Earthquake Area Rehab - HF-NSN-Nokia

ProPoor Tourism

• Introduction
• Rationale
• Objectives
• Program


The earthquake area has the potential to draw a large number of visitors who may be motivated by sympathy, at the same time to savour the stunning scenic beauty and unique cultural and heritage assets – all of which could be utilized effectively for economic growth & development, job creation, social cohesion and fostering pride and ownership in order to achieve long term rehabilitation of affected communities.

The EARTHQUAKE AREA HERITAGE RETREATS (EAHR) is designed as community-based sustainable tourism initiative in order to maximize the heritage potential of the area for poverty alleviation and community empowerment including marginalized vulnerable groups and women.

The programme is based on experience gained by the Heritage Foundation while working in the Siran Valley, Mansehra District, NWFP, since the earthquake of 8 October 2005. Due to close community interaction and study of historic assets, tangible and intangible heritage of the area we believe it is possible to maximize the potential that exists in the area for the benefit of the affected communities.

This EAHR proposal has been developed by Heritage Foundation in order to promote sustainable, community-based, green and pro-poor tourism among rural communities in Northern Pakistan affected by the 8 October 2005 Earthquake.

Besides reviewing the various drawbacks and challenges that exist in the area, this proposal works out strategies for attracting tourism, as a start, in the Siran Valley.


It is evident that the earthquake areas has great potential to draw a large number of visitors who may be motivated due to sympathy and humanitarian considerations, at the same time are able to savour stunning scenic beauty and unique cultural and heritage assets that exist in the area. These attractions can be utilized effectively for economic growth & development, social cohesion and fostering pride and ownership in order to achieve long-term rehabilitation of affected communities. Some important factors include:
· Utilizing unique heritage and cultural traditions as tourists’ attractions and assisting in their safeguarding for continuing future appeal.
· Engaging affected communities in productive activities.
· Fostering pride among the local people towards their cultural heritage and traditions.
· Providing an opportunity to local people of different backgrounds and income levels in a number of hospitality industry-related activities.
· Assisting rural economies to become more liberalized.
· Supporting aspects related to regeneration of forestry.
· Environmental conservation and protection of bio-diversity for future tourist maximization.


Identification and conservation of tangible and natural heritage sites as well as intangible heritage and crafts that are gravely threatened and endangered due to the earthquake is among major objectives of the proposal.

The objectives are as follows:
· To restore pride and deal with the earthquake trauma through heritage safeguarding efforts
· To work towards the MDG goal of poverty reduction through heritage preservation, environmental rehabilitation and sensitive tourism activities.
· To provide direct and varied channels and opportunities to the community for their well being and socio-economic development.


The first site for attracting visitors with the objective of familiarizing corporate executives with the conditions in the area has been developed at the base camp, karavanPakistan Research Institute at Karavanabad, Chattar. A small retreat has been developed among the pine forests consisting of tent accommodation with attached well-finished bathrooms. The focus is on providing clean and comfortable accommodation to tourists along with training courses in team building. The initial concept for team building courses was developed in collaboration with Mr. Tahir Khan. The training programme is being finalized by Mr. Sohail Mirza and Ms. Nilofur Khan.

Photographs of the retreat in the pine forest. Each tent is on its stone platform with its own bathroom.

Heritage Program

• Introduction
• Heritage Museum
• Heritage Protection


Among the main objectives of the program are preserving and enhancing the heritage of local areas in order to restore community pride and confidence in traditional value systems and vernacular technologies. This ethos continues to be reinforced through short and long term activities.

Since considerable thought had been given to the modalities for achieving our goal, and based on the Catalogue of Heritage Assets of the Siran Valley, it was possible to devise activities which would fulfill our heritage objectives. The Heritage Program is closely integrated with pro-poor community based cultural- and eco-tourism and is thus designed to bring long term benefits to these isolate and marginalized communities.

Since we believe that the community participation is the key for heritage safeguarding, pride and ownership, the heritage programs are being implemented in cooperation with the people of Jabbar.

