By Rani Inayat
Hunza is known for its natural beauty, unique culture and historical places. Tourists throng the area every year, each season, attracted by its natural beauty, as well as the kind and loving nature of the local people, known for their peaceful and progressive attitude.
Nevertheless, the Hunza people continue to face enormous challenges including lack of better infrastructure, water scarcity and electricity shortage.
The local people and the toursits rely heavily on these basic necessities like,water electricity and internet connectivity for their daily needs and communications. Lack of these amenities causes inconvenience and discomfort.
Hunza gets its water from glaciers, springs and streams. With the rise in temperature due to climate change, these water sources are endangered. During peak tourist season, water consumption increases exponentially, further affecting the supply of water. Natural disasters and construction failures also exacerbate the water supply system.
The government needs to ensure effective and sustainable water management and take immediate steps to address the issue of water shortage and enhance water availability for agriculture and household consumption.
In Hunza we have the worst electricity shortage and it has crucial impact on several factors such as heating, industry, as well as cooling and heating hotels and restaurant. It has a negative impact on the local economy as the locals are forced to make alternate arrangements, often damaging for the environment, and pay high cost to fulfill their energy needs
It is the responsibility of the government to invest in electricity infrastructure and power generation to facilitate and encourage toursits. Additionally, the local community is also somehow responsible to ensure the effective management of power.
Developed nations utilize new technologies to attract more toursits and facilitate them in every possible way. We need to follow in their footsteps and improve the quality of life for the locals and for the visitors.
Most developed nations truly engage potential toursits through many ways and they have online access for e-commerce, which makes payments secure and easier for tourists and hoteliers. Unfortunately we don’t have reliable internet access which hampers economimc growth.
In conclusion, Hunza, by no means, in the only region facing the above issues. Every district of Gilgit-Baltistan is grappling with issues. Things need to change, and change fast!