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International Growth Centre funds mauza mapping project in Pakistan

Researchers in Pakistan, led by Dr Sohaib Khan at Lahore University of Management Science (LUMS) and funded by the International Growth Centre at LSE, have begun research to develop mauza level maps that will help improve disaster responses in the area.

mauza mapThe tragic monsoon floods that struck Pakistan last July had far-reaching consequences, affecting more than 2.5 million people. The scale of the floods and the lack of disaster preparedness greatly hindered relief workers' efforts to provide a coordinated and targeted response. Many communities were stranded without food, clean water and shetler. Relief providers experienced similar difficulties in the aftermath of the earthquake that struck Pakistan in 2005; aid delivery was hampered by uncertainty surrounding the location of affected villages and the needs of the affected population.

Through the development of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), the FloodMAPS project aims to improve disaster response in the future. The team, led by Dr Sohaib Khan at UMS and funded by the International Growth Centre| at LSE, is developing a geo-referenced 'mauza' level map of the country. The 'mauza' is the smallest administrative unit in the country and refers typically to a collection of villages.

Mauza level maps will be more useful in guiding disaster response than the maps currently produced which depict administrative boundaries only until the level of 'tehsil', a larger administrative unit. As a result, disaster response often targets the wrong people in the wrong regions. Mauza level maps depicting both mauza boundaries and other key characteristics (population density, access to water, spread of health facilities and access to markets) will provide a more detailed picture of the country and enable relief workers to target the right people in the right regions in a more coordinated, efficient and effective manner.

Mauza mapping is necessary for ensuring that no community or person is left behind in the relief distribution and reconstruction process. Mauza-level maps will help provincial authorities, district coordinators and NGOs involved in relief and reconstruction activities decide wwhere exactly to allocate resources, how and to whom.

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Contact: Adam Green, International Growth Centre, 020 7852 3665, email a.r.green@lse.ac.uk|

Notes:

The International Growth Centre| is funding the FloodMAPS initiative.

The Development and Policy Research Centre, Lahore University of Management Sciences is providing infrastructural support.

The Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission is helping FloodMAPS fulfill its data requirements and providing technical support.

The Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) has been vital to securing the approval of the Mauza Mapping project by the Government of Punjab. PITB is facilitating FloodMAPS' interfacing with the Punjab Government.

The Punjab Urban Unit supplies and shares datasets with FloodMAPS.

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