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Aghosh UK: Disaster Management Initiatives Across the Globe

Disaster Management Initiatives Across the Globe

Diligently providing disaster management services through the Pakistan Floods (2022), and the Turkiye and Morocco Earthquakes (2023)

Introduction

Sometimes in life, unforeseen disasters occur, leaving victims grappling with the aftermath. Local communities, especially in the developing world, can experience total upheaval after an unprecedented natural disaster, like a violent earthquake, a sweeping flood or a ferocious storm. Often affected by huge psychological and physical trauma, victims have to contend with their injuries and losses, attend to the wounded, and bury the deceased. They find their homes, infrastructure and any businesses and livelihoods destroyed. Surrounded by such overwhelming catastrophe, people often try to migrate for the safety of their families. In such challenging circumstances, vulnerable communities urgently rely on humanitarian support from disaster management charities. Aghosh UK and Alkhidmat Foundation are very quick to respond to these needs, mobilising their disaster management teams to assist victims and provide urgently needed aid and support.

This blog explores Aghosh UK’s disaster management response, focusing on its unwavering commitment to supporting victims in the face of recent disasters, specifically the recent Pakistan floods and the earthquakes in Turkiye and Morocco.

Inspired to Serve Humanity

Aghosh UK has been working with the Alkhidmat Foundation in a strategic partnership spanning many decades to form a community-led network comprising staff, partners, volunteers, donors, media, and the public.

Working together to improve the quality of life of vulnerable people, the charities’ primary aim is to alleviate poverty, hunger, and unemployment, and support orphans, by creating sustainable development projects. In addition, Aghosh UK also frequently collaborates with international partners and local charities in response to crises and disasters, helping affected communities rebuild their lives and mitigate against any possible future disasters.

With a humanitarian mission, our organisation is inspired by the Islamic values of charity.

The damage that these disasters have caused may not be reversible, but as Muslims, we must recognise this as an opportunity to act as changemakers and serve humanity.

You will never achieve righteousness until you donate some of what you cherish. And whatever you give is certainly well known to Allah. (Quran 3:92)

Our charity’s values include humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality. These principles ensure that Aghosh UK’s disaster management efforts are guided by a commitment to serving humanity, irrespective of race, religion, or nationality.

Aghosh UK’s Disaster Management Approach

Our comprehensive approach incorporates preparation, response, recovery, and mitigation. Every Aghosh UK disaster management framework is established on preparation, which involves identifying potential risks and hazards, developing emergency response plans, and building capacity amongst communities to respond to disasters effectively. This is a year-round activity for communities in vulnerable geographic areas with high risk of cyclones, droughts, earthquakes, epidemics, floods, hurricanes, industrial accidents, landslides, tornados, tsunamis, wildfires, etc.

When a disaster tragically occurs, the response is the immediate action taken to address its adverse effects. Aghosh UK responds to disasters by providing emergency relief such as food, shelter, and medical assistance to victims and communities. This phase is the most time-sensitive and requires diligent rescue and relief efforts by first responders to help disaster victims. Aghosh UK regularly launches fundraising appeals in Great Britain to support disaster response efforts occurring across the globe.

Once the response phase is concluded, the recovery process takes over; this involves the return and resettlement of affected communities to their pre-disaster state. Aghosh UK supports recovery efforts by providing long-term assistance, including rebuilding infrastructure, restoring livelihoods, and addressing the psychological and physical trauma caused by disasters. To manage and reduce the impact of potential future disasters, the mitigation phase is then initiated. We work with communities to identify and implement measures that can prevent or mitigate the effects of disasters.

Find Out More About Aghosh UK’s Disaster Management Approach

Working with Stakeholders

Disaster Management is a critical issue that requires the collaboration of various stakeholders to ensure effective preparedness, response, and recovery. Aghosh UK and Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan jointly engage with international and local stakeholders such as government agencies, emergency responders, community-based organisations, and volunteers to deliver disaster management efforts. We work closely with stakeholders to provide support in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, and we also raise funds to provide food, shelter, and medical care for disaster victims.

A Diverse Team of Disaster Management Professionals

The Disaster Management Team at Aghosh UK and Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan is composed of highly trained and well-equipped professionals who possess the skills and expertise necessary to respond to disasters in a timely and efficient manner. With decades of cumulative experience in risk assessment, emergency planning, communication, leadership, and resource management, we manage many hundreds of people of different designations, including emergency managers, first responders, search and rescue teams, medical personnel, logistics experts, and communication specialists. Each member plays a crucial role in responding to disasters and ensuring the safety and well-being of affected communities.

