ACTED has completed a six-month project to provide material assistance to vulnerable families affected by the 2017 earthquake in Chong-Alai District. The project built upon the success of a previous intervention to address the needs of people affected by the earthquake.
When an earthquake hit northern Tajikistan in 2017, reverberations ranging from 4 to 6 on the Richter scale shocked several villages of Chong-Alai in southwestern Kyrgyzstan. Chong-Alai is known for its beautiful mountains, yet the people who live there experience harsh living conditions and poverty. Fortunately, the earthquake did not cause any human casualty, but around 5,000 people in Chong-Alai were affected. In rural Kyrgyzstan, houses are made out of mud and straw and can hardly withstand earthquakes of such magnitude, resulting in heavy material damages for more than 1,000 houses. Villagers also reported the loss of livestock, as many herds were killed or wounded during the earthquake.
ACTED was one of the first NGOs to assess damages in these villages in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. In 2017, through an Emergency Shelter Assistance project funded by the Swiss Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic, ACTED provided assistance to 65 vulnerable households in Chong-Alai District through the provision of reconstruction materials and technical support by ACTED’s engineers.
Building upon the success of the activities in 2017, in 2018 ACTED implemented a project to provide construction materials and engineering support to households affected by the Chong-Alai earthquake. Once again, the Embassy of Switzerland in the Kyrgyz Republic provided financial support. In Phase II of ACTED’s intervention in Chong-Alai, a total of 142 households (beyond the initially planned 100) received assistance in the form of construction materials. All of these families now have a warm room in which to spend the winter. The beneficiaries have expressed the view that it would have been much more difficult to repair or rebuild their houses without the assistance they received.