The erstwhile princely state of Chitral now the district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Malakand Division lacks any early warning system in the entire district to aware the local communities about impending disasters.
A Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa official told APP that there were seven sites bearing early warning systems installed at the river banks and nullahs of the province to monitor the water flows by the Irrigation Department.
However, there was no other such system installed to generate data, alerts and start monitoring of surging glaciers or landslides to keep the local masses informed about the imminent disaster. “PDMA has proposed 27 sites in the annual development plan where the Irrigation Department will act as the implementing partner to get early warning systems in the vulnerable hilly areas of the province,” he added.
Rehana, a local resident told APP that due to no early warning system in the Chitral valley, the local life was at a standstill as during critical weather conditions, landslides and avalanches there was no in time intimation about the disaster.
“My cousin died in an avalanche the past year as he was travelling outside the town where his car stuck under the landslide in the valley that prompted at once and killed several on board,” she added. The young student Rehana said the students particularly children were mostly at the risk as their schools remained closed for several weeks during landslides.
There was uncertainty among the local people due to increased occurrence of disasters as earlier there was a glacial surge at Shisper and Golen that hampered connectivity and human life in the valley.
No doubt, she said the environment and ecology was damaging due to the adverse climate change impacts but the local businesses, children education and all the factions of the society were equally dwindling in Chitral which demanded the urgent attention of the authorities concerned.—APP