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    November 22, 2016



Country Director UNDP Ignacio Artaza visits Chitral

By Zahiruddin

CHITRAL: The country director of United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Ignacio Artaza has said that his organization will help the district government in making the people resilient to natural calamities to which the district was prone to as a phenomenon of climate change.

Addressing the representatives of local communities hit by natural hazards and a meeting with the head of district government (district nazim) Maghfirat Shah here on Tuesday, he said that the side by side with rehabilitation of the flood-ravaged physical infrastructures, mass awareness was required to be instilled in the locals by development of their capacity.

He said that UNDP has moved forward with this objective and will provide the required resources while it was the prime responsibility of the local communities to utilize them properly in preparedness to cope with the situations emergent of natural calamities.

Mr. Artaza said that glacial lakes outburst floods (GLOF) posed the greatest threat to the Northern areas of the country and responding to the situation, projects were being launched by UNDP with the financial assistance of Green Climate Fund in five districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and seven districts of Gilgit-Baltistan.

He said that Chitral was one of the five districts where GLOF projects were being launched which hosted more than five hundred glaciers out of which many had been declared as potential dangers being at the verge of outburst.

He said that his organization had already executed a number of projects in the district to rehabilitate the facilities which were washed away by the floods last year.

Earlier, the district nazim Maghfirat Shah told the UNDP Pakistan chief that the spate of natural disasters during the last eight years has brought miseries to the people of Chitral which have gained terrible momentum during the last two years and have washed away physical infrastructures whose valued is estimated at 15 billion rupees.

He said that the district faced the two-pronged snag of rehabilitation of devastated infrastructures to bring life to normal and making adaptation to face the natural disasters which loomed large over the district.

Mr. Shah said that the district government was working in close liaison with the civil society organization to meet the challenges posed by the climate change phenomenon which were active and its members were awakened to the situation and were capable to handling it and judicious utilization of resources.

The representatives of disaster prone communities appreciated the efforts of the district government in its efforts to help them prepare for the disasters which threatened them in different forms including GLOF, flash floods, cloud bursts and land sliding and expressed their gratitude over launching projects.

Later on, accompanied by assistant country director of UNDP, Amanullah and first secretary of Royal Embassy of Norway in Islamabad, Mr. Tom, he visited a number of flood-hit villages in the outskirts of Chitral city and had a discussion with the affected people.

The inspected the projects executed by Hashoo Foundation funded by UNDP and the government of Norway in Zargarandeh, Hone and Ochusht villages which were aimed at protecting the villages from flash floods in future in the form of bulwark.



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