KARACHI: Thousands of people in the southern Pakistani province of Sindh will be moved to a “tent city” in the provincial capital Karachi this week, officials said on Monday, in the aftermath of catastrophic floods that had submerged a third of the country and killed over 1,600 people.
Torrential rains and melting glaciers in the mountains of Pakistan’s north triggered floods that have swept away homes, key infrastructure, livestock and crops, affecting 33 million of Pakistan’s 220 million people since mid-June.
With nearly 1.5 million people displaced in Sindh province, the local government has been using public schools as temporary shelters. In Karachi, thousands of people have taken refuge in 30 schools in the city.
Local officials are preparing to move the victims to a makeshift facility located in the suburbs of Malir, an administrative district in the eastern part of Karachi, with the relocation set to begin this week.
“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 Karachi’s East District, where the schools currently used as shelters are located.
The temporary settlement will comprise about 1,300 tents, and K-Electric, the city’s sole power distributor, will set up a power transmission line to provide electricity to the camp, Malir’s Deputy Commissioner Irfan Salam told Arab News.
“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 said.
“It will take at least 10 days for K-Electric to set up the power transmission line,” he added. “Within two days, people will be moved to the tent city.”
A charity organization will be providing meals for the displaced people relocated to Malir, he added, while children will get to attend classes organized by the Sindh Education Foundation.
The deadly floods in Pakistan inundated around 15,000 schools across Sindh alone, where classes have yet to resume. Millions of students in the province are at risk of being permanently out of school, Sindh Education Minister Sardar Ali Shah said earlier this month, as the government lacked resources to rebuild the damaged facilities.
Officials said there are plans to restart classes in Karachi after displaced residents are moved to Malir, when the buildings currently used as temporary shelters can again be used for lessons.
“We are happy that classes are going to resume soon,” Javed Shah, a teacher at the Government Boys Primary School, told Arab News. “We will bring the schools to order to resume classes.”