Pakistan Earthquake 2005 / 2006
As a result of the terrible earthquake in northern Pakistan in the autumn of 2005, where some 70,000 people died, the board of GMA decided upon an urgent intervention to review where GMA could help, particularly if there were 'gaps' in the current humanitarian mapping. Accordingly, Rupert Douglas-Bate went to Pakistan, on a nine day mission. He was joined by Pakistani friends from a minorities group, who became his guides to Abbotabad and Islamabad and the surrounding areas.
One idea under consideration was to create a snow-line map, however the UNHICC (United Nations Humanitarian Information Co-ordination Centre) informed GMA that such a map was already being made. Snow-line maps show the vulnerable groups above the snow line, living a days walk through snow, from usable roads and are therefore very useful for targeting aid to those in greatest need.
In the event, GMA teamed up with two local NGOs, one called PODA which emphasises women's human rights and the other called SUNGI which focuses on development work, mostly in the earthquake affected regions in the north.
PODA required maps to show donors and visitors how to get to their beneficiary villages and refugee tent villages, near Islamabad, where they are actively seeking to alleviate the suffering amongst women refugees living in tents.
SUNGI required a clickable map to show donor and aid workers, where they are working and what they are doing, in quantitative terms. This will assist them to attract more aid to specific areas, on the basis of quantitative and systematically acquired information.
GMA volunteers, Elisabeth Huff and Heather Carlisle, led the creation of these maps.