UNION COUNCIL NALLA KOT
A joint venture for a happy, organized life
Naveed Akhtar Awan
Nalla Kot is one of the mohallahs of Konkan Village located at a distance of 37 kilometres north of Muzaffarabad – the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
Konkan is one of the target villages of Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) Program launched by the Pakistan Red Crescent in May 2013 in collaboration with the Danish Red Cross and Australian Red Cross.
The village comprises eight mohallahs having a population of 2,087 as per a baseline survey conducted in May 2013.
The village is accessed through a very dangerous road from Tehsil Headquarters Pattika. Three male, three female and five mix mohallah committees (MCs) are currently functional in this village.
Nalla Kot comprises 44 households. Following the program orientation, a Mohallah Committee (MC) was constituted in the area on November 20, 2013.
In the second meeting, the community selected 26 permanent members (13 male and 13 female) and 18 honorary members for mix mohallah committee.
In the same meeting, 44 members selected three executive body members of the mohallah committee. The Term of Partnership (ToP) was signed between the MC and the CBDRR Program.
PRE-INTERVENTION SITUATION: Before the intervention of CBDRR program, there was no formal forum at the grass root level to ensure unified efforts for progress and prosperity of the community.
The level of awareness about disaster preparedness, personal and domestic hygiene and mother, neonatal and child health was not up to the mark.
The environmental hygiene in the area was very poor, as 60% of the households (HHs) lacked latrine, leaving the locals with no option but to defecate openly.
The area faced water shortage, as the water supply schemes were damaged leading to fighting/bickering among the community members. The community had no coordination with the government line departments to avail themselves of the services of these departments.
The CBDRR field staff helped the community in establishing a Mohallah Committee having equal male-female representation.
The committee meets on 22nd of every month and has established its office equipped with all the record and basic information.
The committee established DRR, WASH and health forums each having three members who were selected as volunteers and trained in the RCRC principles.
In order to develop the capacity of the MC’s executive body members, the CBDRR program arranged a two-day Community Management Skill Training (CMST) program and imparted skills to three executive body members.
In every meeting, Rs860 was collected from the Mohallah Committee members as Community Development Fund (CDF). Each member pays Rs20 per month as CDF.
The fund record is maintained by the committee treasurer. In April 2015, the Mohallah Committee opened a joint bank account in the Bank of AJK, Pattika Branch.
The signatories of bank account were selected in the MC’s monthly meeting. So far, the committee has collected Rs50,900 CDF. The fund has been deposited into the account.
Through the platform of mohallah committee, the CBDRR program has conducted training events on PHAST, MNCH, and HWTSS. Twenty-six permanent members of the MC participated in these training events.
Besides this, the Mohallah Committee organized an event in Konkan in April 2014 in connection with the World Health Day with the technical support of the CBDRR program.
This was the first mega event organized at the village level attended by men, women, children and representatives from the health department, CBDRR Program and AJKRSP. The MC organizes events like Millad, grass cutting etc every year.
The MC rehabilitated 1km pathway form Nala to Kot costing Rs100, 8540. The PRCS contributed Rs618,575 (61%) while the MC provided Rs389,959 (39%).
The committee identified 30 most vulnerable/poor families in the area having no latrine. The CBDRR program supported the construction of latrines.
Fifty percent of the total cost along with technical support was provided by the CBDRR program while the beneficiaries contributed the remaining 50%.
A HAPPY, SATISFIED COMMUNITY: The community is well-organized and all MC members collectively take initiatives to resolve issues. Now the mohallah has better pathways and access routes compared with the nearby mohallas.
Similarly, the women have better awareness of maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH). The lady health workers (LHWs) frequently visit the expectant mothers. The overall environmental hygiene in the mohallah has now improved due to the construction of latrines in 31 households.
“The community was exposed to numerous challenges after the October 2005 quake. I devoted myself wholeheartedly to the community welfare. Before 2013, my efforts were not recognized much and I had no skill to present what I did. When the PRC facilitated us in formation of MC, I was elected as president of the community institution. We’re now able to discuss and resolve our very basic issues at the community level,” says Saddarud Din.
He is all praise for the PRCS and its partners for their generous support paving way for the poor communities’ sustainable progress and prosperity.
SAFE DISPOSAL: A latrine constructed with the support of Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction Program.
THE RIGHT PATH: The pathway constructed jointly by the Nalla Kot Mohallah Committee and CBDRR Program.
PUTTING HEADS TOGETHER: Mohallah Committee formation meeting in progress.