Hunza, April 10: The Attabad spillway as well as Gulmit, Shishkat, Ghulkin and Hussaini village in the Gojal Valley are faced with a very bleak sanitation problem. The villages in the upstream of Attabad are being polluted due to the menace of open defecation, which has contributed negatively to the natural and built environment, affecting the wellbeing of village people in the region.
These villages host around 1000 people traveling daily during summer, moving between Gilgit, central Hunza, Sost, Khunjarab and China.
Lack of physical sanitation facilities has degraded to the village’s environment. The area smells bad and the clogged drains have degraded the shore of the lake. Poor sanitation due to continued practice of open defecation for the past two years after the Attaabad landslide and lake formation has polluted the entire region.
Trenches and drains in most places are filled with stinking waste / runoff water and garbage. Waste water remains stagnant in most of these unpleasant locations offer an environment for most living things to breed dieses.
A doctor who works in the area says that poor situation of Gulmit, Shishkat and Hussaini village, especially near the boat stands at the lake side, is very unhygienic and this has the potential threat to spread diseases such as diarrhoea, scabies and eye infection, the doctor said.
There is an immediate need to fix toilets at the Spillway, Shiskat, Gulmit, Gishtikbushi Gulkin and Hussani. These are the spots where most of the human activities are taking place. The local as well as traders to and from China and tourist wait for boats at those locations. The only option for the people is to go open defecation in those areas and that has depleted the natural environment and is also a potential threat for spreading dieses.
The early recovery efforts by the government, NGOs or UN agencies did not demonstrate any response to this important issue. The local people have urged the Chief Secretary, Sajad Saleem Hottiana, to check the situation and save the beautiful surrounding of the dammed Hunza River through timely and corrective action.