Gohkir's protection walls prone to glacial outbursts

CHITRAL, Dec 2: A UNDP-funded project has helped the people of Gohkir valley of upper Chitral to build protection walls on both sides of the Bindu Gol glacial lake and also established ‘safe centres’, having all basic life necessities to house the people in case of the glacial outburst during the summer season. This was informed at a three-day workshop, which concluded here the other day. The workshop was meant to inform journalists of the progress of the glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) project. Journalists were also taken to the villages to see for themselves the preparedness of the villagers to meet any eventuality. Talking to reporters, the GLOF project manager Hamid Ahmed Mir said that the Bindu Gol lake was at the verge of outburst that could play havoc with the life and property of the valley consisting of three villages. The ministry of climate change launched the three-year-long project two years ago, which is being funded by the United Nations Development Programme. Mr Mir said that the devastations of the disaster could be mitigated to a great extent by preparedness on scientific lines and sensing the danger ahead. Describing the major activities of the project, he said that ‘safe havens’ had been established at five places of the three endangered villages having necessities of life, including tents, beds, utensils, mobile toilets and other non-food items to accommodate the displaced people. Mr Mir said that ‘five hazard watch groups’ had also been established in different parts of the valley to closely monitor the development of the glacial lake with the help of gadgets. “Fourteen thousand saplings were also planted in the periphery of the lake to prevent land erosion and mitigate flood effects,” he added. Mr Mir said that capacity of local people was built in such a way to enable them to effectively run the disaster risk management centres. Nusrat Bibi, the project’s communication specialist, said that Chitral district was home to 549 glaciers, out of which 132 had been declared to be dangerous and were heading towards outburst. She proposed to widen the road leading to the valley as no rescue and rehabilitation process could be promptly started through the existing road in the event of the Bindu Gol outburst.–Zahiruddin]]>

One Reply to “Gohkir's protection walls prone to glacial outbursts”

  1. It is indeed a big project funded by UNDP, in an area where “Sudden Outburst of Glacial” lake had brought havoc many times in the past not only to Droongagh and Gohkir village but downward Shogram and the main Mastuj Road as well. Although the project has created financial source to the local people who used to go outside of Chitral for livelihood, at the same time there are outcry and concerns from the public over the financial irregularities by the local contractors and members. The District Administration and all concerned authorities must intervene and look into the matter before it is too late and this grand project will suffer amid the disunity and chaos.

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