Takhar quake-hit families say their aid looted
TALOQAN (Pajhwok): A number of earthquake-affected families in northern Takhar province complain relief goods meant for distribution to them have been taken home by police, illegal armed men and government officials.
A powerful earthquake hit northeastern Afghanistan on Oct. 26, leaving 119 people dead and more than 500 injured.
Rahimullah, a resident of Taloqan, the provincial capital, told Pajhwok Afghan News relief goods given in aid to the province had been stolen by illegal armed men, police commanders and other government officials.
He said the quake destroyed two rooms of his house, but he was yet to be assisted. “Government officials looted the assistance in front of our eyes. Many senior officials loaded their vehicles and took the goods home.”
Another resident, Asadullah, said there had been a chaos when the relief goods were distributed. “Those having cards also failed to receive anything. We also attempted to grab the assistance but we were badly beaten by armed men.”
He said a young woman was seriously injured during the relief distribution process and she had not yet received anything.
Similar views were expressed by other residents. They said the provincial government had been unable to deliver the aid to deserving families.
Takhar governor’s spokesman Sunatullah Taimori confirmed the plunder but blamed it on common people not government officials.
He said the aid had come from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for 4,000 needy families and Dostum Foundation and the provincial Natural Disaster Management Authority were responsible for their distribution.
“The aid was received by 3000 families, but on the last day, the situation went out of police control and people started looting the goods. The looters were not police commanders or government officials but common people.”
He said each family had received four blankets, one 50 kilograms of flour bag, 10kg of beans, the same quantity of sugar and ghee.
According to reports, the 7.5 magnitude earthquake has affected 4000 families in Takhar province.
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