MANSEHRA: Former provincial minister Maulana Asmatullah has demanded of the federal and provincial governments and nongovernmental organisations to initiate relief and rehabilitation activities in the flood-hit Kohistan districts.

“Floodwaters have receded but the victims of monsoon disaster in Kohistan region, especially Lower Kohistan district, still await relief and rehabilitation. Any further delay in such activities, especially provision of essential food items and medicines, will cause deaths,” Mr Asmatullah told a seminar here on Friday.

People from different walks of life from Lower and Upper Kohistan and Kolai-Palas, including representatives of nongovernmental organisations, attended the event organised by the Saibaan Development Organisation.

Saibaan chief executive officer Sahibzada Jawad Alfaizi said his organisation supplied essential goods to the flood-hit families in Dubair valley of Lower Kohistan and Manoor valley of Mansehra district.

“The devastation by floods in Kohistanis much more than what has been assessed by the government departments, so NGOs should come forward to the relief of affected families and rehabilitation of infrastructure ,” he said.

Meanwhile, the chairmen of village and neighbourhood councils on Friday accused the provincial government of trying to fail local bodies.

“Village and neighbourhood councils were formed over six months ago but we [their chairman] are still without budget and other facilities,” chairman of the Safada village council Basharat Ali Swati told reporters.

Accompanied by the council chairmen, Mr Swati said the local bodies were unable to resolve the people’s issues for being without finances and facilities.

“The government first amended the Local Government Act to deprive us of powers and then denied budgets, offices and honorarium. If the government doesn’t mend its ways, we will stage street protests,” he said.

Mr Swati urged chairman of the ruling PTI Imran Khan to intervene to address the issue.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2022

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