Flood-hit communities start returning home in southern Punjab

The government also making efforts to resume education facilities in flood-hit districts

APP September 26, 2022
Flooding in parts of Pakistan has affected over 33 million people, destroyed 1.7 million homes and killed nearly 1,400 people. PHOTO: AFP


The flood-hit communities of Rajanpur and Dera Ghazi Khan have started returning to their villages and towns which were earlier inundated by monsoon rains.

“All we want now is to get a new start, to rebuild our lives afresh,” said Abdur Rauf Sheikh, a middle-aged man in the furniture business in Fazalpur city. “My business was safe as the shop was located in the eastern side spared by floods, but my home in the western part of the city endured high gushing water which later settled at a height of five feet,” he added.

Director General Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Faisal Fareed said the floods left a tale of pain, agony and sorrow, adding that the government was fully aware of the scale of destruction. He said the compensation to the affected people would be “swift and hassle-free” to help them rebuild their lives. It would be disbursed transparently under the modern computerised process without human intervention, he added.

Both federal and provincial governments sprang into action to provide initial necessary aid to the flood-affected people. According to BISP zonal director Sheikh Amin, nearly 150,000 families from flood-hit areas in the south zone of Punjab have been provided Rs 25,000 each under the Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Package. He said that the disbursement of cash assistance was carried out at 28 BISP campsites in flood-hit areas of south Punjab under the federal government.

Overall, nearly a million flood-hit people (992,206 to be accurate) have received over Rs 24.8 billion from the federal government in all flood-hit areas of the country till September 16, the BISP official said. Punjab government also provided compensation to heirs of those who died in the flood besides those injured in addition to carrying out relief operations.

Read: Call for installing portable water filter plants for flood victims

Floods affected total of 678 areas including 176 in Rajanpur, 366 in DG Khan, 16 in Mianwali, 24 in Muzaffargarh, 7 in Sialkot, and 89 in Layyah. Exactly 47 Mauzas or villages of Rajanpuir district were still under inundation.

Floods affected a population of 673,970 in above mentioned six districts, most of them in Rajanpur and DG Khan and affected an area of over 1.3 million acres including crop area measuring 744,998 acres.

A total of 70 relief camps were set up in the two districts but now only three camps were operational hosting 1,922 people from 320 families in the Rajanpur district. Most of the people have returned to their homes and those who had their homes wiped out or damaged have installed tents which were provided by the government and NGOs for temporary shelter

Additional Chief Secretary South Punjab Captain (retired) Saqib Zafar said that over 36,000 tents, 85,000 food hampers, 3,000 blankets, nearly 20,000 mosquito nets besides kitchen sets, cots (Charpoy), thousands of bottles and cans of mineral water were distributed among the affected families in south Punjab.


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