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A woman attempts to clear up her devastated house in Beicheying village, Fangshan district Monday after the rainstorm. Photo: CFP |
Web users are furious over a charity fund launched by Beijing Municipal Government Monday night to aid storm victims, insisting the move is a way to cover up major failings in the city's infrastructure, which contributed to the severity of the damage.
The fund information released by Beijing Daily was forwarded more than 90,000 times by Sina microbloggers by press time Tuesday. Around 1,000 Web users left comments, most saying they are unwilling to participate in the government scheme.
Su Meng, 25, a resident of Chaoyang district, said that charity donations are not a solution to disaster relief efforts, and the government would be better off considering some of the factors that led to the disaster instead.
"It seems the government is using the fund to divert the public's attention from questioning its responsibility about the destruction," she said.
Su would prefer to personally go to the disaster areas to give food and clothes to the suffering people.
"I don't trust government-led charity drives because I'm not sure whether my donation will get to those who really need it," she said.
Zhu Lijia, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said now is not the right time for Beijing government to launch the fund.
"Thirty-seven people died in the flood disaster. The first priority for the government is to hold someone accountable for the deaths," said Zhu.
Once the storm warning was released, said Zhu, government employees, such as firefighters, should have put warning signs in places vulnerable to floods, and put pumps there. There should have been traffic police directing vehicles, he said.
"If the government had made these preparations, there would not have been so many deaths," Zhu noted.
Beijing Municipal Government has earmarked 100 million yuan ($15.66 million) as a relief fund to relocate the affected people, the Beijing Times reported Tuesday.