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Woes of Yarkhun valley

Thousands of people in the Yarkhun valley of upper Chitral are facing uintold miseries after the recent rains and floods but there is no one who can come to their help or listen to their miseries. All villages have suffered destruction and losses.

So many houses were damaged by flash floods and rains in Khruzg village. Standing crops of wheat were also decomposed and withered by rains and floodwaters and people of the area are facing starvation. There is no other source of income for these people except farming. Women and children are participating in relief activities on voluntary basis and removing debris of flood from their houses to enable it for residential purposes.

Across the Yarkhun River, so many orchards of apple and other fruit trees as well as houses, crops, land, a hydro power houses, roads and bridges were washed away and damaged by flood at Yukum village.

Former nazim union council Yarkhun Farman Jaffar told this scribe that people of this area faced some 90 million loss of property and the only power house was also damaged which had been constructed on self help basis.

The main road has been damaged near Power and Bang villages and there is a deep trench developed in the middle of the road due to flash floods. Besides,a mosque was also washed away at Shurkot village situated on the bank of the river while the main road to Gazain has been totally damaged. There are heavy stones and big ditches in the middle of road.

More than 27 houses have been damaged by floods at Gazain village. A local lady said although it is situated some 200 kilometers from Chitral but these days it takes weeks to reach this area because the people are compelled to travel by feet. All infrastructures of this area have been damaged and there is nothing. Women were seen carrying drinking water in pitches on their heads from very far flung areas.

A number of women complained that they were not provided any relief goods and the area was facing hunger. Selling of substandard wheat in government grain godown is another problem in the area. A large number of people complained that Govt Food Department was forcing them to purchase expired and substandard quality of wheat lying there for the last four years.

Another worst hit village is Wasum across the river where roads and bridges have been damaged
totally by floodwater. There are more than 100 households there but they have no roads and bridges to go out. People of this remote and cut off village are compelled to travel by feet for hours to reach nearest market for purchasing some essential edible things.

These people are living on both sides of the river but due to damage to the bridge cannot reach the houses of their relatives on the other side.

A large number of people including children, women and ailing persons were seen crossing a mountainous way on feet situated on a altitude of thousands of feet from sea level. These people complained that no relief goods or any support had been provided to them. Thye demanded immediate construction of their only bridge and link road. --by GH Farooqi 05 Sep 10



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