The Catalogue of Heritage Assets of the Siran Valley prepared by the Foundation in early 2006 is a testimony to the enormous potential of the area for sensitive pro-poor cultural and eco-tourism. The heritage trail that has been developed is intended to provide tourists with enormous excitement as they discover various tangible and natural heritage assets so far hidden from the public view. Heritage and tradition can be gainfully employed to form the basis for reconstruction and development; particularly through encouragement of sensitively designed, cultural- and eco-tourism that can go a long way in providing livelihood to even the most remote and mountainous areas hit by the earthquake.


                            Natural Heritage. The tri-waterfall in Jabbar.

                   Unique sculptural tombstones.                  A sacred cave.  

              British Period 19th century Forest Lodge. Dumail.   

Heritage Museum

The earthquake has shorn many communities of many of their cultural objects and created generational gaps due to loss of life of people who were depositories of oral histories, thus degrading the non-material culture of the area. Both material and non-material culture are at risk and need to be conserved, revitalized and propagated for restoring pride of the community as well as utilization of these assets for development and income generation.

The greatest danger looms because of reconstruction activities since in the urgency to build new modern constructions, all that was once considered valuable and which might be partially damaged, would be destroyed or thrown away, finding no place in the new reconstruction phase.

These objects that were once the pride of various communities and a basis for their distinctiveness need to be saved from destruction and housed in a local museum. Work on collection of these objects has already started and they will be housed in the proposed Heritage Museum.

The community cultural objects are extremely important in order to utilize them to restoring pride and create livelihoods through conservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Based on our experience in the past 18 months, it is hoped that in addition to men it will also enable women to participate, even lead, in the rehabilitation phase. The Heritage Museum is envisaged as a source of economic, emotional, environmental and cultural rehabilitation of the community. It will act as the community cultural focus, research and publication centre, crafts training and promotion of community based tourism.

The construction of the first Heritage Museum for the area has been undertaken in Jabbar, on a site gifted by the local Syeds, Manzoor Shah family. This site is across the stream of the ancient graveyard of Jabbar. It thus lends itself to be made into a cultural centre with easy access to an ancient graveyard in Devli and other sites down the Siran River. It is possible to develop heritage and hiking trails with the Heritage Museum as the focus.

                   Plan of Museum Galleries.

The only surviving stone artisan, who can replicate the ancient stone sculptural carvings, is Lala Ishaq, who also lives in a nearby village. Since artisans workshops are also being constructed as part of the Heritage Museum, Lala Ishaq will be provided support to continue with his carving work along with training others in order to revitalize the ancient craft. Additionally, other artisans engaged in pottery, weaving, bead crafts etc. will also be encouraged to utilize the artisans’ workshops which will be attached to the Heritage Museum.

The refreshments kiosk, a crafts display area attached to the museum will provide visiting tourists with the flavour of the area.

Heritage Protection

Heritage Protection strategies are being devised to promote community safeguarding for the ancient graveyards that have been located through the Catalogue of Heritage Assets of the Siran Valley. The first programme being undertaken is in the ancient graveyard at Jabbar. In Summer 2007, a team of volunteers consisting of 4 students of Hazara University and over 50 Jabbar residents was lead by Faisal Rajpar of Columbia University cleaned up a major part of the Jabbar graveyard. The cleaning up of the graveyard exposed fully many of the ancient sculptural tombstones which require cleaning and/or stabilization.

                            Jabbar graveyard in early 2007. Photo Lala Rukh

Earlier, the graveyard had been exposed to loitering animals and had been in an extremely unkempt condition. The graveyard is now being fenced in to ensure its protection and to save the rare tombstones. After the winter snow and rain, the programme of cleaning will be undertaken along with stabilization of the gravestones where required.


Conservation Program

• Environmental Conservation
• Reforestation

Environmental Conservation

Among the most critical long term needs are conservation of forests and water sources. The felling of trees over the last years resulted in large number of casualties during the earthquake because of lack of forest cover. Most areas in the Siran Valley suffer from large-scale landslides which, in addition to being extremely dangerous, result in blocking of access roads, thus cutting off the communities for several weeks at a time.

The reforestation effort is among the most critical conservation works that needs to be undertaken on as large a scale as possible.


