[OPINION] The violent Glaciers and hapless people of GB | Iftikhar Akhter | PassuTimesEnglish

Gilgit_Baltistan is one of country’s most vulnerable area to climate change. Gilgit-Baltistan due to its geographical location has been frequently affected by heavy monsoons in the past. Since many years, we observe that extreme weather events in the region as heavy rains and violent floods have seriously affected the life and livelihood to a great extent. The super fast changing climate’s devastating effects are persistent in Gilgit_Baltistan­­. The glaciers are melting very fast and the violent torrents ruined the number of villages in all over the GB.

         Science has already confirmed Pakistan’s vulnerability to climatic extremes. Over the past 50 years, cold spells have been decreasing across the county wide. Another comprehensive study on future climatic extremes by researchers of the Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC) shows the increasing risk in future extreme events in terms of intensity and frequency across Pakistan. The magnitude and frequency of temperature extremes is increasing – which may occur frequently in the future.

It is worthwhile to note that the temperature extremes are more devastating in the region. Recently a havoc flood destroyed each and every thing at Badh-Swad village of district Ghizer where more than thirty houses and a large number of their cultivable land have been flooded. Last night ferocious land sliding ruined number of villages as Sher Qila, Bargo, Jutal and many other villages in Baltistan region are badly affected ones. The hapless people are living as nomads. The People are helplessly waiting Gov,t for wounding their miseries but the heedless gov,t’s measurements are unsatisfactory. We are thankful to army for their support and helping of flooded people.

After 18th amendment, the subjects of environment have been delegated to provinces. Therefore it is dire need of time that provincial gov,t should take immediate steps to reduce this vulnerability. Gov,t should develop a climate-resilient infrastructure that can withstand unpredictable weather events. Some hard mitigation options could include: Climate resilient irrigation system; efficient water supply and sewage system; Upgrade water shed management; High-standard transportation system and Sustainable infrastructure. There is also some soft mitigation options could include: awareness raising activities; capacity building training for locals and through seminars and workshops; increase support for community and encourage role of media to creating awareness among the locals.

The writer is a CSS aspirant at KIPS and could be reached through aliumer2025@gmail.com

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