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     September 22,  2015



The neglected victims of recent floods.

In the floods that swept all the unharvested crops on the banks of Chitral river and many of the old villages situated on the banks of the rivers were inundated causing irreparable loss to the inhabitants as their expected land produce was destroyed within days where next crop does not grow. Some affected areas were focused by govt. agencies and NGOs but in the remoter parts of the district and in the side valleys nobody ventured to tread or bethought of having an aerial view of the unimaginable and unprecedented damages wrought by the floods and rising rivers. The rains and the outburst of glacial lakes [ GLOF] in some valleys were the main cause of devastation that washed away all the infrastructure as well as the lands and the crops that were ready for harvesting. Reports about some prominent villages were highlighted in the media such as Kalash valleys, Reshun etc. but the floods had also triggered GLOF type of floods in the Terich valley of Mastuj subdivision. Two main streams from glaciers i.e. Warimgol and Noghor gol had flooded for two weeks repeatedly due to Glacial Lakes Outburst Floods { GLOF] and deposited immeasurable sediment into the Terich river which rose and overflowed its banks and eliminated crop lands on both sides including houses, irrigation channels, micro power houses, water mills, thousands of poplar and other trees, causing damage to the upper Terich valley in millions of Rupees but no proper assessment has so far been taken of the colossal damages. The climatic change was more noticeable this year as temperature in this valley rose up to 32 c. in summers for the last ten years but this year it rose to 35c for 3 days and remained at 34c for more than two weeks that triggered the GLOF type of floods and it is alarming. Due to the continued floods the only jeep road was badly damaged and transport came to a standstill for weeks which was at last solved by the kind attention of A.C. Mastuj , Mr. Minhas, who took personal interest in the realignment of the broken road and vigilantly supervised the construction of the road. He deserves our gratitude for his tireless efforts and sympathy with the affectees of the valley.

The damages also include loss of goats and sheep of a herder who was grazing the flocks of the community when flush floods ,one evening washed away a great number of their animals. This was a great loss as one goat costs up to Rs. 16000/- at the market beside the loss of fodder that was being collected for winter but all of these have gone along with cultivated plots on both sides of the Terich River. The losses are great but the affectees deserve compensation and rehabilitation especially the damaged link roads, diversion of the river to its original bed, repair of irrigation channels, water mills, hydal power houses etc.

I would like to draw attention of the Authorities of PDMA and NDMA to take notice of the damages of the Terich valley which is one of the main tourism Zones and a gateway to the high HinduKush with its numerous 7000m peaks of this range and also a great source of generating hydal power houses from the rivers that are another attraction for power sector including the Shushgai-Zhondoli hydal project of 144mw that is in the waiting list of the KPK government.

Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig


mail @ chitraltimes@gmail.com

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