PESHAWAR, Dec 28: The internally displaced persons (IDPs) taking shelter in Jalozai Camp for almost three years now feel they have been left out in the cold since they are not provided with winterised kits and tents this winter.
“It is raining since yesterday and many tents are wet and shelters leaking,” said Gulbat Afridi, chairman of the Grand Shura, which often takes up IDPs problems with the camp in-charge and other relevant officials.
He complained that the government did not provide them with winterised kits and tents this winter and the tents already in their use could not keep them warm during rain and cold wave. He claimed that due to official negligence the shelter already built was not covered with proper sheets and thus leaks during rains.
“We have not been provided with new tents or winterised kits this winter,” Mr Afridi said and added that there were about 400 tents only in phase-6 of the camp, which were old and not being replaced.
“If no one comes to help us, people who have been taking shelter would be forced to leave the camp tonight,” said Mr Afridi who himself has lived for about three years in Jalozai Camp.
The camp had earlier provided shelter to Afghan refugees for over two decades and then hosted IDPs of Swat, Bajaur and Mohmand.
The IDPs from Khyber Agency have been taking shelter here since last three years or so. Winter and summer have been tough on these IDPs due to lack of proper facilities, they say.
Mr Afridi, who called this reporter to highlight the problems of the camp dwellers, said that the number of shelters was also not enough at the camp. He said that they were told initially that 16,000 shelters would be set up, but there were only 8,000 shelters, which also were not suitable to protect them from rain.
When contacted, spokesman for the Provincial Disaster Management Authority Adnan Khan admitted that complaints of some IDPs about non-provision of winterised kits were true. He said that the donor agencies, which helped the PDMA provide tents and winterised kits earlier, had been currently facing funds shortage. However, he added that the authority had provided new tents to a number of families in the camp.
“We are conducting a survey to identify the worn out tents in Jalozai Camp and these will be replaced very soon,” said Adnan Khan.