Recent floods in Chitral’s northern district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) also destroyed houses that people had built after the 2019 floods. News floods forced residents to spend the flood night on the hills. Moreover, about 100 houses in the village of Upper Chitral, about 10 hours from Peshawar, were damaged. People are not happy to live on hills as the flood in Chitral sweeps their homes.
Khizro Khan is also one of the victims whose house was completely washed away in the floods. Explaining his difficulties to Independent Urdu, Khan said he was preparing to go to bed at night when the floods hit and he climbed a nearby hill to evacuate his family.
“It was a very difficult night,” Khan said. He was watching his house being destroyed. He spent the night on the hills and set up a tent near his house the next day and moved his belongings there. Keeping his children’s raw materials in the tent, Khan said he planted a corn crop near his house, which was completely destroyed.
Besides, Khan’s wife and children were also with him in the same tent. The women were busy cleaning the dishes while the children were happy to see the media team because they thought that they were representatives of the government and would solve their problems. It was clear that people were not satisfied to live on the hills of Chitral as the flood took their home.
“We have been living in the same tent for three days but no government official has asked for it and no food or water has been provided,” Khan said.
Prior to the recent floods, the same area was flooded in 2010, 2015, and again in 2019. Residents rebuilt their destroyed homes, but this year’s floods washed away those new homes as well.
No link between upper and lower Chitral
Furthermore, the floods have caused severe damage to infrastructure, but according to the district administration, no casualties have been reported.
Apart from the houses, the link bridge connecting Upper and Lower Chitral has also been washed away. Due to floods and the connection between the two areas is completely cut off.
The bridge was rebuilt in 2018 after being swept away by floods earlier, but could not withstand the recent floods. To connect the two areas, the social organization Al-Khidmat Foundation has built a cradle and a temporary wooden bridge over the canal, which people are using for transportation.
Javed Hussain, head of Al-Khidmat Foundation Upper Chitral, said the damage had not been estimated yet. But about 100 houses had been damaged in the area, with 25 completely destroyed and the rest partially damaged.
Hussein said, “First of all, we arranged a temporary bridge and chairlift for communication. I also rescued those who were trapped and provided food for them.”
Timur Khan, a spokesperson for the Provincial Disaster Management Authority said when the administration received reports of floods in the area. It directed all concerned agencies to start relief activities. He said the district administration has also been directed to conduct a relief survey while the operation center has been fully restored.
To sum up, it is not only Karachi but the far-flung areas of Pakistan have also witnessed catastrophic incidents. Moreover, the government has failed to develop any mechanism to curb environmental menace.
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