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     November 15,  2015



Chitral disasters;
Chitral-the hinterlands and relief items

The 2015 brought an uninterrupted series of calamities to Chitral from Arandu to Boroghi, Durah Pass , Sha Jinalli, Shagrom [Terich] , The Kalash valleys, Khot to Bashqargol, golen and the main Chitral valley. The lands and villages lying on the banks of the rivers were inundated while all kind of crops were washed away within minutes because of the rapid flow of the river system This river system had irrigated thousands of lands in the past many year but when it roared in rage it destroyed the whole built up and cultivated plots within days and continued to pile sediments on the plain plots that had fructified in scores of years and in some cases in centuries such as Green Lasht that was a waste plain land since time immemorial but when the time of destruction came all its orchards and houses were carried away like fistful of hay and no barrier could stop the colossal flood of rock that was unimaginable. In some affected villages relief was transported by choppers but most of the valleys remained neglected and ignored as if they were not part of Chitral or had no right in the relief items or they were outcasts and not Pakistanis.

In the far flung side valley few survey teams dared to go and no NGO included those side valleys as part of their relief program.. Many NGOs had made it a point that only those families will receive relief commodities where a member had died or whose house had collapsed completely but the partial damages were of no importance and not in their criteria for compensation. The widows and orphans were altogether ignored as they could not reach the survey teams.

The local police personnel had also recorded data in the hinterlands but their Notes were nowhere to be seen. The elected councilors of the village councils played a hide- and seek game as it is a well known proverb in Khowar that a frog was in a state of dilemma saying if ‘ I come to the surface of the pond the crow attacks me and if I dive long I feel suffocated’.

As far the main road from Chitral to Booni, Mastuj, Shagram is concerned the FWO made much efforts with poor results. No satisfactory repair or rehabilitation is visible anywhere in the above roads and now they have taken rest as if every thing is in proper condition which has to be inspected and revamped as early as possible. The refugees from Mulko are still in tents in Qaq Lasht and rebuilding of their houses has been started inspite of arrival of winter. This poor performance is highly deplorable and a proof of apathy of the authorities concerned.

Rahmat Karim Baig



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