LANDI KOTAL: Over 200 Sipah families, who had returned to their homes 10 months ago, complain that they continue to be without basic facilities due to the neglect of the relevant departments.

Sources in Bara told Dawn that the defunct Fata Disaster Management Authority had arranged the return of Sipah families to Ghaibi Neeka, Khewsari and Lakarrh Baba area in Nov last year promising to hold an early survey of their militancy-affected houses, open schools, and provide them with basic health facilities.

Tribesman Turab Ali told Dawn that most families had been living in damaged houses since their return as the authorities concerned hadn’t begun their survey.

He said residents of Ghaibi Neeka, Lakarrh Baba and Khewsari had to bring to their patients to Dogra hospital in Bara or other hospital in Peshawar as not even a basic health unit was opened in these localities.

Complain about delay in survey of damaged houses

Javed Khan, another Sipah tribesman, said the returnees had to fetch drinking water from far-away contaminated springs as the administration had failed to approve a drinking water scheme for them.

Sipah was the last among seven Bara tribes, whose return began in Nov last year after repeated delays.

Sources in Bara said nearly 3,000 Sipah tribesmen from Sandana, Sanda Paal, Speen Drand, Narai Baba, Nangrosa and Dray Naghari awaited return though repeated requests had been made to the authorities concerned.

Meanwhile, reports reaching from Tirah valley said the damage assessment survey was in progress at a snail’s pace with survey teams operating in Shalobar area.

Ali Akbar, a resident of Warsak, Tirah area, told Dawn that most of the genuine affected families were denied registration in the ongoing survey, while undeserving yet well-connected people were enlisted for the payment of compensation.

The return of thousands of displaced families from Tirah valley had completed in 2014 but the only survey team had so far completed registration or enlisting of a few hundred damaged houses in Shalobar area.

Social worker Ehsan Afridi said thousands of militancy-affected houses in Malakdinkhel, Qambarkhel, Akkakhel, Zaodin-Zakhakhel and Kamarkhel areas anxiously awaited the start of house survey.

He said a large number of residents, who had rebuilt and repaired houses on their own, feared exclusion from the survey for lacking proof of the scale of house damage after reconstruction.

The residents of Tirah demanded the authorities increase the number of survey teams and ensure their speedy work to the early relief of the affected families.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2019