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Attabad Disaster
Attabad Disaster

Gojal (upper Hunza), Pakistan – Is a scenic valley located in the middle of Central and South Asia. Being the largest magistracy of Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan, the valley is spread over a geographical area of more than 10, 000 sq km. More specifically, Gojal is a rendezvous among China, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Little Pamir of Afghan Badakhshan lies to its north, Southwestern Xinjiang to its east and Hunza-Nagar district of Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan to its west and south. The valley is also well-known for nourishing more than 40 glaciers, many plateaus and lakes in its lap. Gojal has also a unique tradition and culture. Here also live various descent and ethno-linguistic groups. The language groups include the Wakhi Pamiri (in majority), Burushaski and Domaki. Religiously, almost all community belongs to the Shia Ismaili faith in Islam.

 

For centuries, the dwellers of the valley have traditionally been practicing agriculture and raising livestock as their livelihood approaches. But for more or less 40 years, especially after the opening up of the famous Karakoram Highway in 1978, the community of Gojal diverted from their traditional economic approaches. Besides engaging themselves with the employment and enterprise development, the community modified their traditional agricultural system. The agricultural produces, particularly the potatoes, stood as their key cash crop. The money received out of the agricultural produces contributed significantly not only to their economy, but also met their social needs such as paying their childrenâ€TMs education, addressing the health emergencies, contributing to the communal laboring, constructing houses, an overall social upstanding etc.

On 4th January, 2010, a massive landslide unfortunately hit a small village called Attabad (in Central Hunza) killed 19 people. Due to blockage of the Hunza River and the Karakoram Highway (KKH) not only the lifeline of the people of Gojal but also the only strategic corridor between China and Pakistan disconnected (cut-off) for almost 3km. The upstream (that is, Gojal valley) resultantly isolated from the rest of the region from the day one when the Hunza River (a key contributor to the Indus River) transformed into a temporary natural lake. Currently, the Hunza River Lake lengthened up to 28km with a total depth of more than 370ft. The lake formation process in still in progress, although the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) within the Pakistan Military has made a spillway, and water started spilling over it from May 29.

 

Gojal Photo by Faiz Ali - Mountain Weekly News

Gojal Photo by Faiz Ali – Mountain Weekly News

The lake in the upstream by now fully submerged the villages of Ayeenabad, Lower Shishkat and Central Shishkat; and partially submerged (lower parts of) the settlements of Gulmit (headquarters of the Gojal magistracy), Ghulkin (also including the land of Serena Hotel), Hussaini, Zarabad, Khuramabad, and heading towards Passu. Overall, the whole community of Gojal valley (including both the immediate and direct) lost billions of dollars, rather Kuwaiti dinars in the second phase of gradual disaster, although the lake poses an impending doom for the downstream in case of a sudden outburst. The affectees of Gojal physically lost hundreds of thousands of plants (fruit and non-fruit), thousands of acres of cultivated and uncultivated lands, more than 300 traditional and other houses (including guestroosm), 3 jamaatkhanas (community-centers for praying) more than 200 shops, sawmills, restaurants, hotels, link-roads, health facilities, schools, the KKH itself in addition with psychological stresses and aborted children.

 

Even some deaths due to absence of the required facilities in the valley’s only unequipped hospital were also witnessed and above all devoid of options to provide their children education (paying their fees, schools had been submersion in the lake) and the like. The devastating phenomena, however, disrupted all societal fabrics Gojal valley. In such circumstances, though the electronic media has been contributing in its available capacity, but no adequate and effective coverage of the prevailing issues could come up live from them as no DSNG could reach the area. This site is therefore intended to highlight the true and burning issues related to the human and biodiversity to the world community to get their humane attention for the philanthropic contributions in helping out their fellow human beings, who are the marginalized community of the most important strategic valley within Gilgit-Baltistan. One year has passed yet the people are stranned in the valley.The artifical lake has frozen and people have no alternate option for travelling.

