Talis: end of first phase of reconstruction

Jan 20, 2011
The first results of the Felix Baltistan Fundazioa (FBF) Plan for the Reconstruction of Talis are beginning to be seen. To date, 12 houses have been built, the first floor roof is being finished on a further 9 and another 8 have 50-70% of their stone walls constructed.
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The tragic consequences of the floods last August were that 15 people lost their lives, 38 houses were completely destroyed by the avalanche of water, stones and mud, hundreds of animals were swept away, thousands of trees were torn down and acres of cropland were  lost. In response to this disaster, the FBF, together with FIFBM (the local Foundation) and with the support of many other people and institutions (principally from the Basque Country, Spain), efforts have been focused on rebuilding this disaster area.

Around 80,000 euros have been donated by people from the Basque Country and from among the collective of European mountaineers. Funds have also been donated by two savings banks in the Basque Country; 44,000 euros from customers of Kutxa plus a 6,000 euro donation by the bank itself, and a further 50,000 euros thanks to the generosity of the employees of the BBK savings bank.

The Reconstruction Plan is designed to ensure the provision of food for all affected families, that the houses destroyed in the floods be rebuilt and improved, new urban planning to prevent such a catastrophe ever happening again and the restoration of croplands to be able to plant new crops next spring.

The first phase of reconstruction, which began at the end of October 2010, came to an end with the arrival of winter and temperatures of between -6 and -20º C. To date, 12 houses have been built, the first floor roof is being finished on a further 9 and another 8 have 50-70% of their stone walls constructed. Of the 38 houses destroyed in the floods, 33 have been redesigned with an optimum thermal layout.

Affected zone


Situation at 20 January 2011

From mid-January to the end of February, during which time all construction work will be stopped due to the weather conditions, work will continue on the optimum design of the houses with 2 local architects and a further 2 architects and an industrial engineer from the Basque Country. At the end of February, three people from FBF will travel to Baltistán to decide, together with the men and women of Talis and local technicians, on the building techniques to be used for constructing the second floor. Decisions will be taken on the use of dry toilets, the sanitation system, Trombe walls, thermal insulation of windows and doors, optimised use of stoves, cantilevers and connections between houses, urban design and the retaining walls for, and integration of, the river in the town.

Details of the reconstruction

FBF is the only NGO in the area which has started work on rebuilding houses in the area of Baltistán. As of 20 January, 20,000 euros had been sent to the area. These funds have been invested in contracting an engineer and an architect from the local area and in works for the reconstruction of the houses.

Those families who lost their home have been living in the homes of relatives, whilst the animals have been kept in the newly constructed houses. Construction work has been developed on a community basis, i.e. the men have worked on extracting the stone to build walls, and the women of the town have completed the roofing works of the first floor.

Where possible, the wood from the houses destroyed in the floods has been used to build new houses. An agreement was reached between the owners and FIFBM/FBF whereby the owners agreed to knock down their old houses in the risk area and leave that space empty for future use as cropland, for water purification purposes, as public areas, etc.

Redesign of the houses

33 of the 38 houses have been redesigned.

LayoutLayout 2


Windows and doors

Window sections have been optimised for better thermal insulation. Experts from the local community and from the Basque Country took active part in this process, which also involved the voluntary collaboration of the Basque Country companies Muebles San Josepe and Zuhaizki.



Details of the families affected

Sr. No    Name of the Family

Head and Father    Family Name

1    Ibrahim S/O Esa    Azizpa-01

2    Musa S/O Esa    Azizpa-02

3    Esa S/O Heider    Haiderpa-01

4    Musa S/O Rustam    Haiderpa

5    Maryum w/o Ali Muhammad    Madiwa

6     Mohammad S/O Shemsher    Haiderpa

7    Fida S/O Shemsher    Haiderpa-04

8    Abdul Rahman S/O Musa    Haiderpa-02

9    Ibrahim S/O Qambar    Haiderpa-12

10    Musa S/O Ibrahim    Khachiwa-03

11    Qamber Ali S/O Ghulam    Khachiwa-01

12    Hassan Ali S/O Baqdul    Madiwa-06

13    Mohammad Esa S/O Ibrahim    Madiwa-13

14    Bwa Musa S/O Ishaque     Mallawa-01

15    Musa S/O Ghulam     Thollowa-02

16    Ghulam S/O Ibrahim     Wathoolpa

17    Mohammad S/O Musa    Bazawa-01

18    Shukoor S/O Barkat Got    Good pa

19    Hasnoo S/o Hussain     Nagdoowa-01

20    Abdul  S/O Morad    Shakariwa-01

21    Ibrahim S/O Watool    Haiderpa

22    Ibrahim S/O Rustam    Haiderpa-03

23    Hussain Alai S/O Ibrahim    Wathoolpa

24    Ibrahim S/O Haider    Haiderpa

25    Ghulam Mohammad S/O Abdul Rahim    Madiwa-03

26    Ali Barkat S/O Mohammad    Madiwa-02

27    Shabeer Hussain S/O Baqdul    Madiwa-11

28    Sher Ali S/O Ali (Ali Yarpa)    Madiwa-12

29    Ibrahim/ Hussain (Ali Yarpa)    Madiwa-05

30    Akbar S/O Mohammad Ali    Mallawa-02

31    Esa S/O Musa    Thollowa-01

32    Ibrahim S/O Rozi    Thankiwa-01

33    Ali Khan S/O Khanfoo     Malikpa

34    Ghulam Mohammad S/O Hussain    Nagdoowa-04

35    Gulam S/O Ibrahim    Sanathapa

36    Hidayat Ali S/O Musa    Tolowa

1.1    Pending concession:

37    Hassan S/O Abdur Rehman    Gojungpa

38    Hussain S/O Salam karim     

According to Mr. Muhammad Raza, a local architect, the homes of a further 10 families are  located in the risk area. These houses are currently being identified and will be subject to a study by the Talis Committee. Furthermore, these same houses will be referenced on a map being drawn up by the architect Mr. Mubashir Hassan, for a definitive decision to be taken on whether they are located in the risk area.

The decision has been taken that no housing funds will be provided for anyone who decides to leave the Hushé Valley and move to Islamabad. However, those families who do not have land in Talis will be offered the possibility of moving to other towns in the valley to build on the land of their relatives there.