Hello. Greetings from Kashmir.

© Ed MIRANDA

The project is very interesting even though the emergency phase is finished. We are busy finalising what the emergency team had started, ironing out issues. There are 20 expatriates and I'm the log supervisor for 6 expatriate logisticians. The team here is very motivated with high spirit towards works and that gives energy to the whole team. I'm in charge for security, like a father to 19 children. We are running a tent hospital from the damaged district hospital. The tent hospital has inpatient department (IPD) and outpatient department (OPD) with complete facilities, including emergency room, operating theater, delivery room, ICU, dental etc. We are also in charge of the water-sanitation activities in this hospital. Currently, MSF is building container hospital to replace the tent hospital. We call it the Lego project. It is composed of 79 metallic containers that can accommodate all facilities to run a district hospital. We also have OPD's in 4 other locations made of metallic containers, which are currently under improvement process. Access to Islamabad from my base in Bagh is through UNHAS helicopter and to project around Kashmir is via MSF helicopter. Car travel is possible but road condition is very bad. Kashmir is a very mountainous area and road landslide is the top security risk we face. So during rain or snow, all travels are postponed.

© Ed MIRANDA

The temperature is still cold, as low as 4 degrees. The food is spicy and can even get spicier depending on the mood of the cook. But I would admit that the food here is far better than Darfur in terms of supply. So I have to watch my weight. Accommodation is not bad, we sleep in winterized tents in a compound with office, store and vehicle park. At least we have heaters; otherwise it will be problem to take a shower. I'm enjoying the work here and have adapted to the local context. Ed Miranda
Ed MIRANDA who comes from Philippines, has been working for different NGOs. He worked for MSF as national staff from 1992 to 2002 and was responsible for logistics. In 2005, he became MSF field volunteer and went to Kerenek in Sudan to provide logistical support in health structures. In January 2006, he left for his second mission with MSF and is now working in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir for the post earthquake intervention.

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