The reforestation porgram was initiated in monsoon season of 2006 through plantation of 15,000 saplings by the community. The program has been devised by Brig. Yasub Dogar who held meetings and discussions with the community. Discussions were also held with the Forest Department for supply of saplings.

Through consultation a person was selected to lead the program who also arranged for the plantation of saplings. The program is based on purchasing the saplings from the Forest Department and paying a small amount per tree to the community members who participate in the program. They are to be paid after an audit of the trees is carried out just after plantation, during the month of December, March and June and payment will be made according to the number of surviving saplings. The community is also expected to make up any shortfall or loss of saplings.

This programme will be further expanded in the next spring season by involving women and school children as well as community members. Forestation is considered one of the most effective ways to minimize casualties by preventing landslides and is crucial for earthquake areas.

Physical Infrastructure

• Mountain Pathways
• Water Treatment

The villages of Kodar and Jabbar consist of several sets of hamlets which are located in dispersed locations on different hilllocks.

This program addresses the problems of accessibility within the village clusters, provision of sanitation facilities where possible and guidance and advice on procurement of clean water and sewerage treatment. Among the most significant activities undertaken is the construction of mountain pathways for ease of accessibility for the elderly, sick and children. Other programs are being developed for promoting use of solar treatment for clean drinking water and methodologies for treatment of effluent.

Mountain Pathways

Through a consultative process with the community the urgent need for construction of mountain pathways was determined. Work on mountain pathways was undertaken in Jabbar and Kodar villages. The Jabbar programme was taken up from December 2006 to April 2007 and almost 3 km of pathways were constructed in collaboration with the community. The Kodar programme was begun in early 2007 and is ongoing. To date several pathways have been constructed which link various hamlets with each other. The success of the programme can be gauged by the fact that while initially, men of Kodar were not willing to provide any voluntary work, once the women’s programme of bead-making met with great success, men offered to participate in for the benefit of the community. Accordingly, while 2 days labour is paid by the programme, one day labour is provided on a voluntary basis by the local workforce. This has resulted in building up over 5 km of pathways in difficult mountainous terrain in Kodar . The present work of pathways is being led by Raja, who has been working with us ever since its inception in May 2006.


                           Group of community workforce helping to build mountain pathways.


                                                                      Mountain pathways in Kodar.


Water Treatment

The women and children of the area suffer from several water borne diseases. In the aftermath of the earthquake, several water channels became polluted. Although many villages have now been provided with piped water, there are areas where availability of clean water remains an issue. Through the help of Mr. Saad Khan, a Swiss Pakistani belonging to Swiss Pakistan Society in Switzerland, a program has been devised to use solar heat for water treatment. This program will be undertaken in early 2008.

The temporary latrines that had been provided by various NGOs in the emergency phase, were a tremendous help in controlling outbreak of diseases. However, over a period of time, the effluent remains untreated and unregulated resulting in extremely unhygienic conditions in some communities. To treat the effluent a program has been devised by another Swiss Pakistani Mr. Sohail Mirza, belonging to Swiss Pakistan Society in Switzerland. The program relies on use of certain plants for treating the effluent. This program is being undertaken in Jabbar in early 2008.


Social Infrastructure

• Primary School
• Health Centre
• Household Latrines
• Housing for Vulnerable Groups

It seems that the Kodar villages, UC Sachan Kalan, District Mansehra, have always had a deficit of social infrastructure. Prior to the earthquake in October 2005, there were very few schools which is the reason for an extremely high illiteracy rate. The women and children suffer from several ailments due to a lack of proper health cover.

The social infrastructure program consists of provision of buildings for primary schools, health facility and houses for vulnerable groups. The program has been developed to provide expert advice and guidance to the communities in order to build seismic-resistant structures based on vernacular technologies and local materials. The use of improved local knowledge, enhanced existing skills and involvement of community in construction has resulted in ownership and pride when buildings are completed. Considering the fact that the rebuilding process needs to be handled carefully via restoring pride in vernacular construction and in the importance to continue using traditional techniques and materials and most significant through a consultative process with the community.

