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2019.12.05

A Survivor’s Story

In November 2019, local people who live in two districts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir(AJK) (Mirpur and Bhimber) were affected by 5.6 magnitude earthquake. 40people were killed and around 1,600 people were injured. This earthquake damaged infrastructures such as houses, roads, schools and hospitals in two provinces of AJK.

JEN assessment team visited Mirpur and held a meeting with District administration, Social welfare office. JEN also visited damaged houses in Mirpur. While visiting the project site, JEN staff visited Mrs. Nusrat Matloob in Mohra Kekeri village in Samwar Sharif. Her husband is a labourer, and he could earn 600 rupees a day if he finds jobs. He had to make a living in order to support old parents and 4 children, and Mrs. Nusrat Matloob was supporting her family financially by sewing clothes of local people. She sewed one suit and earned 200 to 300 rupees.

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According to Mrs. Nusrat Matloob, their house has 4 rooms and other rooms for livestock such as cows and goats. Their house was completely collapsed by this disastrous earthquake. Their young daughter was wounded, and she let her grandfather evacuate. Her husband got a trauma after this earthquake and he was not able to work. Although he started working for his family, he sometimes quit the job. This depression continued for two weeks, but then a NGO visited the family and gave counseling for a couple of days. After counseling, he and his wife started cleaning up rubbles at home and began collecting valuables such as ID cards.

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They owned cows which could produce enough milk, however, they had to sell them at cheap price after the earthquake. It is because that they could not afford to take care of them or to cure their wound by this earthquake. Also, they had three goats but one was killed by the earthquake. They still have two goats. The only source of income was Mrs. Nusrat Matloob’s sewing machine but it was broken by the earthquake. They let their grandfather care their adolescent daughter in order to avoid an uncomfortable situation like no partition wall and room. Also, she spent worst few days in a broken kitchen with eight feet during the night of the day when the earthquake occurred in the heavy rain and hailstorm.

During emergency support, AJK state government offered tents for households which were totally collapsed. At first Mrs. Nusrat Matloob got two tents but they are not enough to keep warm at night. Winter is approaching already, and it is impossible for children and elderly people to live together in those tents. In addition, the evacuation hut was necessary for their livestock. All household goods such as furniture, kitchen utensils and livestock feed crushed by rubble were broken. She wanted a sewing machine to produce a tent preventing them from cold and to earn money to fix their kitchen. Therefore, at the last visit JEN staff told her that Social Welfare department can provide sewing machines to women who have sewing skills, and JEN staff introduced her to the department. JEN hopes to support rebuilding life of those people who are affected by the earthquake.

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December 5, 2019 in Pakistan |