Monday June 24, 2024

2.1m houses being built to resettle 12.6m flood-affected people: CM

By Our Correspondent
June 07, 2024
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah talks to the media at the Sindh People’s Housing for Flood Affectees (SPHF) office on June 6, 2024. — Facebook/Sindh Chief Minister House
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah talks to the media at the Sindh People’s Housing for Flood Affectees (SPHF) office on June 6, 2024. — Facebook/Sindh Chief Minister House

The Sindh government has started the reconstruction of 2.1 million new houses to rehabilitate more than 12.6 million flood-affected persons of the province. The number of the people who will be rehabilitated exceeds the population of 154 countries.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah stated this on Thursday while talking to the media just after reviewing the progress in the construction of 2.1 million houses for the flood-affected people at the Sindh Peoples Housing for Flood Affectees (SPHF) office on Tipu Sultan Road. Provincial ministers Sharjeel Memon, Nasir Shah, Makhdoom Mahboob and SPHF DG Khalid Shaikh attended the meeting.

“We are also supporting WASH [water, sanitation and hygiene] interventions. A funding of Rs39 billion has been secured to connect 264,250 houses with safe sanitation facilities,” said the CM.

He explained that Rs550 billion was required for the construction of 2.1 million houses against which his government had secured Rs440 billion with the support of donor agencies and the shortfall of Rs110 billion would be met through foreign funding and the federal government’s support.

Shah said that within one year, the Sindh government revalidated the presence of 2.1 million beneficiaries of the project, with 525,000 houses currently under construction, meeting this year's target. He added that over 100,000 houses had already been constructed.

At the project's inception, the Sindh government received financial assistance from the World Bank amounting to $500 million, supplemented by $227 million from the provincial kitty, the meeting was told. “To date, we have secured around 70 per cent of the necessary funding for the project's successful completion, with additional support currently in the pipeline from the Islamic Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank,” the CM said.

He added that by the end of next year, they would complete between 1.2 million and 1.5 million houses. Approximately 800,000 women were beneficiaries of the project who had their bank accounts opened under the project and they would receive land titles that would be a significant step towards women empowerment, Shah said.

He explained that so far 10,000 land titles had been awarded to women and added that 111,666 beneficiaries of the project were special persons. “Every 20th house has a person with special needs,” he said.

Initially started as a housing initiative, the SPHF was now moving beyond housing to create resilient communities, the CM said, adding that the SPHF was developing digital settlement plans using drone technology for spatial mapping and creating a digital dashboard for each deh. A pilot programme for the first 1,000 settlements was underway and it would later be expanded to all 50,000 settlements across Sindh, the meeting was told.

Sharing details of the funds, the CM said 218,894 houses were being constructed in Khairpur for Rs65.67 billion, 126,588 houses in Dadu for Rs37.97 billion, 100,518 houses in Larkana for Rs30.15 billion, 98,540 houses in Naushehro Feroze for Rs29.56 billion, 87,723 houses in Jacobabad for Rs26.31 billion, 72,346 houses in Shaheed Benazirabad for Rs21.70 billion, and 70,335 houses in Shikarpur forRs21.10 billion.

“This is not simply a reconstruction of the houses, but the activity has strengthened the local economy, where billions of rupees are being spent,” he said and announced that the reconstructed houses would be provided with solar energy.

To a question, Shah said the commitment of the federal government of paying Rs50 billion for the project was yet to be realised. “I am sure Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would fulfil the commitment,” he said, adding that the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) had not been constituted yet, due to which approval from Ecnec was pending.