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August 24, 2016

Peace paves way to uplift activities in Bara

Peshawar

August 24, 2016

Tribespeople want prompt govt, NGOs response to rehab

BARA: Though peace has been restored to Khyber Agency after over a decade of militancy, the returning tribespeople are struggling to cope with the situation.

The lack of health and education facilities as well as dilapidated roads, infrastructure and damaged water channels are the issues the tribespeople are confronted with. The people in Bara tehsil of Khyber tribal region are expecting a quick response from the government and non-governmental organisations to overcome the situation.

“We need support from the government and the NGOs as everything has been destroyed,” said a local resident Zahir Shah Afridi, adding, “Some of the NGOs have started helping us.” He said the Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) along with other international organisations was working in various areas of Bara to mitigate the sufferings of the tribal population.

The resident said the organisation had trained community activists and completed developmental projects. It repaired roads and water channels in Akakhel and Shalobar areas, which were in shambles owing to decade-long militancy.

“Now the SRSP has launched work in Bar Qambarkhel, Malikdinkhel and Kamarkhel areas,” he added. “At least 7000 tribal youth are working in Bar Qambarkhel, Malikdinkhel and Kamarkhel to repair roads, water channels and learn other skills,” Asad Khan Afridi chairman village development committees in Bar Qambarkhel told The News.

Asad Afridi added that at least four kilometer long two link roads in Hamdard Killay and Hakeem Shah Killay were near completion while three other link roads were being repaired. “At least 20 labourers are working on each water channel,” he said.

He said the labourers were also working on 60 water channels in Bar Qambarkhel. “Besides, water channels and roads, the NGOs are imparting skills training to the tribal youth as well,” he added.

The residents appreciated the NGOs and government departments for reconstructing and repairing the unpaved roads, schools and health centres in the militancy-affected area. Shahzad Gul Afridi, a daily-wager belonging to Bar Qambarkhel tribe, said the SRSP was building roads from Bar Qambarkhel to Malikdinkhel.

He said several hundred labourers worked to de-silt water channels under a programme of the SRSP.Shahzad added the project provided job opportunities to several jobless people. He added the government had stopped the supply of ration to the returning families and it was not making other facilities available.

“All the displaced people belonging to Bara returned home empty-handed. Their businesses have been destroyed,” he said, adding that there are no job opportunities to earn livelihood.

Shazad said the local youth would have once again drifted into militancy and other unhealthy activities had the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) not shown interest to undertake uplift projects to create jobs.

Tariq Afridi, a labourer, told this scribe that there were scarce business activities due to military operations and continued curfew in Bara Bazaar and other places. He said the tribespeople went through a lot of trouble as they were displaced and lost jobs due to poverty.

When contacted, Adnan Khan, an official of SRSP, said that approximately 7,000 tribesmen belonging to Bar Qambarkhel, Malikdinkhel and Kamarkhel tribes benefited from cash for work programme.

He stated that the SRSP had launched the project with the financial support of the World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).“Women have also been provided training in handicrafts, livestock management and in disaster risk reduction (DRR),” he said.

The official added they had constituted village development committees to recognise schemes for the rehabilitation of the returning families. He said that assessment had been conducted while the next programme would soon be launched in areas inhabited by the Sipah tribe.

“Besides, the development programmes, the SRSP is imparting Disaster Risk Reduction training to the tribal youth,” he said.The official also said that the organisation completed a protection wall in Kamarkhel area.Adnan Khan said that the purpose of the overall activities was to create jobs for the tribespeople as militancy had affected everything in the tribal region.

 

 

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