PM seeks help to resettle flood victims

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday appealed to philanthropists, industrialists and expatriates to support the government’s flood rehabilitation efforts by replicating the model of building 100-unit prefabricated houses for flood victims.

Addressing the launching ceremony of prefabricated residential units in Tank and Dera Ismail Khan, the prime minister urged the affluent people to ‘adopt’ the flood-hit people of Balochistan and Sindh by providing them the infrastructure equipped with necessary facilities.

In September, Shehbaz had announced the construction of residential units for the flood-affected people of Tank and Dera Ismail Khan. The project worth Rs140 million was carried out as a gesture of philanthropy by the Menzies Aviation and former special assistant to prime minister on aviation Capt Shujaat Azeem.

Shehbaz handed over the keys of the residential units to flood victims. He expressed satisfaction that the accommodation, comprising two rooms, a kitchenette and a toilet would provide relief to the displaced people.

The prime minister mentioned that the recent floods inflicted huge damage to around 2 million houses, infrastructure and roads. However, he expressed satisfaction that the federal and provincial governments along with private sector put their best efforts to provide relief to the affected people.

He lauded the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the provincial disaster management authorities for carrying out relief and rehabilitation activities in the flood-affected areas. He said that the federal government had disbursed Rs70 billion among the flood-struck people.

Shehbaz said the armed forces played an important role in reaching out to the people stranded in floods. He also mentioned the support of friendly countries in extending assistance to Pakistan to help overcome the challenge of flood.

Speaking on the occasion, Planning Minister Dr Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan faced the huge catastrophe of floods, however the government’s federal and provincial departments, and the civil and military personnel demonstrated collaborative effort to overcome the challenge.

Through corporate social responsibility, he said, the government encouraged the private sector to contribute towards public welfare. He said Pakistan would hold an international conference aimed at seeking support from the international community for post-flood rehabilitation.

Member Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Assembly Mehmood Ahmed Khan lauded Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for early implementation of the residential accommodation for the flood-hit people. He said Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam would support the development endeavours of the government in the interest of people.

Capt Shujaat Azeem said that it was a significant initiative to accommodate the people in distress affected by the worst impacts of climate change. On the prime minister’s desire, he said, the model village would be replicated in other parts of the country.

Menzies Aviation CEO Moetesum Khurshid said that the objective of the project was to hand over the residential units to the flood victims before the advent of winters. He added that after NDMA allocated land on September 3, his company completed the project in one month.

He said the prefabricated houses could sustain harsh temperatures and were equipped with solar panels. A medical centre with available paramedic staff and a school have been set up on the premises. The residential village had tubewells for clean water, where 9,000 indigenous trees have been planted.

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