The use of local materials and local workforce has the advantage of reduced cost of construction. Compared to engineered or pre-engineered structures using cement, reinforcing seel bars or steel elements , construction through local materials cosumes less energy in their production and reduced fuel consumption in transportation over long distances. Additionally, the involvement of local workforce makes more funds available to the affected communities, thus helping in rehabilitation and regeneration.

Primary School

Construction of primary schools was taken up in the villages of Jabbar and Kodar in 2006. The school building design had been prepared from the point of relying as much as possible on local material and local workforce. The main objective of the program was always kept paramount, i.e. to use construction of buildings for developing linkages within the community and to foster their sense of ownership through community participation and involvement.

The Primary Schools at both Jabbar and Kodar were taken up to replace the school structures in the villages that collapsed during the earthquake. Unfortunately, the school at Jabbar had to be abandoned due to the problem of the site owners with the Education Department. The school at Kodar was completed in June 2007 however, the formal handing over to the department and community was carried out in November 2007.

                          Dirt road to the school.                              Roof under construction.

                        View from the hill.                                     View of school from courtyard.

                        View of school veranda.                               Internal view of classroom.


Health Facility

Report Mid-September 2008
According to the latest information in September 2008, the health facility could not be started because of various hurdles. The Nazim was not able to procure land and we were forced to look for another package. Negotiations took a long time and finally we were able to finalize and agree on a package of land which was owned by 4 family members. Even after the details had been sorted out, we were told that one of the members has backed out. We have been forced to look for another package of land and we hope that this time we are able to secure possession of it. It is also clear that a much simpler health facility than the one intended earlier has to be built since the government does not seem to have staff to maintain it. The UNICEF teams that visited the area on our request in April 2008 have advised that a couple of local educated women should be trained as primary health care workers and only a modest facility should be built. If we are able to finalize the purchase of land, a 2-room structure is envisaged for this purpose.

Report June 2008
During the two visits of UNICEF teams in April 2008, it became clear that a large-scale health facility could not be staffed by the government. After discussions, it was decided that a much scaled-down version of the health facility should be designed which could be staffed by locally trained primary health workers. Since health issues of women and children appeared to be most critical, further discussions are being held with UNICEF to work out ways to achieve the target.

In the meantime, unfortunatley, the piece of land promised by the local Nazim also did not materialize. Since land is in short supply, most land being owned by Khans and not by the locals, the hope of a large piece of land has been given up. After great difficulty a local family has made available a piece of land measuring approximately 2 kanals (just over 1,000 sq. yds.), which has been acquired through allocating a sum of Rs. 40,000.

A small building has now been designed, which will be started once the possession of the land has been taken. The land is adjacent to the main road to Kodar; however, it is at a considerably lower level and will require earthworks to make it accessible.

Report January 2008
Due to the collapse of the small dispensary, for the last two years even the most rudimentary health issues have remained unattended. There have been several deaths, particularly of small children since the closest health facility is at least one hour drive away in this remote, mountainous region.

The biggest hurdle in the reconstruction of a health unit has been the non-availability of land. A few months ago, the community, led by the local Nazim Mr. Shah Khan, approached us with the offer of a piece of land measuring 4 kanals. Since we felt that such a facility was extremely important for the area, we agreed to build the necessary building. However, it seemed that because of disagreement with the owners, the requisite package was land could not be made available. Since we had given a commitment to the community, it has been decided to procure a piece of land for the health facility and after the necessary permissions from the health department the construction of the health unit will be taken in hand.

Designs have been prepared and discussed with ERRA and on their recommendation a labour room has been added. The accommodation caters for examination rooms for both men and women, along with 2-bed wards for treatment of patients. On ERRA recommendation it has also been agreed to provide 2 nos. 2 room KaravanGhar for male and female doctors and a third one to be shared by an attendant and chowkidar.

A 20’x20’ room is included in the design which will be used to conduct workshops for women on health and hygiene issues.




