Climate change and its impacts on Chitral

By Asheq Ali
Distant apart from the rest of the country, Chitral has been an attraction for inhabitants of Pakistan and people around the world for its pleasant climate and rich heritage. In recent years, however, winds have changed their projections and also the sun has thrown the burning rays, both the changes have embodied our climate.

The altered climatic conditions influence lifestyle of Homo-Sapiens, health and environment and migration patterns of animals. However, climate change being a global issue has been under debate for decades and now practical actions must be undertaken.

The climatic domain of the region over the last decade has been shaped by frequent natural disasters; flooding, avalanches etc. The rapid fluctuations in temperature have refashioned the structure of glaciers formation. Rise in temperature beyond set point causes rapid melting of the existing glaciers which causes rise in sea level with lower areas drowned by it. Sea cuts off our transportation and communication systems which drastically affects our tertiary industry. In contrast to summers, we are experiencing severe and prolong winters accompanied by presence of Smog which causes health issues not the asthmatic patients but also kids also suffocate.

Further, over the years new business ideas are taking root in Chitral, including development of tourists’ spots, trekking points, camp cities etc. The aberrant climate makes such infant businesses unfavorable and disturbs the local economy.

Moreover, our wild animals are our assets as they contribute in generating employment opportunity for local population. Drastic changes in climate remark time and pattern of migration of animals and birds. In severe cases it may lead to habitat destruction and we may lose our precious assets.

In addition, the mechanism employed by our forest department to control deforestation is the outdated one. Recently I visited Chitral Goal National park, the surrounding area was damped with plastic bottles and thrashes thrown by local visitors. Apart from that, I saw the majestic Alpine trees being chopped down. These are the leading causes for climatic change of the area. The local government must employ strict laws in order to control deforestation and pollution around the national park.

Remedies to overcome the issue include a forestation, weekly or monthly cleanliness walk in the town and villages and most importantly public awareness programs must be launched in Chitral.

To conclude, climate change is a major concern especially in Chitral. Practical actions must be taken to control the increasing pollution otherwise it leaves the irreparable damage to both human and wildlife species.

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