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Flood woes of Karimabad -letter 1


The unexpected flash floods in all watercourses and tributaries to main Karimabad River have washed away five jeep-able bridges, two channels of hydro power station of Breshgram, Herth and Hinjil. Also, the merciless floods destroyed standing wheat and pea crops leaving farmers little left to use. In Hasanabad and Siwhat Villages, a poor person Madad Hussain, Abi Hayat Khan and three others have been made homeless. These poor people are being housed in makeshift camps by the local people.

 

The area is now completely cut off from road links to other parts of its Tehsil and the district. The public of Karimabad have repaired Parsan to Susum link road on self-help basis as an alternative route on emergency basis to take serious patients to the hospital and buy essential things of survival on double fare. The main road to Chitral town has been cut off at Shasha leaving passengers either to take via Parsan route or pass dangerous walking route over the flood river. In consequence of flash floods, the people face the following major problems:


a) People running short of basic things of survival, like flour, sugar, cooking oil, and medicine.
b) The most important crops from a money point of view are potatoes and peas as major income of these areas are not being sold and transported even to the regional market. This is going to be a beating and trouncing loss to the people.
c) In most places, for instance in the above villages, the heavy floods have hit the crops and washed them away, leaving stony and infertile one.
d) In Siwhat and Hasanabad, the main Karimabad road cannot be re-constructed without compensation to the poor land owners. This is again beyond the affordability of the local people.
e) At least six families are now homeless. They are to be supported.
f) Telephone exchange at Breshgram is not in function due to unavailability of diesel and damages of channels of the local power stations.

The people of this area now make a special application to MNA, MPA and the District Government for funds to construct alternative road immediately and compensate for the abovementioned detrimental at their earliest. --Ismail Khan Karimabad, Kiyar,16 Aug 10
 

 

Flood woes of Karimabad -letter2

 

I wish to communicate the voice of the people of Karimabad valley to the respectable representatives of the district and the province.

Like all other regions of the district the valley of Karimabad is badly destroyed by the recent floods and land sliding. The people of Karimabad area are in a miserable condition. The thing which is of more concern for them and also for me is the condition of the main karimabad road from Shasha onnward to Karimabad valley. The road is completely destroyed and also are all the bridges. The valley is completely cut off from the rest of the District. There are students blocked in these areas who have to move to their colleges and schools (specially female students). Things are getting worse and when we look for hospital in case of emergency there is no medical unit in this whole valley, and one has to move out of this valley to reach a hospital.

My appeal is to the Minister and MNA to announce some special and emergency fund for the reconstruction of roads and bridges so that people can be out of danger and feel safe, which is their basic right. This is the most important issue which unfortunately is not in the notice of our respectable representatives. --Asghar Ali, Sunich Karimabad,17 Aug  10
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Flood woes of Karimabad -letter3
First of all I wish to thank Mr. Asghar Ali of Sunich Karimabad to highlight & bring the current scenario of Karimabad. It is very sorry to say that no any Provincial/National or International print & electronic media has highlighted & given enough coverage to these terrible days which tremendously affected the whole infrastructure system of Chitral & especially Karimabad valley. The local media is constantly highlighting the main water supply project till its spill ways at Angargoon. No any local media official or the representatives of National/Provincial print/electronic media have dared to visit physically further the cutoff road at Shasha to onward. The beautiful places and villages have completely shown different picture from its current existence. Main road to Garumchashma, Arkary & Karimabad valley including all the main jeep able bridges have completely damaged & washout by the recent horrible flash flood. No one from the local community is daring to come forward to raise his/her voice to the concern authority or media. The main road at Shasha is completely cut-off, indeed earlier there was possibility to cross at one place by foot, now there is no any chance to cross it by foot. The main road has cut off in three different places people who are coming to cross the road by foot are taking serious risk & are playing with their precious life, God forbid in one place some has to cross the stair & to jump to a hill if your foot got slip then someone can directly jump down into the river. Some one can dare to visit to onward Shoghore Ė Siwakht you will cry while seeing the situation damages of houses, damages of standing crops , green jungles & destroying of different types of fruit trees in the whole area of Siwakht-I/II, Hassanabad & Kherjum village. Irrigation channels, Powerhouses, main clean drinking water supply line have completely damaged. Standing crops which were saved have now burn out having no watering since long. Main bridges at Zokhseer, Siwakht-I,II, Hassanabad & main bridge to Hingeel Karimabad have destroyed having no identity of its existing site. Within Karimabad valley so many bridges, jungle the only source of firewood of the poor people, fruit trees & standing crops have been wash out by the recent horrifying flash flood. Poor people are travelling via Parsan valley the only alternate long route while paying double fare. How can one imagine about the poorest of the poor having no house, no standing crops & having no fruit trees in his view. What about students both male female?, what about patients? What about daily their routine basic commodities? Please for the God sake the media both print & electronic the local, National, Provincial & International media just see the real situation over here & highlight the current horrible situation in the real sense into the notice of the local & international community. Through your esteemed local leading print media I would like to bring into the kind notice of GEO news & BBC please send your representative into these area to see the real scenario and condition of the people of the area to further coverage and support through Govt. Agencies & International donor Agencies. --Mir Hussain, Chitral 18 Aug 10.

 

Flood woes of Karimabad -letter4

This is with reference to the letters from Mr Ismail, Asghar and Mir Hussain describing the flood damage and consequences in the Karimabad valley. I must thank the three writers for bringing up the facts and figures and the true reflection of the ground situation and positively asking the Chitral administration and the elected representatives for the response and the relief work. The valley comprising of more than 2500 households and 20,000 population is completely disconnected with the district headquarter due to road damage at Shahsha, and the PTCL telephone services are not working as well. The three writers have mentioned about the immediate damage of houses, crops, livestock, forest reserve and the lands and have reflected upon the consequences of the situation.

 

 Like many other parts of Chitral, in this valley most of the households are living on the meager yearly income cycle associated with the farming and without much cushion to protect in case of emergency. With recent floods most of the crops have damaged and due to the collapse to the road network they are not able to take cash crops like fruits, potato and vegetables to the market within and outside chitral. This means nearly 50% of the households are at risk of getting into extreme poverty situation.

 

The local people on self help basis have repaired and restored an alternate road linking Susum valley with Parsan and Chitral and similarly the road from Garamchashma to Shogore has been repaired by the local community. I am not sure of the district administration plan to restore garamchashma/ Susum/ road; how long it is going to take to repair the road at Shasha; what are the plans to compensate for the food security in these areas before harsh winter sets in; what measures to be taken to compensate for the loss of houses and farming land. We all know in this critical situation the whole country and the nation is suffering and directly or indirectly affected but we all have to combine our available resources with what Government can compliment to come out of this critical situation. May God bless us with the strength and patience to stand with this difficult situation...Ameen.


The section 144 imposed by the district Government seems to be even more damaging than the flood devastation. According to the law suddenly imposed, the pea vegetable (mutter) from the valley canít be transported outside Chitral that means the profit margin that a poor farmer can earn by selling the peas in the major cities of Peshawar and Rawalpindi is not possible. In Pakistan the local products of any district have access to the open market and it encourages the local farmers to grow the product and to meet household expenses from the earnings. This law is not to protect the poor farmers who have worked very hard to grow the vegetable and at time of selling and earning, the district Government is coming with this new rule. The poor farmers from this valley request the provincial and the district Government to help them accessing the major market and sell vegetables .--Danish Qayyum, Susum Karimabad, 19 Aug 10

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