Household Latrines

Report Mid-September 2008
During the visits of the UNICEF teams it became clear that a large number of children and women were suffering from scabies, which was a direct consequence of open defecation. Although the programme for latrines had been designed, however, it after the UNICEF findings, it was decided to expedite the programme. As soon as the weather conditions became favourable, work on household latrines was undertaken. The process of finalizing the names for the first batches always poses a challenge since it is very difficult to determine who is the most needy. For the latrines, the criteria was:
- how many closely related families (brothers) were prepared to share the latrine
- How many families were prepared to show their initiative in carrying out excavation and provide labour for stone walls.

70 families came forward and the latrines were awarded in the names of the womenfolk. It was decided that the emphasis on the structure should be minimized and greater emphasis would be placed on provision of sanitary fittings, water supply and construction of double pits for effluent discharge. Accordingly, the structures are fairly simple in the form of two chambers - one houses an asiatic W.C., the other is a bathing chamber while the wash basin is placed on an external wall to encourage hand washing. The use of improved vernacular construction has enabled the local community to utilize its own skills along with provision to make the structures seismic resistant by using bolts in the wooden framing and proper bonding of stones etc.

To date 70 latrines are now functional, while another 60 are under construction. A total of 130 latrines will be built under the programme. However, there is a waiting list of 200 families and we may have to arrange for more funds to continue with the programme, which is likely to make an enormous difference in the life of the community particularly women and children.

KaravanGhar for Vulnerable Group

Karavan Ghar Program is based on improved traditional construction technology through guided technical help and supply of key materials. It is also known as KAPIT i.e. Karavan Pakistan Program for Indigenous Technology. After the emergency phase, the policy adopted by ERRA (Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority) did not require non-government agencies to help construct any further housing units, since ERRA was distributing funds for construction to all households that had been affected. However, the vulnerable group e.g. widows, orphans, elderly and the disabled are not covered under the ERRA policy. Thus, although the KaravanGhar had been discontinued, it was decided to provide assistance to the vulnerable group and help them construct their own KarvanGhar.

In Kodar 11 individuals were identified in December 2007. However, due to first the cold weather and later on receiving instalments from ERRA by the families, no appreciable progress could be made on the houses.


Empowering Women

• Nokia-Karavan Craft Centres
• Destiny Roti
• Solar Food Dehydrator

In the post-disaster period women have been the worst sufferers, huddling inside their cold tents or emergency shelters during winter, which, after the onset of summer, became equally unlivable hot ovens. It was clear to us that if any section of society would continue to suffer most, it would be women, who would have to pay for the slow recovery in the next years. During the early post-disaster days, we believed that ways had to be found in order that women could lead the recovery effort by providing livelihoods through the skills that they were familiar with or could be trained for. From conversations it became clear to us that women were keen to generate a decent income and were more likely than men to be involved immediately in productive work.  

Nokia-Karavan Craft Centres (NKCC)

The beadwork of Kodar Village in the Siran Valley is traditionally crafted by women. In this deprived and marginalized community, living in remote mountainous terrain, with only a few houses on each hillock, the most important jewellery for women consists of elaborately crafted necklaces, hand and finger lacy covers, bracelets etc. The beads, although comparatively in-expensive, lend themselves to innovative designs as cultural expressions of those living in isolated communities. The bead jewellery reflects the status of women and young girls in life and community. 


                          First women's assembly at the orchard in Kodar Bala.

After the first-ever women’s gathering organized by the Progamme in early May 2006, attended by over 150 women in Kodar Bala, it was evident that women were keen to begin productive activities. Their most vocal demand was for sewing machines. The beadwork they considered of little value, never having used it except as an adornment for themselves.

Following our philosophy of encouraging self-reliance among the affectees, women were asked to form groups of 10-12 households, the one that offered a common space to work together would be the team leader and eligible for a sewing machine. Thus, literally at no cost the craft centres were established. Women were asked to start bracelet production by utilizing simple designs. In order to retain authenticity and the spirit of ‘one –of-a-kind’ they are encouraged to use their traditional designs and colour combinations. All the products are purchased by the programme. Beginning with five craft centres in mid June and a production of 12 bracelets in the first two weeks, by mid-December the 2-week production increased to 800 in 17 centres located at dispersed hilltops. Today there are 55 craft centres and the production is increasing exponentially. Almost 500 women are productively engaged in bead craft, producing over 5,000 bracelets per month and for the first time in their life, have received cash in their hands. 