Active Volunteers

Aghosh UK is committed to making a positive impact through its various initiatives and programmes, and our work is supported by a team of over 200 dedicated volunteers.

Enthusiastic men and women from all walks of life work with Aghosh UK to contribute their time, skills and experience to improve the lives of people around the world. We welcome volunteers of all ages, backgrounds, and skill sets, and we are committed to providing a positive and rewarding volunteer experience.

Join the Aghosh UK Volunteer Team (https://aghosh.co.uk/volunteers/)

Aghosh UK’s Disaster Management Programmes:

Milestones Achieved

Through its diverse aid initiatives, Aghosh UK has provided a wide array of disaster management services including house construction, farmer support, and disaster relief during the Cholistan drought and Pakistan floods of 2022. Our key statistics (dated January 2024) demonstrate the scale of our significant outreach efforts:

● Mobilised 62,000 Volunteers
● Constructed 61,000 Shelter Homes
● Distributed 275,000 Ration Packages
● Established 37 Response Hubs
● Conducted 52 Trainings/Workshops
● Served 3,886,000 Beneficiaries

Pakistan Floods Relief 2022: Getting Pakistan out of Deep Waters

Pakistan Floods Relief 2022

In 2022, Pakistan faced the devastating impact of unusually heavy monsoon rains, which triggered flash flooding across the country. The scale of the disaster was massive, with over 1,800 lives lost and 3.2 trillion PKR in infrastructure damages; the floods severely affected the rural communities in Punjab, KPK and Sindh. The floods in Pakistan affected 33 million people, destroyed almost 900,000 homes, damaged 1.4 million more, killed over a million livestock, and destroyed 13,115 km of roads and 439 bridges. Additionally, more than 22,000 schools were damaged or destroyed. Even the arid lands of Sindh and Balochistan witnessed unprecedented monsoon rainfall, with the Minister of Climate Change of Pakistan reporting 784% and 500% more than their respective August averages.

Aghosh UK and Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan’s trained emergency responders took immediate action to assist rural communities with emergency disaster relief efforts supported by more than 60,000 volunteers. We provided emergency aid and relief to affected communities in Punjab, KPK, Sindh, Balochistan & AJK by distributing medicine, food, clothing and shelter. We established Response Hubs to serve as free medical camps for flood victims. Flash floods routinely cause numerous health problems, including illnesses from contaminated water, respiratory issues from mould, and injuries from debris. Most flood victims require immediate medical assistance in the first 24 hours to treat illnesses and injuries. However, not all medical camps were easily accessible by flood affectees.

To mitigate this problem, our strategists proposed to deploy Mobile Medical Units to flood-hit areas across Punjab, KPK, Sindh, Balochistan and AJK. With 60 Mobile Medical Units deployed, we were able to prevent outbreaks of waterborne diseases including cholera, dengue, typhoid, dysentery, hepatitis A, E. coli infections, norovirus, polio, etc. Such diseases are usually caused by consuming contaminated water and can be prevented through proper sanitation and treatment.

afterwardSlowly shifting from relief to eventual rehabilitation, we sheltered flood migrants in more than 60,000 Shelter Homes. By establishing 70 tent villages, we started to normalise the lives of displaced people.

Become an Aghosh UK volunteer today, and help make a difference.

Pakistan Floods Rehabilitation 2022: Rebuild Pakistan

Pakistan Floods Rehabilitation 2022 Rebuild Pakistan​

After an extensive disaster relief phase, we stepped up our rehabilitation efforts with the Rebuild Pakistan initiative to rebuild lives and livelihoods. Our rehabilitation activities included the reconstruction of homes, schools and masjids, farmer sponsorships, and orphan sponsorships and support. Aghosh UK’s and Alkhidmat Foundation’s joint approach was bolstered by the extraordinary resilience of Pakistan’s farmers.

By sponsoring flood-affected farmers, we helped them to restore their livelihoods. Our Farmer Support Kits were distributed across Punjab, KPK, Sindh, Balochistan & AJK. Consisting of fertilisers, pesticides, seeds, farming tools and other farming supplies, Aghosh UK diligently raised funds for these from generous donations across the UK. Additionally, we offered training to help farmers learn new techniques for climate-resistant farming practices. These efforts promoted long-term recovery and resilience for farmers affected by the Pakistan floods in 2022.

We also contributed to the rebuilding of community infrastructure, including farmers’ homes, schools and masjids. The floods had caused extensive damage to schools, causing huge disruption to children’s education. Our team contributed funds, materials and labour to repair damaged buildings and provide new furniture and textbooks. We also trained rural people on disaster safety protocols to build resilience and equip them with procedures to mitigate the effects of any future disasters.

