More needed to be done than slaughtering a cow

Report SN Peerzada

BOONI, July 29: The glaciers in Chitral have become a perpetual threat to human lives and settlements in the rugged valley, especially in the wake of the climatic changes around the globe.

“For the past 10 years, climate change induced disasters have taken momentum in the valley, particularly the floods caused by glacial lakes.  These glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF) occur when the ice walls containing the reservoir fail, sending entire lakes down to inhabited areas below. During such emergencies, there is severe loss of lives and physical assets,” says the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its website.
In 1994, the UNDP launched a project called Hinduraj Area Conservation Programme with the basic aim of making the glaciers in Chitral safe and minimizing the destruction in case of GLOFs due to the rising temperatures.
At the initial stage of the programme, threats from seven major glaciers spreading from Authrot in Swat to Ishkamen in Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan were to be minimized. Under the programme, efforts were made to create awareness among the local communities regarding conservation to minimize the risks. However, these efforts failed to produce results.
On the contrary, the communities went on a rampage to cut trees on the mountains besides keeping a large number of cattle and grazing them in the mountains denuding them of the green cover. For this purpose, they also started hiring the Gujjar community members as shepherds who came to each and every village along with their own herds of cattle and destroyed the flora and fauna of the mountains.

The communities are now facing the brunt of their brutal misuse of the nature as 35 of the main 40 streams (Gols) are now in high floods, wreaking havoc on their banks with the affected people rendered homeless and unable to cope with the situation.
The hapless and helpless communities have nothing to protect themselves except taking a cow or goat to the bank of the Gol (stream) in their area and sacrifice it to get some spiritual and mental solace. But can it work, can the nature’s fury be checked in such a way after reckless misuse of natural resources, only time will give you the answer.

3 Replies to “More needed to be done than slaughtering a cow”

  1. We Chitralis have become selfish, na shukur, and ayaash. GOD save us, and forgive our sins, this is azaab from Allah. We should be united at this time and pray to God for our forgiveness and do khatums at Masjids and Jamat Khanas. We should shun firqa parasti, qaum parasti, and live like brothers.

  2. Very informative effort by the author. We are destroying our beautiful Chitral by our own selfish acts as mentioned by the author. District administration and local governments have to come forward to preserve and protect the environment, mere awareness may not produce results. Fear of law is also necessary to stop mafias from playing with future of our area and the lives of its innocent people.
    Zakir Hussain
    Abu Dhabi, UAE

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