origional source: Gojal (upper Hunza), Pakistan – Is a scenic valley located in the middle of Central and South Asia. Being the largest magistracy of Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan, the valley is spread over a geographical area of more than 10, 000 sq km. More specifically, Gojal is a rendezvous among China, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Little Pamir of Afghan Badakhshan lies to its north, Southwestern Xinjiang to its east and Hunza-Nagar district of Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan to its west and south. The valley is also well-known for nourishing more than 40 glaciers, many plateaus and lakes in its lap. Gojal has also a unique tradition and culture. Here also live various descent and ethno-linguistic groups. The language groups include the Wakhi Pamiri (in majority), Burushaski and Domaki. Religiously, almost all community belongs to the Shia Ismaili faith in Islam.

 

For centuries, the dwellers of the valley have traditionally been practicing agriculture and raising livestock as their livelihood approaches. But for more or less 40 years, especially after the opening up of the famous Karakoram Highway in 1978, the community of Gojal diverted from their traditional economic approaches. Besides engaging themselves with the employment and enterprise development, the community modified their traditional agricultural system. The agricultural produces, particularly the potatoes, stood as their key cash crop. The money received out of the agricultural produces contributed significantly not only to their economy, but also met their social needs such as paying their childrenâ€TMs education, addressing the health emergencies, contributing to the communal laboring, constructing houses, an overall social upstanding etc.

On 4th January, 2010, a massive landslide unfortunately hit a small village called Attabad (in Central Hunza) killed 19 people. Due to blockage of the Hunza River and the Karakoram Highway (KKH) not only the lifeline of the people of Gojal but also the only strategic corridor between China and Pakistan disconnected (cut-off) for almost 3km. The upstream (that is, Gojal valley) resultantly isolated from the rest of the region from the day one when the Hunza River (a key contributor to the Indus River) transformed into a temporary natural lake. Currently, the Hunza River Lake lengthened up to 28km with a total depth of more than 370ft. The lake formation process in still in progress, although the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) within the Pakistan Military has made a spillway, and water started spilling over it from May 29.

 

Gojal Photo by Faiz Ali - Mountain Weekly News

Gojal Photo by Faiz Ali – Mountain Weekly News

The lake in the upstream by now fully submerged the villages of Ayeenabad, Lower Shishkat and Central Shishkat; and partially submerged (lower parts of) the settlements of Gulmit (headquarters of the Gojal magistracy), Ghulkin (also including the land of Serena Hotel), Hussaini, Zarabad, Khuramabad, and heading towards Passu. Overall, the whole community of Gojal valley (including both the immediate and direct) lost billions of dollars, rather Kuwaiti dinars in the second phase of gradual disaster, although the lake poses an impending doom for the downstream in case of a sudden outburst. The affectees of Gojal physically lost hundreds of thousands of plants (fruit and non-fruit), thousands of acres of cultivated and uncultivated lands, more than 300 traditional and other houses (including guestroosm), 3 jamaatkhanas (community-centers for praying) more than 200 shops, sawmills, restaurants, hotels, link-roads, health facilities, schools, the KKH itself in addition with psychological stresses and aborted children.

Even some deaths due to absence of the required facilities in the valley’s only unequipped hospital were also witnessed and above all devoid of options to provide their children education (paying their fees, schools had been submersion in the lake) and the like. The devastating phenomena, however, disrupted all societal fabrics Gojal valley. In such circumstances, though the electronic media has been contributing in its available capacity, but no adequate and effective coverage of the prevailing issues could come up live from them as no DSNG could reach the area. This site is therefore intended to highlight the true and burning issues related to the human and biodiversity to the world community to get their humane attention for the philanthropic contributions in helping out their fellow human beings, who are the marginalized community of the most important strategic valley within Gilgit-Baltistan. One year has passed yet the people are stranned in the valley.The artifical lake has frozen and people have no alternate option for travelling.

Origional Source:http://mtnweekly.com/news/tragic-flood-still-strands-people-in-gojal-pakistan

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