DERA ISMAIL KHAN / KARACHI: Pakistan will need trillions of rupees to carry out relief and rehabilitation activities in areas affected by the unprecedented and catastrophic floods in the country, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Wednesday during a visit to flood-hit areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, pledging to carry out the work in a transparent manner.
He emphasised the need to put in place a sustainable system to cope with the challenges thrown up by climate change.
Addressing locals and displaced persons after reviewing the restoration work at Saggu Bridge, the PM announced that at least 100 houses would be built for the displaced in Tank, and ordered an immediate supply of 200,000 tents to the affected populace.
The houses would comprise two rooms with windows, a toilet and kitchen. “If this experiment is successful, then houses will be built all over Pakistan and flood victims and poor will be given,” he added.
“I am visiting D.I. Khan for the second time and I have to appreciate the role of our coalition partners, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the immediate rehabilitation of the victims here,” he said.
He said that due to the illegal construction of hotels in the riverbed, the overflowing of the Swat River had caused untold damage.
The PM recalled that standing crops, houses, bridges, roads had been destroyed and a mammoth sum would be required for their maintenance.
He also appreciated the arrival of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Dera Ismail Khan in connection with the construction of Saggu Bridge and the orders for the immediate construction of a temporary steel bridge.
The premier said, “Our security forces, the Frontier Works Organization (FWO), are actively participating in the indiscriminate rehabilitation work across the country as always.
Task force constituted
Meanwhile, the Sindh government on Wednesday decided to constitute a task force to coordinate, collaborate and work together with the federal government for procurement of relief goods and their distribution through an appropriate mechanism as well as restore main arteries damaged by the floods across the province.
The decision to this effect was taken a meeting between the federal government and provincial government representatives and senior officials at CM House.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said one million tents, three million mosquito nets and ration bags would be provided to the people at the earliest, while highlighting the need for urgent repair of the National Highway and Indus Highway. He also asked the NDMA to include fodder in the relief goods so that livestock could be saved.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah told the meeting that 155,059 tents, provided by various government agencies and donors had been dispatched/distributed in districts. He said his government had placed an order for 460,500 more, of which 61,465 had been received and 399,035 were in the pipeline.
He also said that 1.3m mosquito nets had been distributed, of them 9,730 were provided by NDMA, 600,000 NIH and 600,000 by others. “Against a procurement order of 435,000 mosquito nets 36,920 have been delivered and 398,080 are in the pipeline,” he added.
The CM said so far 152,745 bags had been distributed, while they had ordered 737,775 more.
Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal said the PDMA was in process of procurement of relief goods, and they would be provided to the provincial government then and there.
Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2022
Dear visitor, the comments section is undergoing an overhaul and will return soon.