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72,000 Tirah IDPs to be rehabilitated soon

Bureau Report 2013-12-02
PESHAWAR, Dec 1: The government was making allout efforts to rehabilitate the remaining displaced families from Tirah valley of Khyber Agency, said Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) director general Arshad Khan.

Talking to journalists here on Sunday, he said that World Food Programme (WFP) was spending about Rs1.5 billion to provide food items every month to internally displaced persons from Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

The people of Fata, Mr Khan said, suffered a lot due to militancy and flash floods but the government was aware of their problems and was trying to resolve the same. He said that donor agencies should come forward to help the needy people.

The FDMA chief said that more than 321,000 Nadra-verified families were displaced from Fata. He said that that all 72,000 displaced families from Bajaur tribal region were repatriated while 36,000 from Mohmand Agency werealready facilitated to return to their hometowns.

Mr Khan said that the IDPs were being provided transportation and other necessary facilities. He said that security forces played vital role and cleared Tira valley where rehabilitation process was in progress and the remaining 72,000 families would also be repatriated soon.

Mr Khan said that all IDPs from Orakzai, South Waziristan and Kurram tribal regions would soon be repatriated. He said that for rehabilitation of IDPs in Tirah, the donor agencies were also providing assistance to them in Maidan area of the valley.

The official said that 14,000 houses were damaged in Tirah valley. He appealed to the international donor agencies to assist IDPs in reconstruction of their damaged buildings.

Mr Khan said that FDMA established camps for IDPs at different places so that they could easily get assistance. He said the total losses to buildings in Tirah valley were estimated to be Rs19 billion.He said that they had invited Yasmeen Lari to construct bamboo houses for IDPs with the assistance of Swiss government.

He said it was very difficult and costly to take construction material including bricks, sand and cement etc to those far-flung areas but the bamboos would not be that much costly. Mr Khan said that according to their estimations, Rs32,000 would be spent on construction of a 15 by 17 room from bamboos.

He said all the details of the affected people and projects would be available on FDMA website to maintain transparency.

Meanwhile, a group of tribal elders led by honorary consul general of Japan Nawabzada Fazal Karim Afridi, who also hails from Tirah valley, said that the tribal people were forced to live in camps where they lacked all the basic facilities.

Mr Afridi said it was deplorable that both the federal and provincial governments were not listening to theirproblems. Instead of making hollow slogans, he said, the governments and international bodies should take practical steps for the rehabilitation of the displaced people.

Mr Afridi alleged that IDPs were disgraced in the camps and were not provided with proper relief items and assistance.

Fata, he said, had special constitutional status but the government was not giving tribal people their due right in the National Finance Commission. He said that government was collecting GST from tribal people but still they were denied their right in NFC for which tribal political leaders and elected representatives were responsible.

Mr Afridi said that tribal people were kept intentionally in darkness since the inception of the country. He said at a time when the people of other provinces were leading luxurious life, the people of Fata were kept in camps without provision of basic facilities and no one was there at least to listen to their problems.