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Tuesday February 07, 2023

NGOs to oversee reconstruction of houses, CM tells Sindh Assembly

By Our Correspondent
December 06, 2022

Sindh’s chief minister said on Monday that relevant non-governmental organisations (NGOs) would be involved in the process of the reconstruction of houses for the flood victims to ensure transparency, as they had earlier been involved in surveying the damages caused by the calamity in the province.

CM Syed Murad Ali Shah said this on the floor of the provincial assembly as the House began a debate on the damages caused by the recent floods and heavy monsoon rains in the province. Shah told the PA that the recent floods had damaged over two million homes in the province, as 80 per cent of them were thatched houses. He said his government had planned to build concrete structures in place of the damaged thatched houses.

He informed the concerned lawmakers that his government had reserved Rs50 billion for the reconstruction of the damaged houses in the province as part of the post-flood rehabilitation strategy.

He said that every affected house owner would be given Rs300,000 for the reconstruction of their damaged home. This sum will be provided in instalments, each of which will be released only after the NGOs involved in the process verify that the reconstruction of the house has begun, he added.

The CM said that Rs350 billion in total was required to rebuild the houses damaged due to floods in the province. He told the House that his government had been forced to slash its annual development budget by Rs87 billion in view of the devastation caused by the floods.

He said that undrained floodwaters were still present in the affected areas of Khairpur, Qambar Shahdadkot and some other districts. The CM said that drainage operations were being carried out by his government to clear the floodwaters from the 240,000 acres affected in the province.

He informed the PA that the floods had killed some 800 people and 436,000 domesticated animals. He also informed the lawmakers that his government had distributed a total of 836,000 tents among the displaced flood victims.

He said the provincial government had arranged 600,000 tents on its own, while the rest of the tents had been given by the armed forces and the National Disaster Management Authority.

He also said that 1,287,000 blankets had been given to the homeless flood victims as part of the relief operation in the province that was still under way. He added that the provincial government had set the target of wheat cultivation this season at 2.7 million acres of farmlands, stressing that the target would be achieved.

The CM said that a door-to-door survey to assess the damages caused due to floods in the province had been completed. He said work had also started to revive the damaged irrigation network of the province.

He also said that the recent floods had been unprecedented in the history of the province, causing widespread damage. He added that Padidan received 535mm of rain and Badin 335mm in a single day, causing disastrous situations never seen before.

The CM said that this year the province had received 800 per cent more rains than the average quantity of rainfall in the monsoon season. He said his government had done whatever it could do to provide emergency relief to the flood-hit people, but it was utterly wrong to assume that the they had done nothing to save the vulnerable areas from getting submerged.

He, however, admitted that there surely could be shortcomings on the part of his government in carrying out the rescue and relief work in the province. He said he had twice visited every affected district in the province. He added that Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had vigorously conducted a campaign to get emergency assistance from the international community for the flood-hit people.

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