Mix farming is the livelihood means of most families in the disaster-affected villages. The villages are known for producing quality apricot (also exported to UK), cherry and Russian olive honey. Young villagers used to work with the Chinese contractors on a concrete bridge, which now lies submerged under water. Another 800 feet span RCC bridge sank weeks ago.
This year majority of potato growers could not plant for commercial purposes as KKH is blocked, there are no transport and agriculture inputs and the high cost of transportation.
The lake is impoverishing more households; parents would not be able to pay fee of their children, essential foods items are either missing or prices have gone up. Students from down country institutions cannot visit their parents in the villages due to budgetary problems.
The ecological impact may cause more precipitation and affect life-supporting systems with crop damage. The low temperature may affect the harvest of cereal and fruit crops reducing agriculture produce for domestic consumption. Loss of livelihoods may cause displacement of people.
These losses could have been minimized by taking timely decision to release water from the lake. Number of deadlines to release water from the lake has passed and the credibility of concerned organizations has become questionable.
Complete at DAWN