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Returnees seek land plots in Nangarhar

Returnees seek land plots in Nangarhar

May 19, 2012 - 17:56

JALALABAD (PAN): Nearly 183 families returning from Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to the eastern province of Nangarhar on Saturday asked the Afghan government to allot them land plots for construction of houses.

Returning two years ago to Behsud district after heavy floods destroyed their houses in Pakistan, representatives of the affected families met with provincial council members in Jalalabad.

The displaced families established temporary settlements in the Farm Hada area of Behsud district on return from the neighbouring country after the unprecedented floods deprived them of household belongings.

Hazrat Rahim, an elder and representatives of the families, said they had shifted to the district from the Zakhel camp near Peshawar, where floods washed away their houses.

“I came empty-handed to Nangarhar with my 10-member family,” he said, alleging the Afghan government was yet to provide them shelter or food assistance. Rahim said female members of his family had built mud walls, but police razed them.

Provincial council member, Angezi Shinwari, said the families, after their arrival in the district two years ago, had visited their office time and again, demanding land plots. The displaced households lived in tents before constructing houses.

The public representative said they had shared the issue with council members of other provinces. “The Nangarhar council is of the view that land for houses be given to those having no houses of their own.”

Nangarhar Refugee and Returnee Director Ghulam Haidar Faqiri told Pajhwok Afghan News when floods occurred in Peshawar, he went to the Torkham border crossing and paid id="mce_marker"50 to each affected refugee family in line with the government’s policy.

However, he added they did not allot plots to the families belonging to other provinces until they had no serious problem in their areas. He said they planned to establish two new townships for returnees in the province.

Faqiri hoped the new townships would also help resolve residential problems of the flood-affected families returning from Pakistan. So far 120,000 Afghan families have returned to Nangarhar, with the refugee department registering only 65,000 of them.