Brep community praised for highest survival rate of plants

CHITRAL: More than 90 per cent of the plants sowed in the far-flung village of Brep in Yarkhun valley under the billion tree tsunami project have survived, a forest department official said.

About 225,000 saplings of rubinia, ailanthus as well deodar were planted in two phases in the village.

Divisional forest officer, Chitral, Shaukat Fiaz said the great survival rate was because of active participation of the local community.

He said the land measuring more than three hectares was left barren by the residents of Khuz village due to acute shortage of irrigation water.

Mr Fiaz said that lift irrigation system was put in place by operating generators to draw water from the Yarkhun River, while a small fraction of gravity flow water was also available there.

Praising the local people, he said they extended all possible help to the department from plantation to irrigation and saving the plants from all dangers, including theft or being trampled by the livestock being grazed in the nearby pasture.

He said the rubinia and ailanthus plants were not alien to the area and had high survival rate but deodar was planted on experimental basis which also showed a high survival rate during the last two extreme weather conditions in summer and winter.

He said the Brep village was highly vulnerable to the glacial lake outburst floods which had rendered a large part of the village deserted during the recent years, while the plantation in the Khotan Lasht would have a pleasant affect on the climate of the area and might be helpful in containing the emission of poisonous gases leading to disintegration of the glacier.

Former Brep village nazim Akbar Hussain said the villagers were highly enthusiastic about the success of plantation in the area where an abandoned desert had been converted into a green field which would have a tangible affect on their lives.

He said the villagers would continue their cooperation with the forest department in making the project a model for other parts of the district.

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