CHITRAL: The ill-timed snowfall in Broghil valley of Upper Chitral has caused food shortage both for the people and their cattle while the area has been marooned by three feet snow that will require two months to melt.
The former village nazim of Broghil, Amin Jan Tajik, told Dawn that vehicular traffic to the valley had been closed for winter season in November last and one had to walk for two days to reach the area from Yarkhun Lasht.
He said that the residents exhausted the food stock, which they had stored at the advent of winter season, both for them and their livestock. He added that owing to closure of road, no food items could be transported to the area easily.
Mr Tajik said that shortage of animal fodder was a serious issue for the residents of the area as they were depended on livestock for their sustenance because farming was not possible there due to harsh weather conditions.
He said that normally yaks, goats and other animals ate dried grass and roots of shrubs in the pasture but in the current year the pastures were still covered with snow.
He feared that the people would be reduced to abject poverty if they lost their yaks and other animals due to the acute shortage of food while the feeble animals easily contracted diseases.
The former nazim said that increase in the number of ailing animals was reported from different villages of the valley. He said that although the food department had a stock of wheat in its local warehouse yet the water mills could not operate due to the freezing of water.
The deputy commissioner of Upper Chitral, Shah Saud, however, insisted that there was no serious issue of food shortage in the valley.
He said that Provincial Disaster Management Authority was being approached for arranging food both for the people and their animals.
He added that communication and works department was busy in clearing the snow and mud debris from the road to restore vehicular traffic and the first village Kishman Ja would be connected with other parts of the district within two days.