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  1. Gojal valley inflicted again by devastation of natural disaster.

    January 4, 2010 by natural disaster a huge pieces of rocks hit the valley of Gojal and blocked the river and KKH road and changed it into cul-de-sac.

    This is not a new phenomena, this kind of rocks disaster appeared for the last several years and will continue further. As in 1852 a horrific rocks of debris blocked the river from the right bank at the same place (Sarat). Overloading 500 meter high material in the river formed 45 kilometer long dam. And the river water inundated in the entire valley. The inundation took three years from Sarat up to Khyber village. After spilt down the flood water wiped out villages and pieces of lands. The long river way areas from Hunza down to Karachi severely affected by its flood water. People left their home valley and fled away. Today this dire devastation repeats the continuing disaster of its past.

    We (the people of Gojal) sway your attention towards this horrible seen. Where the government of Pakistan, local administration and the so called elected representatives and media from Gilgit Bultistan do not take it a serious matter. This devastation not only swallowed life of human being in Sarat but deeply affected the entire region. As the details are here.

    Total village in the entire valley existed 27.
    Total population 25000
    Number of houses 3500
    Number of shifted houses because of inundation 14
    Cutting of trees 8000
    Total population severely under threat 7000

    Apart from the above loss, down ward the whole region along with its property like villages, agriculture land, houses KKH road, bridges and power houses are severely under threat.

    The so called elected representatives still kept mum on this serious issue, while in the election time they come with their lords for begging votes but this time they are in their bounded web. They do not have the feeling of people’s reaction on their perishing.

    The area that posses an important role geographically, politically and economically between China and Pakistan. And it is the biggest Tehsil in Gilgit Bultistan. Instead of playing an important role, today the life of people of the area become paralyzed. They are rudderless, no one is responsible to release them from this worst catastrophe. Water is rapidly rising. The property of people are submerging in the water. Their food store left empty. Their source of transportation ceased because of lack of fuel. Their business flopped. And people are completely apprehensive about the dire consequences of water inundation. And even if the delay prolonged then it would be very difficult for them to cultivate their crops/vegetables because of non availability of seed fertilizer and fuel. They will live for no option for their survive lance.

    The prolong disruption of KKH may potentially impact the local economy, particularly the production of early cash crops like potato (Rs 344-413 million per annum), the retailing and Sost border town business (Rs 150-250 million), international border trade(Rs 1.2 to 3 billion) disrupting work on widening of KKH by Chinese engineers and workers.

    The Gilgit Bultistan local representatives are drudging to do some thing to save their skin, but the decision makers show their reluctance to hear them. The southern minister from government side visited the areas and except soothing the people they did nothing against their coming difficulties. The helicopter service is not sufficient and it does not make the people relent from their coming further devastation.

    This time the government must clear its plan and strategy to release water and construct the road to link the way. Further delay will create more difficulties. The people don’t know either the government is going to take any action or not, or what does the government think? These kinds of questions are lingering in the mind of depressed people. Vain hope and promises could not satisfy the affected population.

    The huge debris reported to be 273-288 feet high at the river point and 246 feet high at the right bank. The length of the debris from the main block to the toe up stream is reported to be 2-2-5 kilometer long and over 62 feet in height

    As per the report the above key challenges for the government is certainly an expensive task, but if the government lacks the technical and human resources then support from Chinese government or any other international expertise should be requested and deployed to timely release of water from the dam and lowering the rise of water potentially threatening the KKH, Chinese bridge and directly affecting over 75 households and indirectly over 300 households of Ayeenabad, Shishkat and Gulmit.

    Instead of being a dispute area the people of Hunza and upper Hunza (Gojal) always supported Pakistan and China. Since 1969-70 Hunza state closely coordinated with Pakistani and Chinese government to allowing Hunza valley for the construction of KKH to relive the silk rout friendship with China. And even today the people of valley are very supported with Chinese CRBC in widening the KKH. The local communities are providing them land and raw material to the contractors. Working with them any time if the needed.

    There for on this calamity the Pakistani and Chinese government should put their efforts and resources to release water to mitigate the depression of affected people who are very near to meet more destruction. Continued river and road block for the next 2 to 6 months impact the local economy and the livelihood of people mainly disrupting agriculture input supplies, cultivation of potato and other early crops leading to crop and income loss for poor farmer.
    This also impact the Sost border town business, transport sector business, international border trade with China and affecting the annual development priorities of the government and the development agencies.

    Written by
    Ali Quraban (Rabta Committee Mutasreen Gojal, Gilgit Unit)

    Resolutions consensus by members,
    Rabta Committee Mutasreen Gojal (Gilgit Unit)

    In the light of disaster an emergency committee formed. Through this committee the people of Gojal in Gilgit representing the 25000 affected people. The committee representatives passed the following resolutions and stressed over the government to resolve the emerging issues.

    To release immediately the inundating water from the dam that submerging the entire villages of Gojal towards a great devastation.
    To re-link the KKH as soon as possible to give people deliverance from the paralyzed life.
    To declare calamity straight away the affected areas (up above Sarat).
    To make available the seeds and fertilizer for the coming spring cultivation. In case of non availability the economy of people would be at stake Otherwise the government will be responsible for the compensation of this great loss.
    To resettle the affected people of Aayeenabad and Shishkat (lower) in an alternative place.
    To provide fuel at low rate to make easy the cultivation and other heavy workload.
    To make available the daily commodities in the affected areas.
    To deploy doctors in clusters and provide medicines for the patients rather than facing difficulties in helicopter or in sailing(in case boats are being arranged)
    To increase helicopters for the passengers in Aliabad and again the passengers by helicopter from Gilgit. And even then re-allow it for Sost border business area.
    The local incapable administrators must bring changes in their rude attitude. They are paid workers for the public not like the volunteers.
    The deputed DC in Hunza for disaster management should stay away from the false proclaim that the provided flour is relief rather than quota.
    The local administration and their poppet do not have the right of reserve the fuel to use it for their vested interest or hoarding rather than to provide it at low cost for the public transportation.
    To open the border of Pak China for the entire season to continue relief for the affected people.
    To give security to all trucks loaded by Chinese goods in the Sost border. In case of robbery the government is responsible for the loss.
    The local and national media should not hide the prevailing realties under the duress of government. And explore the truth of aftermath of disaster.
    To save the building of Government High School Gulmit from the sound vibration of helicopter. Because of the frequent landing/taking off the helicopters, the walls got cracks and become danger. There for an alternative building should be arranged for school to save the children.
    To re-link the KKH the contract should be tendered to Chinese CRBC rather than FWO to prolong it for indefinite period.

  2. the story of Ayeen abad is over now, the whole gojal is vunlnerable…………… Have you ever thought about the future of 350000 people? Do you know what is mitigation? what is preparation? what is planning???

  3. salaam to all of the team of pamirtimes
    who are sincerely working for those who are really helpless. i am apreciating to all of the team for their kind effort for gilgit-baltistan. May Allah bless U all…..!

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