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Pakistan Flood : People Begin To Repair Roads As Government Gets Unresponsive

pakistan flood unresponsive govt people begin to repair roads
Habibullah is among some 200 locals who are repairing the road connecting Kalam to the Bahrain tehsil of Swat.


Kohistan: As Pakistan faces flood havoc, the people of Kohistan district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province have let go of all hopes with the government to restore connections to other parts of the country and have started to repair the roads themselves, media reports said.

According to Pakistan’s local media outlet Dawn, the residents have taken the onus on themselves as they pick up the equipment and do the repair work themselves. The residents were forced to act as they were tired of waiting for the government to rebuild the infrastructure. The city is disconnected from the nearby areas and is giving a tough time to the residents. Tired of being cut off, Kohistan residents are now forging their own path. They are getting their hands on anything they are able to find to fix the roads: wood, gravel and clay.

“If we wait for the government, it would take years for them to rehabilitate [the roads],” said Habibullah, a former Nazim of the Kalam valley in Swat, while speaking to the media portal. Habibullah is among some 200 locals who are repairing the road connecting Kalam to the Bahrain tehsil of Swat. A large section of the road was washed away by flood waters.

In the past, Habibullah recalls, it had taken the authorities very long to restore land routes. “So, we have decided to start the work ourselves and repair the road together with the use of small tools,” he added.

However, Habibullah has serious apprehensions as the clock ticks away. The unconnected roads, he feels, will lay a major impact on the supply of crucial medicines and food to the district. He feels that time is running out. “If the road remains blocked, a shortage of food and medicines is imminent. People in the upper areas will die and the government will be responsible,” he said.

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Another resident Zubair Torwali, from Bahrain, shared the same experiences. The conditions of the roads have also forced the people of the district to indulge in a risky state of affairs. Torwali, a researcher of local languages, said that since the people of the area are essentially cut off, they have little choice but to make the dangerous trek across mountains to access food, as per the media portal.

“People fasten bags of food on themselves and climb [mountains] with ropes here in Bahrain, as there are no signs of roads or pedestrian paths, all of which have been washed away by floods,” he said.

They urged the government to restore links so the flow of much-needed help and medicines could resume to the remote areas of Kalam and Bahrain. Torwali stressed the need for sending medical teams to these areas, saying that flood victims there were in “dire need of the government’s and international assistance to be able to survive”.

The government should “rehabilitate roads, bridges and other structures on an emergency basis”, he added.


(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by HW News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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