Fri. Nov 27th, 2020

[Pictorial] Traveling through the frozen Hunza River

A senior citizen unsuccessfully trying to cover his face from the icy cold winds which blows at full force between Shishkat and Gulmit.

The Hunza River has been dammed since the 4th of January 2010. People living upstream of the blockade are forced to travel in open and unsafe boats to reach markets, hospitals and other facilities located in central parts of Hunza or further south in Gilgit and beyond.

Our senior correspondent recently crossed the dammed river in an open boat. He has captured the hardships faced by the commuters while traveling in open boats across the partially frozen lake.

Boats waiting for passengers in Gulmit. Passengers come from all parts of Gojal Valley, which has a population of more than 25,000 people
1. Boats waiting for passengers in Gulmit. Passengers come from all parts of Gojal Valley, which has a population of more than 25,000 people
The dammed Hunza River remains frozen throughout the winters
2. The dammed Hunza River remains frozen throughout the winters
Thousands of passengers commute between the dammed river's spillway and Shishkat, Gulmit, two villages of the Gojal valley
3. Thousands of passengers commute between the dammed river’s spillway and Shishkat, Gulmit, two villages of the Gojal valley
A boat operator braves the strong icy winds, taking dozens of passengers in open boat in which there are no safety equipment, to be used during any accident or emergencies
4. A boat operator braves the strong icy winds, taking dozens of passengers in open boat in which there are no safety equipment, to be used during any accident or emergencies
A senior citizen unsuccessfully trying to cover his face from the icy cold winds which blows at full force between Shishkat and Gulmit.
5. A seventy two year old senior citizen unsuccessfully trying to cover his face from the icy cold winds which blows at full force between Shishkat and Gulmit.
The government has turned its back on the Gojal Valley, leaving the people at the mercy of the cold wind and the frozen lake. A very large number of people travel out of the valley to avail health facilities.
6. The government has turned its back on the Gojal Valley, leaving the people at the mercy of the cold wind and the frozen lake. A very large number of people travel out of the valley to avail health facilities.

USAID had donated two boats for the Gojal Valley, to be used during emergencies for carrying patients across the dammed river. Nothing is known of the boats and Hunza’s representatives are mysteriously silent on the issue despite of the public’s hue and cry.

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