                            No-cost Nokia-Karavan Craft Centres.

The programme has been carried out from the Project camp office at Kodar Bala. Design, sorting and packaging is carried out at HF head office, Karachi. The ‘Destiny Bracelet’ is being marketed around the world through Nokia and HF friends.

The program has been highly successful in empowering local women and providing them an opportunity to enjoy life on an equal basis.
Due to their newly discovered earning capacity, among the benefits of the programme are greater confidence among women and their increased status in the eyes of men. This program, which started with involving women, has led the way for engaging men of the area into productive community participation activities.

Destiny Roti - Cornbread for Health

Work on the construction of 10 ‘Destiny Roti’ kitchens has been taken in hand in Kodar in November 2007. The marketing of the ‘Destiny Roti’ is scheduled to be launched in April 2008.

                                Plan and section of Destiny Roti Kitchens, rendered by Zulfi.

The first ten women participants of the program are: 

Imtiaz, Rukhsana, Zaifoon, Mehrunnisa, Shabana, Shaheen, Akbarjan, Parveen, Suhaajan and Begumjan.

The project has been designed in order to develop a sense of ownership and pride. While materials are being supplied to the participants, 25% of the cost in the form of labour and some material available with them is their contribution; almost 50% of the cost of each unit is being given as a grant by I-Led, while the remaining costs, technical guidance and general administrative costs are being borne by the HF-NSN-Nokia partnership. Due to the severe winter and heavy snowfall, coupled with unsettled condition in the country, the progress on kitchen construction has slowed down; however, they are expected to be completed in February 2008. The following pictures show the progress of kitchens in mid-December 2007.

         Solid masonry walls upto 3'0" height.

         Upper part of the walls are of traditional 'dhajji' construction.

         Image showing 'dhajji' supports and roof joists and purlins.

In the Siran Valley, the staple food of the communities is cornbread which is made from local maize traditionally ground in water mills. This particular grinding is credited with the special flavour found in the cornbread (makai ki roti) of the area. The women of the area are particularly skilled in making extremely tasty cornbread, which is baked in the traditional earth ovens. The bread of Kodar has been rated as among the best ever tasted by foreigners who partook of this food after the earthquake. Being a product particularly desirable for healthy lifestyle, it is intended to develop a chain of bread making and packaging mechanism at the community level and transporting and marketing to urban centres e.g. Islamabad, and later, Lahore and Karachi. The product is a highly desirable food product and is much sought after in enlightened circles. If handled in an efficient manner with assurance of hygienic safeguards and rapid delivery, the activity can bring huge dividends to the isolated and remote communities affected by the earthquake.

                              Plan of Packaging Centre for Destiny Roti, rendered by Zulfi.

Who are the participants?

The activity is being planned for women belonging to the Nokia-Karavan Craft Centres, who have proved their entrepreneurial capability in developing their bead making skill and now feel confident and empowered. Those with greater corn bread making skill will be given preference.

How will it be organized?

• Selected women will be helped to build their own kitchens (for earthen ovens) and provided with the necessary storage and utensils.
• Workshops will be conducted to apprise the participants regarding personal hygiene and imposition of hygienic conditions for production of corn bread.
• Bread will be transported in closed containers to the packing centre.
• A purpose built packing centre will provide the requisite hygienic conditions for vacuum packing and sterilization in food grade pouches
• Cold chain will be established through cold storage and transportation in specially fitted air conditioned vans to Distribution Centre in Islamabad
• Delivery of the bread will be arranged to selected points and health food stores/restaurants

What is the outcome?

Revival/rehabilitation/reconstruction of traditional water mills
The encouragement which is likely to be the outcome of large-scale production is intended to ensure that the traditional water mills, many of which have collapsed, could be revived. Because of their location in the midst of picturesque streams, the area could also be developed as scenic picnic spots.

Continuing use of traditional earth ovens
The earth ovens, which have been traditionally used for centuries will also survive, thus, continuing the tradition which is important to conserve the rich heritage of the area.

Respect for women for making lowly bread
Women will be enabled to earn from a skill that has been considered useful only for the family, thus increasing their status in life and community and empowering them to become more productive members of society.

