LSOs of Gojal demand speedy work on lake breach

PT Report

Gilgit, January 3: Representatives of  a newly formed network of the local support organizations of Gojal valley (GOLSON) in a press conference demanded speedy action for release of water from the lake on River Hunza.  Speaking at the press conference were Abdul Rasheed and Shah Jahan, Chairman and General Secretary of MASO; Amin Posh, Manager, GRSO; Tawus Bibi, Manger, CLSO; and Fazal Amin Beg, facilitator of GOLSON and a social activist.

The speakers said that Gojal valley is at the risk of economic collapse due to blockage of the Karakuram Highway. They said that the region has a history of landslide and river blockades and steps should have been taken pre-emptively by all sectors to avert similar situations in the future.  They said that despite of knowing all the situation from inside out the government is still hesitent in declaring the region calamity hit.

The speakers also said that food insecurity has increased significantly in the region and this could lead to disruption of life. “Economically, being agro-pastoral, the affected community members started becoming displaced and lost their key assets (houses, lands, plants, cattle-sheds), besides losing their enterprises, apart from loss of previously carried out developmental activities”, said a speaker while explaining impact of the disaster.

They also complainted about insufficient media coverage of the plight of Gojal valley. The speakers also criticized the government for wasting precious time of one month before coming to action. “While the machines are in action we don’t see any solution soon at the current pace”, a representative of GOLSON told Pamir Times on phone. “We want the government to demploy more machinery at the lake site. Height of the debris shall be decreased by at least 150 feet to make any tangible impact upstream”, the GOLSON representative told Pamir Times.  

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One Comment

  1. I like this idea of GOLSON. Is this a consultative body and what is the structure like.

    Anyways, the concerns regarding this catastrophe and its aftermath are quite genuine and one can hardly see a comprehensive strategy by the government given the fact that one month has already passed. As a lesson learnt from this disaster, the government needs to be forward looking and planning things ahead of time, mitigating risks and developing capacities instead of waiting for obvious disasters and then just trying to fix things when every thing is already messed up leaving thousands of people suffer for good.

    This is need of the hour to make clear cut strategies involving civil society organizations such as GOLSON and/or other committees.

    Sultan Ahmed

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