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Tajik Flood Victims Appeal To President

A group of women from Kulob city demonstrate in front of the Presidential Palace in Dushanbe.
DUSHANBE -- A group of women whose homes were destroyed by last year's floods in southern Tajikistan have gathered in front of the presidential palace in Dushanbe to ask President Emomali Rahmon for help, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

The women told RFE/RL they received new homes or promises of land after floods destroyed their houses in Kulob's Charmgaron neighborhood in May 2010 and that the relevant documentation was signed by Deputy Prime Minister Murodali Alimardon.

But since then, they said, they had run into problems.

A woman called Farishta said that she received the keys to her new home on September 9 -- Independence Day -- but six months later the authorities asked her family to vacate the house.

Another woman, Mayrambi Olimova, said that after the floods the authorities promised to give her a plot of land to build a new home, but she still lives with her six children in temporary accommodation.

The women were forced to disperse by police and presidential security personnel who promised to relay their requests for help to the president's staff.

The Tajik government built 600 new homes for flood victims last fall with local and international aid. Some 1,500 families received plots of land to build new homes.

In November, however, it was reported that 30 people whose homes had not been damaged received new homes illegally. The Kulob authorities promised to review those reports and take appropriate action.