The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has accused the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of being more generous in dispatching relief goods to Multan, the hometown of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
According to documents of the provincial government, Multan and Sukkur districts have received the lion’s share of goods donated by different countries and charity organizations.
Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain described response of the federal government and NDMA to the crisis as pathetic and said his province had been ignored in distribution of relief goods.
“NDMA’s distribution of relief goods is not equitable and the province has received aid not commensurate with the losses it has suffered. The United Nations and other donor agencies say that 95 per cent of the damage has taken place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while the NDMA is sending relief goods to areas where magnitude of devastation is comparatively small,” Mian Iftikhar told Dawn on Thursday.
“NDMA is a national institution, but people are losing trust in it,” he said, adding that the KP government protested against unequal distribution of relief goods because it had received only a small quantity of assistance from the NDMA. “The authority should mend its ways.”
The devastating floods hit northern districts and Peshawar valley on July 28 and over 700,000 people have been rendered homeless. But instead of helping hundreds of thousands of affected people in KP, the NDMA airlifted relief goods to Multan and Sukkur.
The KP documents show that two water purification plants, 20 power generators and a large quantity of medicines were taken to Multan and Sukkur on Aug 4. Besides, 140 bags of beans, 150 cartons of milk, 100 bags of rice, 224 bags of pulses, 100 tins of cooking oil, 90 cartons of water bottles, tents, tarpaulin and medicines were sent to the two cities on Aug 7.


Also, 150 cartons of food, three water purification units, a water tank of 3,500 litres capacity, a 15KV power generator and other relief goods were dispatched by air to the prime minister’s hometown.
For Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, however, the NDMA had little to offer. According to the documents, the authority distributed only 3,616 packets of ready-to-eat meal in Riasalpur, Kohistan and Abbottabad. The packets provided by the US government were airlifted from the Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, sources said.
Senior officials of the provincial government have levelled similar allegations but decline to be identified. One of them said the authority had diverted much of the relief goods to less affected areas. He said the province had received nothing from the NDMA, except a few thousands food packs. “The provincial government has received 12,000 tents from the Emergency Response Cell of the Cabinet Division and there is no evidence that the NDMA has sent a single tent for the flood-affected people since July 28,” the official said, adding that the NDMA should not take credit of relief goods received by the provincial government from the US, Saudi Arabia and charity organisations.
About 10,000 tents were stored at the warehouse of the Special Support Group in Dera Ismail Khan. The tents had been purchased for internally displaced persons from South Waziristan. But 5,000 of the tents were distributed among the displaced people in D.I. Khan on the directives of the ERC, and the rest were sent by the NDMA to Punjab.
The official said the provincial government had made desperate calls to the NDMA for mobilising its resources to rescue thousands of people stranded in Malakand division and Peshawar valleys, but to little avail.
“The Provincial Disaster Management Authority requested the NDMA and the federal government to provide helicopters, boats and relief goods, but it received no response,” said another official. “The federal government and the NDMA are offering only lip service,” he said. The NDMA’s website shows that it has provided a variety of items to the PDMA, including 41,266 tents, 10,000 mats, 15,000 ration packs, 89,150 food packets, 86,000 cooked meals and Rs21 million in cash.
But provincial officials reject the NDMA’s claim. “I can say with authority that all these statistics are absolutely wrong,” said an official.
When contacted, NDMA’s media coordinator Amal Masud said the figures shown on the website were authentic, adding that the authority had mobilised its resources to provide relief wherever needed. (DAWN)