day. AKAH continues to run school safety initiatives across the country in partnership with respective governments, UN agencies and INGOs.
Together with our donors and partners, we have reached over 931 schools across Pakistan through our school safety programme, benefitting over 427,300 students, teachers and parents.
Volunteers learn first response skills and techniques during training sessions organised by AKAH.
Our disaster response programme is divided into two components: i) search and rescue operations immediately after disasters, and ii) humanitarian relief, including provision of food and non-food aid, and shelter and camp management for those affected by disaster internally or for refugees. AKAH is one of the leading and most experienced disaster response agencies in Pakistan.
AKAH Pakistan has a 50-member specialised search and rescue team (SART). Members are located in Gilgit, Chitral and Karachi. They have been trained by the United Kingdom International Search and Rescue Team, IntOps AB Sweden and Pompiers de l'Urgence Internationale, a group of French firefighters in urban and mountain search and rescue. The team is equipped to conduct search and rescue across the country. SART members are trained on a monthly basis. They are all dedicated volunteers, 35 percent of whom are women.
Following a disaster, we immediately deploy our volunteer Disaster Assessment and Response Teams (DARTs). The teams are trained based on the standards of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to determine the immediate basic humanitarian needs after a disaster. Based on the DART reports, food, non-food aid and shelter are provided to those affected by the disaster, with support from and in collaboration with government authorities, donors, UN agencies and INGOs.