Pakistani Project AKAH Wins International Award

A Pakistani project has won the International award. The project combines the satellite images, mapping technologies and the local knowledge of local residents of villages in order to help build climate-proof settlements in disaster-prone areas of Pakistan. The project, named Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) Pakistan project, gave benefit to the one million people. The project won the gold prize at the World Habitat Awards that are organised with the United Nations housing agency (UN-Habitat).

About 50,000 residents are trained by AKAH. The project educated the residents how to better protect their villages from disasters in the mountainous northern areas which are vulnerable to earthquakes, floods and environmental degradation, and are home to some of the poorest communities.

Pakistani Project AKAH Wins International Award

David Ireland, chief executive of World Habitat, said, “It’s not just responding to the effects of the climate emergency, but being proactive in protecting people from its effects, using technology and the knowledge of communities. It provides communities with the knowledge of where and how to live in safety in a changing world. The potential for this approach to be adapted and used in similar areas in Pakistan and elsewhere is absolutely huge,”

According to the World bank data that more than 2m people have been killed by natural disasters since 1980. It also states that Pakistan is among the most disaster-prone countries in South Asia.

The AKAH project launched in 2006. With the help of satellite images and drones, the project collocated the information regarding the mapping and monitoring hazards and creates disaster risk management plans with the involvement of local residents.

The project helps the local residents to build in safer areas, and train them how to respond to disasters. AKAH is planning to extend the model to other rural parts of Pakistan. More interestingly, its projects in Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Syria and India have completed risk assessments in nearly 2,500 villages covering 3m people by using the same approach.

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