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Special Report:
Flood Crisis

1
 

 
Flood survivors still suffer in KP

Flood Crisis Home

PESHAWAR, July 25, 2011: Lethargy on part of federal government to mobilise international donors and last minute spanner by World Bank to seek third party validation of official data has added to miseries of hundreds of thousands people affected by the worst floods in the country’s history last year, according to sources.

“Moreover, the government has backed out of its commitment to pay Rs80,000 to every affected family for reconstruction of house. It has now slashed the amount by half, meaning that each household will now get Rs40,000,” they added.

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani had earlier announced Rs80,000 compensation for each family affected by the disaster. However, after lapse of one year the last installment has still not been paid because of delay in compilation and validation of data of affected population and pooling funds. The affected people have received Rs20,000 through Watan Card scheme so far.

Officials said that federal government and donors agencies including World Bank, United States Agency for International Development and Department for International Development had pledged to contribute $580 million to the funds set up for the flood affected people. The World Bank has pledged $125 million soft loan.

 

The bank, an official said, had now linked release of the loan with third party validation in flood affected areas. He said that the bank finished third party assessment in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but it had yet to release the report formally.

He said that sample survey by the bank had not been initiated in Sindh and Punjab, causing delay in payment of compensation money.

The catastrophic floods had played havoc across the country in July 2010, killing over 1,600 people and rendered millions of people homeless. Only in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, about 300,000 families were affected by the disaster that swallowed huge infrastructure.

To stand eligible for the cash assistance, millions of affected people have to face problems due to extensive paperwork and red-tape. The poor people, who have lost their abodes and properties in the floods, desperately need cash to rebuild their houses.

Syed Badshah, a resident of Banda Sheikh Ismailkhel, a hamlet near the bank of the Kabul River in Nowshera district, has been living with relatives along with seven children since floods washed away his mud house. “If government gives money then I will be able to reconstruct my house otherwise I don’t have anything,” said 48-year-old Badshah.

Areas like Muhib Banda, Pashtoon Ghari and other severely affected areas in Nowshera still wear a destructive look and people have to content with living in semiconstructed houses.

Agriculture and dairy farming are the main sources of income of affected people. But a large number of people had lost their cattle in the flood.

Some donor agencies and NGOs have done some work, but they had not been reached to the conditions in which they were before last year flood.

In many cases, people are using plastic sheets instead of boundary walls of their houses, which were washed away by 10 to 12 feet deep water.

Mohammad Riaz, a resident of Rahimabad locality, said that an NGO had constructed 80 rooms and 42 bathrooms in Pashtoon Ghari while some donor agencies installed hand pumps and reconstructed embankments of water channels.

The NGOs had also distributed wheat seeds and fertilisers free of cost, enabling the farmers to cultivate their lands.

“The government should give soft loans to people to restart their businesses instead of leaving fields for NGOs and donors,” Mr Riaz said. However, future of the affected people depends upon the government and donor agencies. Officials are hopeful about payment of the remaining amount within the next two months.

An official in the Provincial Disaster Management Authority said that remaining payment was likely to be started by the end of August or September next provided donor agencies endorsed third party validation report in other provinces.

He said that compensation would be paid through Watan Cards under the supervision of the bank.

Officials said that 300,000 Watan Cards had been distributed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and according to PDMA 14,000 card holders had not been paid fist installment due to multiple reasons.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa needs Rs12 billion to be paid to the card holders if federal government and donors fulfil their pledges.

Courtesy: The DAWN

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