In conclusion, Aghosh UK and Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan’s strategic disaster management approach ensured a well-coordinated flood relief response and a systematic flood rehabilitation programme to serve the flood victims of Pakistan floods 2022.

Disaster Management for Turkiye Earthquake 2023:

Turkiye Earthquake 2023

Helping victims of the 2023 Turkiye Earthquakes

On 6th February 2023, an earthquake of 7.8 magnitude struck southern and central Turkiye and northern and western Syria. This earthquake was followed by another quake of magnitude 7.7. The confirmed death toll stood at more than 59,000: 50,500 in Turkiye and 8,500 in Syria. Damages were estimated at nearly US$1508 billion in Turkiye and nearly US$15 billion in Syria. Recorded as one of the strongest earthquakes in the region over the last 100 years, the disaster damaged or destroyed over 230,000 buildings in Turkiye and 10,600 in Syria, bringing urban life to a complete halt in the cities of Nurdağı and Gaziantep. The disaster compounded the problems of the regional refugee crisis and required immediate reaction from the global humanitarian community. Alarmed by the scale and magnitude of the disaster, Aghosh UK and Alkhidmat Foundation immediately mobilised our network of international and local partners to aid all those affected.

Help one another in acts of piety and righteousness. And do not assist each other in acts of sinfulness and transgression. And be aware of Allah.” (Quran 5:2).

After the huge earthquakes in Turkiye, rescue operations became a desperate race against time. Collapsed buildings created a labyrinth of debris, trapping survivors in pockets of darkness and dust. The top priority was locating survivors, with specialised teams employing search dogs, ground-penetrating radars, and acoustic sensors to pinpoint cries for help. Rescuers and volunteers often risked their own lives to clear paths with heavy machinery, meticulously tunnelling through the rubble to reach trapped survivors under the debris of damaged infrastructure. Following Turkiye’s call for international help, more than 141,000 people from 94 countries joined the rescue effort. By 10 February 2023, the government of Turkiye reported that more than 8,000 survivors had been rescued.

To assist further with rescue efforts in Turkiye, Aghosh UK and Alkhidmat Foundation initiated earthquake relief operations by providing essential support to earthquake victims, including food, water, shelter, and medical aid. By establishing a coordinated effort between government agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and other stakeholders in the city of Gaziantep, we ensured the delivery of aid and relief supplies to the affected areas as quickly as possible.

Aghosh UK and Alkhidmat Foundation jointly launched the Turkiye & Syria Earthquake Emergency Appeal to raise funds for disaster relief efforts. Our appeal was focused on providing earthquake relief items including food packs, blankets, mattresses, and tents for earthquake victims. From March 10 to 19, we organised Rebuild Turkiye & Rebuild Pakistan Fundraising Dinners in Manchester, Bradford, London, Milton Keynes and Birmingham to engage the support of our donor base.

Focusing on necessities, we distributed ration packs to victims of the earthquakes. We coordinated with local partners, identified the most affected urban areas and communities, mobilised our volunteers, procured necessary resources, packaged ration packs, ensured quality and hygiene, and then transported the packs to affected areas to distribute them to vulnerable people. We ensured equal distribution, employed monitoring and evaluation practices, and regularly collaborated with other organisations.

To provide further relief to Turkiye earthquake victims, programme managers at Aghosh UK developed an ingenious solution to provide desperately needed meals. We furnished and deployed numerous mobile food vans equipped with all the necessary equipment and supplies to serve hot, nutritious meals to those in need. We installed cooking and heating equipment, set up storage areas for food and supplies, inducted necessary volunteers and ensured that the vans were kept clean and hygienic. Our goal was to create an easily accessible mobile kitchen to prepare and serve nourishing meals in earthquake-affected urban areas, with safety and efficiency in mind. By May 2023, we had distributed more than 3,000 cooked meals to earthquake victims, which contributed towards earthquake rehabilitation efforts.

Turkiye Earthquake Rehabilitation 2023: Warming Hearts with Hot Meals

Turkiye Earthquake Rehabilitation 2023 Warming Hearts with Hot Meals

Before the earthquakes, the city of Gaziantep in Turkiye had become a haven for many Syrian refugees. Gaziantep had experienced some of the challenges of supporting additional civilians with limited resources. The city’s management was focusing on urban poverty, tackling livelihood concerns and helping the unemployment challenge with new initiatives. However, all this progress was upended due to the 2023 earthquake. Earthquakes can also cause significant physical and emotional trauma, leaving individuals and communities in need of long-term support. The disaster rehabilitation phase is an integral part of any systematic disaster management initiative.

