Flood-affected communities are starting to return home to rebuild their lives from scratch

Multan-Flood-affected communities in Rajanpur and Dera Ghazi Khan have started returning to their villages and towns, either flattened or partially damaged, triggered by monsoon rains not seen in decades.

“All we want now is to make a fresh start, to rebuild our lives,” said Abdur Rauf Sheikh, a middle-aged furniture seller in the town of Fazalpur. “My business was safe as the store was located in the eastern part spared from the floods, but my recently purchased house for 2.5 million rupees in the western part of the city suffered high gushing waves which then set in at a height of five feet,” he added.

Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) chief executive Faisal Fareed told APP that the floods had left a story of pain, agony and grief, adding that the government was fully aware of the amount of destruction. He said paying compensation to those affected would be “quick and hassle-free” to help them rebuild their lives. It would be disbursed seamlessly under the modern computerized process without human intervention, he added.

The federal and provincial governments stepped in to provide the necessary initial assistance to those affected by the floods. According to BISP Zone Director, Sheikh Amin, nearly 150,000 families from flood-hit areas in South Punjab Zone have received Rs 25,000 each under the Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Scheme. He said the cash aid disbursement was made to 28 BISP camps in the flooded areas of South Punjab under the federal government.

Overall, nearly one million flood-affected people (992,206 to be precise) have received over Rs 24.8 billion, @ Rs 25,000 in cash assistance per person, from the Federal Government in all flood-affected areas of the country until September 16, the BISP official said. He said more than 87% of the process was complete and the rest would be completed shortly, he added. The Punjab government has also compensated the heirs of those who died in the floods in addition to the injured, in addition to carrying out relief operations.

The people’s belongings floated in the western half of the city of Fazalpur, the only urban area in Punjab submerged by torrents from the hills of the Suleman mountain range. The torrents from the hills maintained their ferocity despite having traveled 70 kilometers before entering the town of Fazalpur, he said, adding that the water had now receded, leaving his house damaged. through cracks in the walls and floor. Now people, whose homes were wiped out by the floods, were looking for something, signs or remnants, to find the land where their homes once stood, he added.

He said the district administration, 1122 rescue, other departments and the machine-equipped Pakistani army were able to divert the water flow to another direction.

A total of 191 people have died in Punjab due to the monsoon rains and resulting floods, the majority of them men (94) in addition to 50 children and 47 women in six districts of Punjab, including 49 in DG Khan and 23 in Rajanpur, according to PDMA daily update. 3858 other people were injured including 3177 in Rajanpuir, 562 in Dera Ghazi Khan and 5 in Mianwali.

The floods affected a total of 678 Mauzas including 176 in Rajanpur, 366 in DG Khan, 16 in Mianwali, 24 in Muzaffargarh, 7 in Sialkot and 89 in Layyah. Exactly 47 Mauzas or villages in Rajanpuir district were still flooded. The floods affected a population of 673,970 in the aforementioned six districts, most of them in Rajanpur and DG Khan and affected an area of ​​over 1.3 million acres including a cultivated area of ​​744,998 acres, of which over 600,000 acres in Rajanpur and DG Khan districts.

A total of 36,477 houses were partially damaged in the six districts, including 22,859 in Rajanpur and 8,635 in Dera Ghazi Khan, while another 23,764 houses were completely destroyed, including 11,301 in Rajanpur and 9,319 in DG Khan. . Over 900 kilometers long, 124 roads were damaged including 94 in Rajanpur and 30 in DG Khan. In addition, 13 bridges, 25 canals, 13 embankments, 98 businesses, 35 hotels, 103 schools and seven health centers were damaged by the floods in the two districts.

Over 133,211 small animals, 67,456 large animals perished at Rajanpur while 2,641 small animals and 1,460 large animals died at DG Khan. However, 12,488 animals were safely evacuated and over 300,000 were vaccinated in the two districts.

A total of 70 relief camps were set up in the two districts, but only three camps were now operational and housed 1,922 people from 320 families in Rajanpur district. Most people have returned to their homes and those whose homes have been destroyed or damaged have pitched tents provided to them by the government and NGOs for temporary shelter, Faisal Fareed said. According to him, so far nearly 150,000 people have received medical aid in the two flood-hit districts.

Additional South Punjab Chief Secretary Captain (Retired) Saqib Zafar said more than 36,000 tents, 85,000 food baskets, 3,000 blankets, nearly 20,000 mosquito nets in addition to cooking utensils, beds baby (Charpoy), thousands of bottles and cans of mineral water were distributed among those affected. families in southern Punjab.

He said an investigation into the flood damage to property including homes, livestock and crops was ongoing and would soon be completed to trigger the process of paying compensation. He said the government is also working to restore school education facilities in the flood-affected districts to prevent further loss of children’s time.

PDMA DG Faisal Fareed said relief activities were underway, adding that in addition to PDMA, many aid agencies, NGOs were delivering food, other essential items in addition to tents and medicine. . “But their needs change over time,” he said, adding that now that the floods have hit, people need medicine and especially blankets as winter is fast approaching.

He said investigation teams were busy carrying out investigations and added that the process would be completed soon. He said that after the completion of the investigation, virtual accounts of the flood affected people would be opened in Bank of Punjab from where they can receive their compensation after showing their computerized and verified national ID cards. . “There will be no delay. The compensation would soon reach the deserving people,” he added.

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