Mission Report

UN Environment/OCHA Joint Unit Mission Report – 2005 Pakistan Earthquake

This mission report describes the Rapid Environmental Assessment (REA) of two experts deployed by the UN Environment/OCHA Joint Unit (JEU) through a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team (UNDAC) in Pakistan following an earthquake.

In October 2005, a devastating earthquake struck northern Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. The earthquake and aftershocks caused thousands of deaths and the destruction of infrastructure including medical facilities, government buildings and schools. The JEU ensured that the United Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team, sent at the request of the Government of Pakistan, included two UNDAC-trained environmental generalists who conducted a Rapid Environmental Assessment (REA) and identified acute environmental issues, including waste management problems, slope instability, and threats due to deforestation.

To address these issues, the JEU deployed four experts (waste management and health care) to Pakistan to provide practical advice, solutions and technical support. The experts developed waste management and medical waste guidelines in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the JEU. These guidelines were widely distributed. The experts also provided information on the improvement of solid waste collection and disposal to relevant cluster-lead agencies (UNICEF, WHO) and local authorities. Overall response timing and sequencing was effective. The JEU ensured that within days of issues being identified through the REA, additional experts were deployed to conduct further assessments, and, most importantly, to provide practical advice and solutions.

Consult the mission report here.

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