The on-going legacy of Attabad disaster

Piyar Ali Sagi Hunzai

Nothing remained hidden from the eyes after the Attabad village fell into the Hunza River gorge, in upper Hunza region of Gilgit-Baltistan. The people suffered economically, logistically, in terms of education, disruption of health facilities and because of delays in rehabilitation efforts. The devastating humanistic grief cycle is still continued and the primary affectees remain in uncertainty and isolation.

 The story of Attabad Lake started with the sliding of downfall of territory into river Hunza, leading to the damming of densely populated villages Ayeanabad, Shishkat and Gulmit. Inhabitants of these villages have since then been thrown into grief, while the rest of villages of Gojal remain isolated, due to damming of the river and destruction of the KKH.

Piyar Ali

From the very beginning black politics was played on the Attabad Lake, there was drama on road, blasting on spillway, transaction of IDPs relief amount, fee relaxations, and health facilities, many people lost their lives and many faced FIR charges.  Recently. the administration of Gilgit Baltistan increased misery by adding value, not to import relief goods from neighboring state China, especially shortage of fuel in the area.

The local media has been reporting the machinations and politics of relief. The GBLA member from this territory not seems effective to deliver his responsibilities, beside him the Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Mr Mehdi Shah, King of Baltistan only, seems not interested to resolve the issues of other region or districts.

The alarming situations prevails entire Gojal, snowfall season is alarming barrier for transportation within the lake. If they are not willingly to import then what are the measures they will take for the inhabitants of Upper Hunza (Gojal)?

Parallel to fuel and food issue, students of Upper Hunza (Gojal) are also suffering due to other issues, like dropping of the temperature and delays in delivery of examination slips to the valley. There are reports that many students were unable to appear in the KIU board exams because their examination slips could not be delivered to them on time. Examination center was in Aliabad, which is now farther than it once was.

The government and the relevant organizations need to take up the issue of fuel and food and establishment of examination centers in the valley very seriously, to ensure support for the disaster hit population.

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  1. Very nice Piyar ,,indeed its realty that Govt and NGOs failed to handle the attabad IDPs properly ..Billion of Dollars that ismaili council gather in the form of donation frm over all the globe for the final settlement of IDPs are Embezzled … while the local leadership of hunza silent in the name of religion ….
    I suggest to Govt of GB and civil society ask for the help in settlement of IDPs to Prince Karim Aga Khan ! As Pakistani Gov’t and Afghan Govt did in last disasters !

    1. Dear Maula Madad (alias Qizil)

      It is imperative to substantiate your allegations with facts. If not for the support and care of the Councilss, your people would be hungry and homeless. From your village, every family has received around 2 million rupees from different sources. The families that lost some people were additionally compensated, each family getting around 3 million rupees in cash and relief.

      Look at other places in Gilgit-Baltistan where around 170 people were killed during floods (38 in Skardu, 13 in Ghanche and around 48 in Diamer, to mention a few) in the year 2010, the same year that your village fell down. How much relief/compensation have those families received? Not even 10 % of what the IDPs of Attabad have received.

      As educated youth, your analysis should be based on fact, supported with statistics, not with rhetoric and blame-game.
      Don’t mislead people every now and then, because of your ignorance.

  2. Plz don’t mix up the affactees of Attabad Village and rest of Gojal which are the real affactees as billions of rupees of our properties, land, orchardsand commercial structures are submerged. I ask Mr. Hissamullah Beg did he forgot the visit at Hussaini during attack of Nagar people on Gojal and he was crying, looking to the situation of our people. The situation has become worst. No doctor, no medicine and cash crops are vanished due to cutoff road, people are financially bankrupted. We don’t demand for regular food relief but there should people should be compensated until the life is again on track.

    1. I am aware of all you say because i make it a point to survey the situation regularly. The need is to find solutions through the method advocated in the “Learnig material” on the AKDN site.

  3. Good effort by Pyar Ali.

    Dear MM Qizil, I think we shouldn’t blame our institutions if you think or you have facts and figures against specific people you must approach to our institutions.

    As far as Ali Badshah, the case of flood in GB in 2010 is totally different from that of Attabad. I hope you are well aware about the attabad that the people’s income was totally depend on that land, the development of the people has stopped and they are facing hundreds of problems.

  4. However we see a sign of change since after the agreement of the tunnel that would restore all the logistics into a tunnelled highway beside the lake. we expect that this project is not hypothetical one.

  5. No doubt we should not forget those effecties who lost their lives in 2010 floods in different parts of gilgit. But here in this case people didnt lose their lives only also lost their lands which was the only source of income for them and still they are living in bleak freezing condition away from their homes.they are hopeless despite baseless financial assistance declaration from different political parties of country. and those people leaving beyond this lake upper hunza people are in much more trouble because of disconnection of people from country in winters.

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