123 returning families get shelter in Samangan
AIBAK (PAN): More than 130 returning families were provided shelter in northern Samangan province on Wednesday, with a large number of returnees in dire need of assistance, officials said.
The families recently arrived from Pakistan and Iran under a voluntary repatriation programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), they said.
As many as 132 houses were constructed for those who had no shelter or lost their dwellings during their absence from the country, said Returnees and Repatriation Director Amanullah Muradi.
Houses were built for the returning families in their respective areas with the help of an Afghan NGO. About 77 houses were constructed in seven villages of the Hazrat Sultan district and another 55 on the outskirts of provincial capital, Aibak, said an official of the NGO, Abdul Fatah.
He added the returnees constructed their homes under a contract with the organisation, which supplied the required materials. Each house has two living rooms, a corridor and a bathroom.
Jamaluddin, 36, who came back from Pakistan where he spent 12 years as a refugee, said his family had suffered a lot after repatriation. They lived in one of a neighbours' house before getting shelter.
Last year, 100 houses were built for internally displaced people in Dara-i-Sauf Payeen district, according to Muradi, who said 4,530 families had returned from Iran and Pakistan since the fall of Taliban regime in 2001. So far 800 households have been given shelter. However, another 300 families are still without homes.
The returnees who are yet to receive shelter urged the government to help them. Noor Muhammad, 23, who returned from Pakistan seven months back, said he had been visiting the repatriation department for help.