The Islamabad Jeep Club with the help of all its partners decided to go into the reconstruction of bridges in the Swat valley. For this, a lot of research was done and a bridge was identified in the Kalam union council region in the Anakar Valley. Following is the report on the first trip to the location. This thread will document our efforts in this region.
Please see This link for details.
Project Reconnect -
Location: Anakar, Kalam
Trip 1 – 22nd September – 24th September 2010
Dr. Ehsan Masud Kiani
To survey the proposed bridge project in Anakar and if possible start work on the site.
Motivation of the local community
Start of work at the project site
Thorough survey of the village beyond the bridge
Verbal commitment from the Pakistan Army for supply of G-wire for the project free of cost
A team from the Islamabad Jeep Club, comprising, Dr. Ehsan Kiani, Waqas Khanzada and Siddique visited Kalam Swat on the 22nd of September. The journey beyond Khawazakhela was on a US Marines Chinook helicopter. In Kalam, the team was joined by Mr. Gulzada who was Ex Nazi of Kalam Union Council. Without wasting time, the proposed site of the bridge in Anakar Valley was visited on the first day. A basic survey of the site was performed initially. The night was spent in the Greens Hotel which is under the Pakistan Army currently.
The team started the next day at 5 am and after a brief stay at the bridge site for discussions, they made there way up the valley to the Anakar Village. The local elders were gathered and the meeting started with the recitation from the Holy Quran. Mr. Gulzada then made a speech regarding the purpose of the visit and told the locals about the planned bridge. After that Dr. Ehsan and Waqas addressed the gathering. The locals were motivated to help themselves and together build this bridge. They were told that it was they themselves who would be building it and this project would symbolize what we can accomplish when we work together.
The elders then discussed the proposition in a Jirga. They decided that they would build the bridge themselves with any help that the IJC can provide them. Work would be started the same day so they asked the IJC team to have a round of the whole village while they gathered the tools.
Team IJC then surveyed the damage in the whole area and did a need assessment for the bridge. Soon about 50 people were making their way towards the bridge site with whatever tools they had. At the site, a short prayer was done and work was inaugurated. It was an emotional scene. The villagers jumped into the river to start working. Within the next 2 hours, significant work had been done on both sides of the river.
The team left for Islamabad the next day being replaced by team two comprising of Asad Ullah Marwat, Ishtiaq sahab and Jumma Khan. It was decided that more sites would be surveyed in the coming days.
Team 1 would like to thank the 9th Division of the Pakistan Army for the logistic support as well as assurance of supply of the much needed G-wire for the construction free of cost. Gen. Obaid who was the bridge between IJC and the Army. Mr. Gulzada who actively participated in the management of the project and in local motivation. Mr. Saqib(4x4Engaged) for coming up with the idea.
Asad Marwat's Write Up
Team 2 report
IJC carried out two visits to Kalam in last 10 days. The intention is to assess the situation on the ground and see what best possible help can be extended to it.
Doc Ehsan and Waqas took the first trip which resulted in initiation of construction of a bridge at Anakar Village. They also did the spade work for our subsequent visits.
Myself with Ishtiaq and Juma Khan visited Kalam this passed weekend. Our visit expanded the SOW and resultantly we have been Alhamdollilah succesful in initiating another vehicular bridge at Ghayayl village (60 feet length) and 3 more padestrian bridges each 65 feet) in Ushu and Kalam area. These bridges will be off logs with support from the rock, G.Wire and cement for reinforcement.
Two more vehicular bridges are under consideration and the feasibilty whereof is under study. One would be refurbishing the present one at Ushu and the other is outside Kalam towards Bahrain.
Additionally IJC and its partners have taken up power generation plants for these villages. Few of the villages power plants have been washed out in the floods hence we have done our homework on how that could be restored. As a pilot project, we would go for one of the village which is housing 100 houses. The turbine will develop 26 kva of electricity which will be free from 30 years. The turbines will be maintenance free.
A total of 3 power generation plants are in the plan and the project conclusion is expected around mid of November with the first to go alive inshallah by October 8, 2010.
Special thanks to Mr. Shah wazir khan Tehsildar Kalam, Gulzada and Ameer Said Nazims of the area for their continuous support and availability.
Write Up by Dr Nadeem Naeem
Desert Devil and I, went to Kalam over the weekend for ongoing flood relief work in the region by IJC and its friends. Kalam has been affected yet again by rising river water level and flood like situation due to long intense heat spell causing ice melting leading to extremely fast n furious water flow causing more destruction! The bridge for vehicular crossing across Kalam river was destroyed a couple of weeks ago by the floods, all stuff is now transferred across the foot bridge by people and than transported further by vehicles stranded on the other side.
We managed to take along a electricity generating water turbine and two spindles and cart wheel for the generator along with 25 quilts in NPP. As usual the road condition between Swat and Kalam are treacherous. Total distance from Islamabad to Kalam was 350km (approx 95km between Swat and Kalam). Took us over 10 hours each way.
Kalam was as beautiful as ever and the weather was perfect. This gorgeous place and its people still needs all the help we can give. May Allah give us all the courage to keep helping others to the best of our ability.
In the interest of time, I will try to simply post all pics as it is, so here we go……………
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