Hygienic methodologies for household usage
Once trained to use hygienic means of production and emphasis on personal hygiene, the activity is likely to help in achieving better hygienic conditions in the house with concomitant advantage of better health for the entire family.

Solar Food Dehydrator

A solar food dehydrator has been installed in Kodar to try out its application at this remote hilly village. The dehydrator has been designed by Saad Khan of Pak-Swiss Society based in Switzerland and donated to us for trial purposes.

The dehydrator was fabricated through the help of Dr. Afzal of Kahuta Research Laboratories and brought to Kodar for installation. Four women in the community were asked to place sliced vegetables and fruit in trays allocated to them. The initial experiments have yielded extremely positive results. The dried vegetables and fruit have retained their flavour and have been much appreciated by the community.

However, since the dehydrator is rather expensive (Rs. 35,000), we had requested Saad Khan to design an inexpensive version in order that each family could have its own dehydrator in the vicinity of its home. He has performed a commendable task of designing one which be extremely economical (under Rs. 4,000). A prototype was constructed at our camp office in Chattar under the guidance of Saad Khan in November 2007. Due to heavy snow and a severe winter, the drying experiment will be carried out after the winter season is over. The cheap version of the dehydrator is envisaged as a do-it-yourself kit which can be easily assembled by the families themselves, and  be useful as an alternative to the drying arrangement they had on their flat roofs, which is no longer possible after sloping roofs of galvanized iron have been popularized for earthquake mitigation.

The vegetables and fruit dried through the solar dehydrators are expected to supplement the family income in addition to vegetables and fruit being available for the family's own use. The dehydrators are part of women empowerment programme.


Solar dehydrators being inspected by men and women of Kodar.


Awareness Raising

Since 2001 through KaravanPakistan activities, Heritage Foundation has been promoting creative and performing arts among school children at various heritage sites around the country, with beneficial affect.
Due to the past experience, we considered it important to engage the community particularly school children in the arts.

Art workshops for children were initiated in March 2006 and have involved over 600 children who have painted 5’6 x 10’ long murals which are now 700 feet long. These murals have been painted by children who had never held a brush in their hands.

Performances as a result of workshops held in summer 2006.

Workshops have been held focusing on dance, skits and music , were conducted by Karavan volunteers from American University at Sharjah and National College of Arts, as well as those from USA and Australia These workshops were attended by over 150 school children.

During 2007, art workshops were conducted by Prof. Lala Rukh of National College of Arts for students in painting and photography.

Children displaying their works. Prof. Lala Rukh's workshops.

These workshops have had positive impact on school children and has helped them overcome their trauma.

Since August 2007, a mural painting programme has also been undertaken for women belonging to Nokia-Karavan Craft Centres, who have painted some beautiful murals with distinctive designs.

Assemblies have been held in which large number of women have participated, in which various issues related to their lifestyle, crafts and other activities have been discussed. These women had never had a chance to assemble together and it has been an exciting and rewarding experience for all those who participated in such assemblies.

HF-NSN-Nokia Program: Recrafting Destiny

• Introduction
• Challenges
• Opportunities


HF-NSN-Nokia Partnership was begun in April 2006 to undertake rehabilitation of selected mountainous communities, i.e. Kodar and Jabbar cluster of villages.

The partnership’s underlying strategy is to make people “self–reliant” believing in “Give a person a fish; he/she will eat for a day. Teach him/her the art to catch fish; he/she will eat for all his/her life”.

Thus focusing on heritage, culture and traditions as assets, identity and pride on the basis of indigenous knowledge and at the same time creating linkages for establishing a number of livelihood channels for the people, the programme envisages safeguarding and conservation of tangible and intangible heritage for development and improved quality of life.

The programme has received extraordinary support from the executives of Nokia and NSN in achieveing its heritage-related objectives. The deep and personal involvment of Mr. Veqar ul Islam, Cluster Head, NSN (formerly Country Manager, Nokia), Ms. Atifa Asghar, Branding Marcoms & NSN Channels, Saudi, Gulf, Pakistan, NSN (formerly of Nokia), Ms. Micheline Ntiru, Nokia/Sandton and Mr. Adnan Hafeez, NSN (formerly of Nokia), has enabled Heritage Foundation's Yasmeen Lari, to devise project objectives and programmes which engage and benefit the community, helping them to become self-reliant.

