Working with local governments and communities, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) implements a wide range of disaster risk reduction (DRR) programmes across Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Syria, and Tajikistan. DRR programmes include hazard, risk and vulnerability assessments and disaster preparedness education. In partnership with local communities, AKAH has also relocated or retrofitted vulnerable buildings in regions of seismic risk - such as schools and health facilities - as well as built safe havens and created stockpiles of vital relief supplies for use by local communities.
Originally constructed by Kashmiri and Balti craftsmen and now converted into a hotel, the Khaplu Palace holds its traditional old school charm close with its modern innovations. The modern elements ensure comfort that a luxury resort requires. Renovated by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and now handed over to Serena Hotels to manage and run it as a hotel, the Khaplu Palace is a different world and its interior is a brilliant tribute to the legacy of Yabgo Raja Daulat Ali Khan of Khaplu who first built the palace in 1840.
In Pakistan, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) and the government of Gilgit-Baltistan have announced a $4.2 million project to plant 50 million trees across the region to reduce the climate-induced natural disasters. The project will use tree plantation to absorb carbon and stabilise soil and slopes in hazard-prone areas, mitigating climate change and disaster risk. The forest, wildlife and environment department will plant 50 million trees on 300 sites with technical support from the AKAH.
On 8 October in Pakistan, the Gilgit-Baltistan government signed an agreement of partnership with the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) Pakistan to conduct a study for provision of drinking water to central Hunza where people have been hit hard by recent floods in Hassanabad and Ultar Nullahs. Using its rich experience around the design and implementation of water supply systems in mountain areas combined with its hazard risk assessment and overall habitat planning expertise, the AKAH will provide technical support to the government on this highly important study. Addressing on the occasion, Deputy Commissioner Hunza Fayaz Ahmed hoped that the partnership with the AKAH will enable district administration to provide sustainable access to clean drinking water to 5,500 households.
To mark World Habitat Day, a meeting was held to initiate the integrated spatial plan for environmental and socio-economic resilience in Khorog, Tajikistan. This is the first collaboration between UN-Habitat’s Urban Planning and Design Lab, and the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH). The project was launched at an online forum attended by several stakeholders, including Governor Fayzov of GBAO, Sezin Sinanoglu, UN Resident Coordinator in Tajikistan and Onno Ruhl, General Manager of AKAH. The work involved promotes the Sustainable Development Goals in Tajikistan through the reinforced partnership between the Government and the United Nations Country Team.