Around 90 households of Ayeenabad and Shishkat have been displaced from their houses by the monstrous lake formed after the earth flow event that took place at Attabad, Hunza, on January 4, 2010. In Ayeenabad and Shishkat thousands of Kanals of land, including orchards, crop fields and thousands of trees have been destroyed during the past five months and the destruction is likely to continue long after the lake has been drained.
The organic collapse of means of livelihood is now underway at the Tehsil headquarter, Gulmit, and is bound to directly affect around 30 households, while indirectly posing daunting challenges for rest of the people.
While human settlements in other parts of Gojal may not be directly caused to submerge in the lake water, the indirect effects of infrastructure collapse and resultant isolation is also enormous.
Recovery of the economy and rehabilitation of the people would not be a simple task. An integrated, multi-input area development, approach needs to be adopted for bringing back life to normal in Gojal valley.
The government will have to take the lead, ideally. Provision of financial resources and overall development structure is the primary responsibility of the federal government and the government of Gilgit – Baltistan. National and International NGOs, community based organizations, which are very strong in Gojal valley, and other governments of the world can also be involved in the process of reconstruction and recovery.
In the mean time the hundreds of Gojalis who are working in NGOs around the world need to think for a while and start returning to their homeland, at least for a short time, to offer services for their motherland.