Gul Hamaad Farooqi
CHITRAL: When the summer comes, residents of the scenic valley of Oveer Lasht spend sleepless nights fearing a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) may hit their village from the huge glaciers overlooking it.
Oveer Lasht and its suburbs in Lotkoh, Lower Chitral, have a population of 4,000 people but there is neither a hospital nor a primary school for girls. The area is surrounded by mighty mountains on top of which there are huge glaciers.
Talking to ChitralToday correspondent during his visit to the remote area, the residents said when the glacier the mountain in Mumi burst a few years ago it caused a devastating flood. There are many glaciers on the hill over the settlement which can cause floods at any time. They said the locals cannot prevent natural disasters but can minimize their impact with the help of government departments and private organizations.
Mir Ghazi said: “We go near the glacier many times a day to see if it is moving down or is about to burst and sometimes we also go there at night if there is any thread of flood so we can run to safety.”
Daniyal, another resident, also said a protective wall was necessary against GLOF destruction. Government departments and private institutions come into action and build protective walls, ramparts after GLOF devastates, he added.
Zartaj Ali Khan said beans, peas, lentils and all kinds of vegetables grow in the area but it always remains in danger of floods.
Muhammad Azam said there are frequent floods in the area. Due to erosion of the road and land along the river, land owned by the locals is washed away.
Mir Shuja said local people were very hard working and send their children to major cities for education because there was only one primary school in the area. He said that due to climate change, this beautiful valley was also threatened.
The local people appealed to the provincial and federal governments as well as international organizations to save their beautiful valley from possible flood damages.
The residents demanded that a protection wall should be built on both sides of the flood nullah so that the area could be protected from any possible flooding.