KARACHI: Authorities in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province on Monday said they were moving thousands of people displaced by catastrophic floods to a “tent city” on the outskirts of the port city of Karachi.
Torrential rains and floods have killed more than 1,600 people and affected 33 million across Pakistan since the beginning of monsoon season in mid-June. The deluges have forced 1.45 million people out of homes in the southern Sindh province, washing away most of their crops.
The provincial government has accommodated these displaced people in 5,000 government-run schools across the province, with 30 schools housing the affectees in Karachi.
Local authorities have decided to move these thousands of affectees from government-run schools in Karachi’s East district to hundreds of tarpaulin camps in the Malir district on the outskirts of the megapolis.
“About 7,000 people living in our relief camps would be shifted and the schools will be vacated,” said Raja Tariq Chandio, deputy commissioner of the East district, where most of the schools sheltering displaced people are situated.
Irfan Salam, deputy commissioner of the Malir district, said authorities had erected 1,300 shelters along the Malir link road, while K-Electric, the city’s sole power distributor, was also laying a power transmission line to supply electricity to these camps.
“In the tent city, flood victims will have safe drinking water and cooked meals. It has 20 washrooms and a hospital with men and women doctors and paramedics,” Salam told Arab News.
“It will take at least 10 days for K-Electric to set up the power transmission line, but we will start providing electricity through generators as we plan to move flood victims within the next two days.”
He said a charity had committed to provide breakfast, lunch and dinner for the displaced people, for which a kitchen was being set up.
The Sindh education foundation would also set up a school to impart education to children of these flood-affected people, Salam added.
The deadly floods have inundated around 15,000 schools across the southern Pakistani province, while education activities remain suspended at another 5,000 institutes housing the affected masses.
Around 2.5 million students enrolled at these 20,000 schools may drop out this year as the province lacks resources to make educational facilities functional soon after floodwater recedes from marooned areas, according to Sindh Education Minister Sardar Ali Shah.
After the relocation of affected masses to the Malir district, officials say classes will resume at 30 government-run facilities housing them in Karachi’s East district.
Javed Shah, a teacher at the Government Boys Primary School in the district, told Arab News the local administration had communicated to them that the schools would be vacated this week, but it would take another few days to make arrangements for resumption of classes.
“We are happy that classes are going to resume soon,” Shah told Arab News. “We will bring the schools to order to resume classes.”