Uprooted families: Living on the other side of Durrani Camp

Forced to fend for themselves, unregistered IDPs face surmounting troubles.

Our Correspondent June 30, 2013
Forced to fend for themselves, unregistered IDPs face surmounting troubles. PHOTO: FILE


Thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Kurram Agency are facing immense problems outside Durrani Camp, deprived of relief assistance because they are not officially registered at the camp.

Due to the volatile law and order situation, a large number of people have been displaced from the tribal areas and are forced to relocate to camps. Like Jalozai Camp in Nowshera, Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) set up Durrani Camp in Kurram Agency in June 2011 for these uprooted families.

According to camp officials, at least 20,000 families from different agencies are living in Durrani Camp. In May 2012, a large number of people were displaced due to military operations in Central Kurram Agency because of which the FDMA registered 6,804 families from Kurram and Tirah valley.

Most recently, 4,868 families have relocated to Durrani Camp, of which 1,012 families are from Khyber Agency and 3,856 from Kurram Agency. Meanwhile, 400 families from Musazai and 200 from Ali Sherzai have returned to their native areas.

Plight of the unregistered

Locals of the area say over 7,000 families of Para Chamkani are compelled to live outside the camp because they are not registered. The families are then forced to make alternate arrangements such as renting houses or living with relatives. Not being registered means a family will not be provided with government assistance or relief packages.

Abdullah Jan is living with relatives after being displaced from Para Chamkani. Jan says he and his family have to face immense hardships. All their belongings have been left behind in their hometown and the government is yet to take any welfare steps for them. “It is the duty of the government to take steps for addressing our problems,” he said.

Another IDP, Siraj Khan, said his family had to walk for two days from Gogani area, leaving behind their livestock. Khan complained of facing complications to register his family with camp authorities, adding they will not receive ration cards till they are.

Durrani Camp Manager Abid Zahoor said steps were being taken to provide all IDPs with food, education and health facilities. Cooked food was made available for four months, despite resource constraints, he stressed.

But the camp’s limited resources are meant for registered families. Zahoor said they are provided with standard World Food Program packages enough for an eight-member family on a monthly basis. The package includes pulses, 30 kilogrammes of rice, 30 kg floor and 5 litres of oil.

In non-food items, the registered IDPs are given kitchen sets, tents, bathing supplies and gas cylinders. The camp also has a proper drainage system and electricity. A school having the capacity to house 450 children has been constructed within the camp. The camp will have access to health facilities as well in the near future.

Zahoor said that they are also providing assistance to troubled villages in the region through the help of donor agencies. Around 139 villages of the agency have been provided support while 60 more will also be helped in the future.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2013.


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