Bureaucratic Hitch Blocks Aid for Landslip Victims

A recent landslide in Varzob district has highlighted the plight of 250 families who have been unable to claim compensation as they do not have the right residence papers.

Bureaucratic Hitch Blocks Aid for Landslip Victims

A recent landslide in Varzob district has highlighted the plight of 250 families who have been unable to claim compensation as they do not have the right residence papers.

Thursday, 27 August, 2009
As Davlatsho Etiborov reports, these people are not recent arrivals, but longstanding residents of five villages who have been in legal limbo for the last 15 years as they do not have “propiska”, the official registration paper required by residence rules instituted in the Soviet era.



Residents say they never experienced problems with officialdom before, but when 40 homes belonging to unregistered families in Varzob, a mountainous district near capital Dushanbe, were damaged or destroyed after heavy rains in early May, they were told they were not eligible for a government payout.



To add insult to injury, their children were excluded from the local school as they were not on the relevant official list.



In other areas of Tajikistan hit by landslips around the same time, work is under way to build new homes, but the lack of state funding here means they are left to fend for themselves in what is left of their mud-covered homes.



Local representatives of the state disaster agency downplayed the scale of the damage, but acknowledged that applications for assistance were not being reviewed because none of the claimants had “propiska”.



However, Sultonnazar Kholiknazarov, the agency’s deputy chief of staff at national level, said local staff members should have fill out applications themselves and ensured that tents were made available as temporary accommodation.
Tajikistan
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