Prof Rahmat Karim Baig

Devastation of crops, fruits in Terich valley

Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig

Terich valley lies in Upper Chitral, very close to the high Hindu Kush chain of mountains and received 16 days of continuous rains that annihilated all kind of food stuff this year.

Since the altitude is more than 8000 feet so by that time all the crops were ripe and ready for processing but God wished otherwise. The cut and standing crops of wheat and barley were completely turned into trash. No grain and no hay or fodder for cattle. The situation is very much frustrating.

This year, fruit trees were unusually laden with fruit like apricot, apples, peaches and pear but the climate change at such a critical point of the season had very bad affect on fruits that all fell down and was unfit even for cattle. At the same time the road system broke down and supply from greater markets stopped and travel became quite impossible. The flush floods, rock falls and landslides destroyed the jeep road from one end to the last end. The morbidity cases increased and patients could not be moved for treatment.

After some days the government saw a broken infrastructure and worked for restoring the damaged roads which encouraged the people who had got hopeless. The local elected representatives ran from corner to corner and were in a position to apprise the Authorities of the grimness of the situation. A survey of the damages was carried out but relief is still awaited. Some NGO had taken a miscalculation of the magnitude of the damages and came with packages of relief but that brought more discontent than relief. It had get away from the horrible scene of disaster.

 The future for the whole valley is much frustrating. They have no wheat seed to sow as it is the sowing season. Have no fodder for cattle. No govt. semi govt. Non govt. hand to put some food on their hands and no cash for purchasing food for crying children. It is not a welfare state.  It is an arena of wrestling at the national level.

The far-flung valleys of Chitral are at a stage to move to other parts of the country because in the present settlements they are out of sight of the government and no can trickle down into those nooks.     

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