By Ali Rehmat Musofir
Recently we observed with apprehension the glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF), last time in Passu and, now, in Ghulkin. The floods caused by these GLOF poses a great risk to these villages. The risks, however, can be minimized by employing technology. With the help of RS and GIS technology these glacial lakes can be identified through Satellite images and Aerial photographs and after field verification and ground realities the sites can be observed and assessed in their early stages when these lakes are developing. Using proper techniques the water can be released, not allowing the formation of dams which have the potential to annihilate human settlements and agricultural establishments.
Some glaciers are located within the vicinities of the villages and people, routinely, walk by or across them for one or the other reason. The people need to be vigilant and, shall, look for any unusual changes taking place in the glaciers. The changes, as and when observed, shall be communicated immediately to the relevant public and non – governmental organizations.
FOCUS and NAPWD Gilgit have RS and GIS technologies which can be utilized in the region for the purpose of hazard mapping, land sliding, GLOF, soil erosion, glacier advancement etc,
The area should be observed after February when the glaciers start melting and due to fluctuation and movement the streams blocked the natural gullies and make glacial lakes, it required to survey, assessments, or research etc.
As everyone knows about the disaster situation in Hussaini village due the glacier advancement for last many decades and no one can imagine how much the local community are surfing from these disasters. For last many years both, for drinking and irrigation water, the people of Hussaini ware working on glacier 8 to 12 hours on daily basis.
A glacier is located in the west and the Khunzhrav River is flowing in the East of the village but due to lake of resources there is no water in the village. It is an example of criminal neglect. A drought like situation hovers on the village for last many years. As the glacier is advancing very fast toward the Khnzhrav River and KKH – located at a distance of some 254 meters, the four channels dug out from the snout of the glacier have been destroyed and now the temporary solution was obtaining insufficient water through a vulnerable pipeline from the southern glacier’s originated stream to the northern snout channels. This pipeline was also washed away by the recent flood and next GLOF is, again, in an alarming position.
A hard working farmer lost his life at the glacier snout, a rock from the end moraine hit him there and he passed away at the spot in August 2006, and so many injured and disabled during their duty at glacier but no one has yet understand our problem either they belong to NGOs, Government Organizations.
Through the platform of Pamir Times I appeal to the concern NGOs and Government organizations to give attention and take some steps to solve these community problems, where now drought situation in Borith and Hussaini village.
The villages located along the Khunzhrav river and below the glaciers are in high risks specially in Gojal valley, Shimshal, Passu, Hussaini, Ghulkin, Gulmit and so many other villages in the region, at any time form these risks of river flood, and GLOF the villages will wash out if proper protection not taken and in this modern world where technologies can be used to reduce these risks. The communities, volunteers and scouts should ready to handle these disasters otherwise it’s a very terrible situation in our region and it’s very challenging for our youth and communities required resources.