Self–Reliance strategy has been devised as follows:
At Organizational Level: Every effort is taken to create a link with the cultural heritage and traditions in such a way that not only people feel proud to own them but also preserve and keep it alive through learning about it.

At Program Level: Creating awareness and teaching local people those skills, which not only help to establish and maintain a strong relationship to preserve culture and heritage assets but also provide a means of generating income and thus opting for a better standard of life.

NSN-Nokia have provided generous support for this program along with provision of 3 vehicles. The program has achieved considerable progress, particularly in encouraging community participation. Due to the extended emergency period when aid and grants were being provided to the affected people, it was difficult to preach the message of self-reliance. However, through a sustained effort the communities in Jabbar and Kodar are coming forward to collaborate in a spirit of partnership to achieve improved living conditions for themselves.

The success of women’s empowerment program has led to large-scale involvment of men in the area. The women's programme comprising traditional beadwork has received promotional assistance from Nokia International through the Ms. Riccarda Zezza, Ms. Sussana Hietala, and Ms. Riita Ruskio, among others. The programme is deeply appreciative of all those who are helping the community in achieveing self reliance and self respect.


The area was chosen because of the challenges that existed in the villages of Kodar and Jabbar, situated at 6000 feet above sea level. We felt that, inspite of the difficulties, we were needed to make a difference. During the first year when the rehabilitation phase was taken in hand, there were many difficulties. However, as inroads were made into the community, it became possible to encourage community participation.

Difficult Terrain

• Difficult Access, Remote, Hilly Areas
• Unmetalled Roads
• Landslides

Aggressive Weather

• Heavy snowfall from November to March
• Monsoon rains July-August; rains fhroughout year hampering progress
• Road blockages with boulders thwarting access

Cartage of Material Over Long Distances

• Cartage of concrete/brick materials over long distance
• Delayed deliveries due to inclement weather
• Delayed deliveries due to transport shortages

Difficulty in Procuring Local Materials

Increased in price for local materials e.g. Stone and wood

Lack of Electric Power

• Reliance on generators
• Frequent breakdowns
• Low Voltage (since April 2007)

Loss of Work Ethic in Local Workforce

• Low productivity
• Frequent holidays
• Low level of understanding re construction work

Lack of Assistance from Community/Government

• High community expectations for getting everything free after President of Pakistan visited in April 2006
• Interest of local political leaders to get construction contract (instead of our objective to involve local workforce)
• Lack of support from Government Agencies

Non-availability of Suitable Supervisory Staff

• Shortage of Engineers/Architects etc. in the area

Marginalized Communities

• Low literacy levels (1% literacy among adults)
• Rampant poverty
• Tenancy status – low percentage of land ownership
• Isolated communities
• Lack of social cohesion
• Low confidence levels
• Lack of opportunities
• Dependency on aid since earthquake
• Lack of motivation
• Subsistence farming - only corn and wheat cultivation
• Low health status – women and children highly vulnerable
• Earthquake trauma unattended to

Environmental Degradation

• Low Tree Coverage resulting in Landslides
• Changes in Water Courses
• Polluted Water Channels
• Lack of Sanitation Facilities
• Lack of Sewerage and Drainage


Because of the extreme conditions in the area, we felt that there were opportunities which should be taken up for the benefit of the community. Because of the isolated nature of the area, it became incumbent upon us to encourage community participation as well as provide the necessary linkages with the outside world. The low literacy and health levels, lack of opportunities and a degraded environment all need attention for their empowerment, with particular focus on women and children of the area for a brighter future.

Implement Poverty alleviation mechanism based on local heritage, crafts, culture & traditions
Rejuvenate affected communities through sustainable socio- economic development
Strengthen relevance of culture for social cohesion in community
Empower women through livelihoods based on craft and traditional ways of doing
Create pro-poor community-based culture- and eco-tourism for large-scale community benefits