All posts by Eddie

Security – Mardan

There are 27 police stations in Mardan district. In addition, community watch systems exist in some areas, although the coordination with the local police stations is often non-existent and could always be improved. A number of private security companies also offer their services in this district.

Security – Nowshera

There are 8 police stations, 4 police posts and several army check posts in the cantonment area and its surroundings.

Particular security issues in Nowshera are excessive harassment by police of Afghan refugees and unregistered migrants.

SHARP and SACH (UNHCR IPs) both provide legal advice and assistance in this district. The Jirga system for resolving issues is also actively attended by both Pakistani and Afghan elders.

Security – Mirpur

In early 2015, incidents of police harassment of Afghan refugees often resulting in their arrest and detention, increased significantly. The rights associated with the PoR card were often not respected with Afghan refugees being treated the same as unregistered Afghan migrants.

No community watch system exists at present. Specific concerns from the refugee communities are related to UNHCR and partner organisations, normally via the helpline.

Greater advocacy on refugees’ rights is required with the relevant government departments and local law enforcement agencies.

WASH – Abbottabad

Piped municipal water is available in houses in urban areas.

The city is generally clean but requires more frequent cleaning of drains.

Urban refugees have received very limited support e.g. through the RAHA programme as compared with other urban clusters of refugees or those refugees still living in refugee villages (former camps).

WASH – Charsadda

All Afghan refugees and unregistered Afghan migrants have access to public water distribution points.

The urban areas are more hygienic than nearby refugee villages as functioning sanitation systems are present. In the villages, open defecation is still commonly practised and the drainage systems are limited, potentially proving to be a serious health risk during the flooding that can occur during monsoon season.

WASH – Haripur

Piped municipal water is available in houses in urban areas. There are no issues with clean water, toilets, electricity or gas supply.

However, open drains can be a serious health risk, spreading diseases especially during the monsoon season. Drains need to be cleaned and covered.

Urban refugees have received very limited support e.g. through the RAHA programme as compared with other urban clusters of refugees or those refugees still living in refugee villages (former camps).

Security – Quetta / Balochistan summary

The government of Balochistan has no specific refugee related security policies for refugees in urban settlements. The security protocols are the same as for Pakistani citizens.

Due to the frequent security incidents in Quetta, there are 21 police stations in Quetta city, compared with just one each in Chaman, Dalbandin, Killa Saifullah, Muslim Bagh, Loralai and Pishin districts. The police stations are responsible for maintaining order within the respective cities / town limits.

Although a traditional watchmen system exists in the local communities, it is not practised strictly in either Pakistani or Afghan communities. The security situation in Quetta in particular would benefit from the creation of a coherent and organised security structure.

WASH – Islamabad and Rawalpindi

Piped municipal water is available in most houses in urban areas and the sewerage system is generally acceptable.

In the slum areas of Islamabad, the hygiene conditions are very poor and there is normally no effective system of toilets or sanitation.

However, there remains a lack of awareness within the refugee communities on general health and hygiene, which could be alleviated through additional mass information campaigns and training sessions.

WASH – Karachi

In Karachi, piped water supply and adequate sewerage are often not available in refugee communities. Water tankers, which are relatively expensive, are often required to provide sufficient water.

As a result, the hygiene conditions are reportedly very poor. Refugee communities would benefit from community awareness raising sessions regarding hygienic practises as well as how to best to utilise clean water without wastage.

Many of the refugee communities in Karachi would also benefit from the provision of drinking water and sewerage infrastructure.

WASH – Kohat

In Kohat, there is a shortage of public potable water distribution points in urban areas.

The general hygiene condition is considered to be relatively poor.

Residents in Kohat would benefit from hygiene promotion courses, greater availability of safe drinking water and awareness and treatment on Hepatitis, Malaria and HIV.

WASH – Lahore

Afghan refugees in Lahore typically use local hand pumps supplying their drinking and domestic water. It is reported that access to these hand pumps is sometimes more difficult than for the host community.

The hygienic condition in rented houses is generally better than in the mud houses typical of slum areas. In these slum areas and even sometimes in rented houses, there is no effective system of toilets for Afghans.

There is a distinct lack of awareness within the refugee communities on health and hygiene, which could be alleviated through additional mass information campaigns and training sessions.

WASH – Mansehra

Piped municipal water is available in houses in urban areas.

Mansehra city does not have adequate sewerage systems. As a result, human waste from houses is either drained on the streets or in natural nullas and streams through drain pipes. Occasionally, human waste is disposed of in septic tanks and cesspools.

WASH – Mardan

Piped municipal water is available in houses in urban areas. In addition, there are 28 (of 33) working tubewells that are accessible to the general public. The water supply is ensured even during dry periods as 7 overhead tanks, with capacities between 50,000 and 100,000 gallons, help to maintain adequate water pressure in the system.

In general, the water is considered perfectly drinkable. However, in some localities rusted pipes significantly reduce the quality of the water provided. The town management authority is aware of the issue and is attempting to improve the pipe infrastructure.

WASH – Mirpur

Afghan refugees in Mirpur typically use local hand pumps supplying their drinking and domestic water.

The hygienic condition in rented houses is generally better than in the mud houses typical of slum areas. In these slum areas and even sometimes in rented houses, there is no effective system of toilets for Afghans.

WASH – Nowshera

In Nowshera, while water is available in most localities, it is generally considered unsafe to drink. The city also has relatively poor sewerage infrastructure resulting in reported poor hygienic conditions.

WASH – Peshawar

Piped municipal water is available in most houses in urban areas. However, beyond the jurisdiction of the town management authority, residents often face severe problems with both water supply and sewerage.

Specifically, the following localities have a shortage of potable water supplies:

  • Achini
  • Shikargarhi
  • Regi Lalma
  • Shagai Hinkiyan
  • Nishat Mill
  • Aslam Dairay
  • Rasheed Garay

The shortage of water and sewerage has been exacerbated by reported poor maintenance as well as the ongoing energy crisis.

WASH – Quetta

In Quetta, most urban refugees purchase water for drinking and domestic purposes from tankers or donkey carts supplying their areas.

Piped water infrastructure is available in some localities, however due to recent water shortages and the associated drops in the water table, coupled with regular electricity loadshedding (partial supply), most of these supply networks have not been active since 2012.

The water tankers are relatively expensive and for those households that cannot afford these services, water is collected from nearby mosques, shops, other households or nearby agricultural land.

For all of the water supply options noted above, the water is of poor quality and needs to be boiled before it can safely be consumed. However, many refugee households, do not prepare the water correctly increasing the risk of exposure to water borne diseases, especially in children.

Except for a few areas, most refugees live in localities without paved streets or adequate sewerage systems. In some areas, open defecation is still common. In other areas, refugees living in the mud walled (pukka) houses typical of the area have built pit latrines in their houses. However, these latrines are self-constructed and are generally not well designed and are known to be the cause of hygiene and sanitation issues.

Several water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects have conducted during the last few years in Quetta, including UNHCR providing drinkable water for two schools in Ghausabad and Qadriabad in 2013.

Since 2010, eight WASH projects have been completed in the RAHA programme in Quetta city, benefitting both refugees and the host population. These projects include:

  1. Regular training and capacity building on water use, health and hygiene.
  2. Formation of community working groups that are empowered to take initiative for training other community members and implementing WASH projects
  3. Training community members on the construction of a proper pit latrine and its usage.
  4. Partnership and coordination with government to improve local water supply for both refugees and host communities.

WASH – Swabi

Piped municipal water is available in most houses in urban areas.

The municipal departments lack the necessary staff and equipment to maintain the piped water and sewerage infrastructure.