Our disaster management experts at Aghosh UK recognised the need for Turkiye earthquake rehabilitation initiatives and launched the Rebuild Turkiye Programme intending to bring the lives of affected people back to normal. We prioritised medical assistance and psychological support so communities could get back on their feet.

We launched a house reconstruction initiative so earthquake victims could return to the safety and shelter of their own homes. We adopted a systematic approach by assessing structure damages, identifying priority households for reconstruction, developing reconstruction plans, procuring materials and equipment, hiring skilled and unskilled labour, establishing construction sites, mobilising resources, implementing safety measures, monitoring progress, ensuring quality assurance and control, timely completion of reconstruction, and finally, the handover of houses to the owners.

We also expanded our rehabilitation efforts to include child protection, and through a multi-faceted approach, we enrolled orphans into our flagship Orphan Support Programme. Through orphan sponsorships, donors were now able to secure the future of Turkish and Syrian children who had lost the support of one or both of their parents. These sponsorships provide a stable home, a quality education, and a decent upbringing to earthquake-surviving orphaned children, allowing them to thrive.

Finally, we raised funds for orphanage construction projects in Turkiye so new boarding facilities could be provided for the influx of orphaned children after the tragic natural disaster. These facilities were designed to provide immediate shelter, safety and security, access to basic needs, educational opportunities, emotional support, and community building for children affected by earthquakes. They form a crucial part of the long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts of affected communities.

Support Aghosh UK’s Rebuild Turkiye Appeal Earthquake Appeal. 

Morocco Earthquake Appeal 2023: Rapid Relief

Morocco Earthquake Appeal 2023 Rapid Relief​

On September 8, 2023, a powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.8–6.9 struck Morocco’s Marrakesh–Safi region. This resulted in significant damage and many casualties. The city of Marrakesh was one of the hardest hit areas, with many residents forced to spend three nights outdoors due to fear of aftershocks. Some businesses reopened on September 10, but unsafe areas were sealed off by officials. Meanwhile, rescue and aid efforts were underway, with the Moroccan army clearing roads and bringing supplies to affected areas.

The aftermath witnessed a substantial international response, with numerous countries expressing condolences and offering aid. The earthquake’s impact on Morocco led to nearly 3,000 reported fatalities and concerns about housing, particularly with winter approaching.

Aghosh UK and Alkhidmat Foundation joined the international rescue and relief effort by announcing our Morocco Earthquake Emergency Relief Appeal to raise funds across the UK. Prioritising earthquake relief items, we procured blankets, food packs and tents from accessible markets and supplied them to our local volunteers. Aghosh UK’s immediate deployment of emergency response teams ensured that aid reached earthquake victims within the critical window of the first 72 hours. Working tirelessly alongside local partners, they established temporary shelters, provided food and water, and distributed essential medical supplies to the most vulnerable, prioritising children, women and the elderly.

Conclusion:

Aghosh UK and Alkhidmat Foundation’s unwavering commitment to disaster management shines brightly in the face of adversity. From the devastating floods in Pakistan to the earthquakes in Turkiye and Morocco, our collaboration has consistently delivered critical relief and support to the most vulnerable communities in their darkest hours.

Through a comprehensive approach that encompasses preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation, Aghosh UK has made a tangible difference to improve the lives of thousands. We have mobilised volunteers, partnered with stakeholders, and raised vital funds to deliver life-saving aid, rebuild infrastructure, and empower communities to become more resilient in the face of future disasters.

Key Achievements:

● Aghosh UK has a proven track record of success in disaster management.
● The organisation’s comprehensive approach addresses all stages of the disaster cycle.
● Aghosh UK has made a significant impact on the lives of thousands of people affected by natural disasters.
● The organisation is committed to building a safer and more resilient world.

Looking Ahead:

Aghosh UK remains vigilant, ready to respond to future disasters with the same unwavering resolve. By supporting this vital organisation, you can help build a world where communities are equipped to weather any storm and emerge stronger than ever. Our journey is far from over. With every life saved, every home rebuilt, and every child protected, Aghosh UK renews its commitment to building a safer and more compassionate world.

Call to Action:

Visit Aghosh UK’s website to learn more about their work and how you can get involved. We urge our readers to donate generously to Aghosh UK’s disaster relief efforts and help us improve the lives of earthquake victims.

We urge our supporters to share Aghosh UK’s story with friends and family and help raise awareness of our disaster rescue and relief efforts.

Together, we can create a legacy of hope and resilience in the face of adversity.

Find Out More About Aghosh UK’s Disaster Management Work.

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