Victims of last spring’s floods and mudslides in Tajikistan still homeless

More than a thousand inhabitants of the Khuroson district of Tajikistan’s Khatlon Province, whose homes were destroyed by flooding and mudslides last spring, are still homeless.

Nigina Sharipova

2009-12-10

TAJIKISTAN — More than a thousand inhabitants of the Khuroson district of Tajikistan’s Khatlon Province, whose homes were destroyed by flooding and mudslides last spring are still homeless, according to a report by the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Tajikistan.

The report states that people who were affected by the disaster are still living in tents, taking refuge in schools and spending nights at the homes of host families or relatives to shelter from the cold.

According to the report, 3,000 people had to be resettled as a result of the disasters that occurred last spring. The Tajik government set aside land so that two settlements could be built. Homes were constructed for 150 families via the joint efforts of state and private companies, and religious and international organisations, one of which, Caritas, is building another 45 homes with money donated by the Swiss and British governments.

Other humanitarian organisations are building water supply networks in the new settlements and are donating funds and basic necessities to the victims. Food is also being provided to those who were rehoused and the families who took them in.

The funds allocated are insufficient to provide all families with everything they need, however. “The people who ended up homeless are fighting for survival. They cannot rely on the hospitality of families who are just as poor as they are,” said Ilya Todorovich, the acting UN coordinator in Tajikistan. He believes the international community should offer them assistance and alleviate their increasing poverty.

According to the UN, more than US$7.7 million will be needed to help those affected by the floods and mudslides and to build earthquake-resistant settlements in Tajikistan. So far, Tajikistan has received $1.7 million, or little more than 21 percent of the total amount.

The torrential rain that lashed the country in April and May caused widespread flooding, landslides and mudslides. The disasters claimed 21 lives and caused damage estimated by the government at $100 million.

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