Updated: Dec 7th, 2005
The village of Malkan from afar. Again, the standing buildings are useless except for salvage.
Bibi Zakir, a widow, for whom a Green Sandwich-style structure will soon be built, and her daughters, from left to right: Tahira (3), Zainab (1), and Bushara (8), not pictured: Zahra (6) in Karachi with Bibi Zakir's sisters.
"Because the winter is coming, we can't survive in the tents. Once it starts snowing, the tents will fall."
When asked "what will your family do in the spring?"
"I am still in shock. I haven't thought about anything yet."
"I am all alone now. Four children and myself and nowhere to go. My brother is also unemployed, so we need some kind of relief, such as money. This relief should also be given to others who have lost their families or livelihoods."
When the earthquake struck she was in her house with her husband Usman and her 1-year-old, whom she was dressing. She yelled for her husband to get out of the house and he tried to do so but the upper story collapsed on him and killed him. She escaped with a foot injury and injuries from bricks falling on her body. Her husband's body was not recovered from the rubble until 3:00 or 4:00 that evening. Her girls (including the 3 year old) were at the local Green Hills girls' school (see below) which partially collapsed but claimed no lives. Bibi Zakir lost her mother, 2 nephews, and her husband in the earthquake.
Now she lives with 15 or 16 other people in her uncle's house (which includes 7 children). The house has cracks through it from the earthquake, so by night they sleep in 2 tents: one includes 5 females and 7 children, and the other includes 5 males. It's very cold at night, but "what can you do?" They keep warm with blankets. Her husband was the only one with a job in their extended family; her brother is unemployed. Most of their foodstuffs were either destroyed or buried in the disaster. They survive on rations from NGO's and the UN.
The bridge on the way in to Malkan was damaged in the earthquake. It's looking a little stronger than the other bridge on the way (see gallery 2) but not quite what you want heading into winter.
Some puppies recently born in Malkan. Nine in the litter.
This child is fond of throwing rocks and dirt at the puppies.
Another resident of Malkan, who finally let me photograph her and now quite enoys being photographed. She always has her right hand in her pocket, suggesting either deformity or an injury from the earthquake she's embarrased of. Not sure.
He could not lift this formidable tool by himself, but judging by his hands, it won't be long.
Left to right, Adnan and Nezakat, companions on a walk to the girls' school. Adnan had visibly bleeding gums, apparently from a fungal infection which is reportedly common around here and which has little hope of being cleared up without serious attention that he probably will not have access to. Many children in the poorer villages have obvious signs of illness: running noses, sores, rashes, dental issues, etc. They are also incredibly energetic, playful, and sharp. Nezakat told me that Adnan lost his sister is the earthquake.
Four people died in this alleyway, two from two families each.
Green Hills girls' school. No one died in this collapse -- somehow -- but very many children in the earthquake-affected areas did perish while in their schools. Note Adnan and Nezekat in the background.
Adnan and Nezekat (again visible in the background) seemed nervous for me when I was in the partially collapsed room of the school taking pictures and called to me, apparently to get me to come out; understandable.
The goats don't seem to mind the rubble at all. To the contrary.
An unfortunately-typical picture in the center of many villages.
RI country director Flouran Wali, the local military man Major Imran, and the Nazim (politcal head) of Malkan, sorting it out. The military has a huge and theoretically supreme position in the earthquake relief efforts, and many NGO's have benefited greatly by coordinating with them. Many of them are from Punjab, a province to the south, and thus have less political connections to the scene in the earthquake-affected areas. This proves valuable, as does their superior knowledge of the locations of villages, roads, and so on, but nonetheless feel that they are not effectively organized or that corruption plagues their efforts.
Rebar emerging from a collapsed building.
The river at the bottom of the valley.
The village was buzzing with activity this day. Here the aggregated piles are visible, and some teenage guys clear the mud roof off of a destroyed home.
RI staff Shuhrat Abdulloev works on one of the Green Sandwich style structures.
Beams are leaned against the structure in preparation for a temporary plastic sheeting to surround the building in order to help the setting of the concrete.
Without any kind of heavy machinery available to most people, they drag large items around the village the old fashioned way, often hauling beams with a length of rope and a couple smaller logs for rolling. (Note also cameo by the puppies in the third picture.)
Wood is one of the most salvageable commodities from the rubble, and villagers are collecting what they can for reuse.