Islamabad: A tent city has been set up in southern Pakistan to support the hundreds of flood victims and offer them shelter and basic facilities on a temporary basis.
The facility initially comprised 200 tents that can accommodate over 500 people displaced by the catastrophic floods since mid-June that have affected 33 million people in Pakistan. The family-size tents have been set up jointly by Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and Pakistan’s charity organisation Baitussalam Welfare Trust.
Named after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the tent city has been set up in Bholari, a remote village located some 150 kilometres from Karachi city. This is the second tent city established with the help of AFAD after the temporary shelter was established in the Dadu district of southern Sindh province.
“Pakistan is highly grateful to the Turkish government and people for helping us in times of distress. The generosity and solidarity shown by the people of Turkey exemplify our longstanding friendship,” said PAF Air Vice Marshal Zaeem Afzal who along with Turkish Consul General in Karachi Cemal Sangu and AFAD Deputy Head Onder Bozkurt inaugurated the facility on October 2.
Afzal said the tent city would be soon expanded to 500 tents and would offer food, clean water, urgent medicines and schooling facilities for flood-hit families. “All the basic facilities would be provided to the flood-affected brothers and sisters until they go back to their homes,” Afzal said.
The Turkish consul general said that the devastation caused by rains and floods was so enormous that Pakistan alone cannot handle it. “The Turkish government and the people would provide all possible help to the flood victims of Pakistan,” he said, noting that Turkey has sent 14 cargo planes and 13 goods trains with relief items to help the Pakistani people. Turkey, which has been leading humanitarian efforts in Pakistan, has so far sent 30,812 family-size tents, 440,663 food and hygiene boxes and over 2 million medical aid boxes. Cemal Sangu said that the Turkish government plans to set up a third tent city in the Thatta district of Sindh province, which has been hit hard by the floods.
Over 30,000 tents have already been set up by the AFAD in 19 different regions, providing temporary housing to around 200,000 displaced people, AFAD’s deputy head, Bozkurt said.
The disastrous floods affected more than 33 million in Pakistan. Almost 1,695 people, including almost 630 children, have lost their lives in the floods since mid-June and at least 12,800 have been injured. The unprecedented monsoon rains and floods have ruined lives, swept away roads and infrastructure, destroyed over two million homes and crops, killed livestock, and wiped out livelihoods. Disaster officials say nearly a half million people in Pakistan are crowded into camps after losing their homes.
Over the last weeks, at least 133 humanitarian flights and dozens of trucks and ships from different countries and international aid agencies have arrived in Pakistan carrying tonnes of urgently needed relief goods for flood-affected Pakistanis, officials said.