Sunday June 16, 2024

GLOF-II Project: Construction of flood protection walls completed in Dir

By Syed Zahid Jan
November 15, 2023
This image released on November 1, 2023, shows a 600-ft protection wall in Reshun KP. — Facebook/GLOF II Pakistan
This image released on November 1, 2023, shows a 600-ft protection wall in Reshun KP. — Facebook/GLOF II Pakistan

DIR: The United Nations Development Programme UNDP Glacial Lake Outburst Flood or GLOF-II Project has completed construction of 750 feet protection walls, four irrigation channels, and one community centre in the Thal Kumrat area of Upper Dir.

The August flood last year badly affected the valley of Thal Kumrat and washed away thousands kanals of agricultural land, dozens houses, bridges and other infrastructures including other areas of the district.

After the flood, the UNDP GlOF-II Project conducted a survey and initiated the flood rehabilitation work on Thal Kumrat, in Chitral, Swat and three other districts of KP and 24 areas of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

“Scaling-up GLOF-II) in Northern Pakistan ‘’ initiative was funded by Green Climate Fund and implemented by UNDP through the Ministry of Climate Change.Under the project, so far 750 feet protection walls, four irrigation channels of at least 1000 feet length each and 1 CBDRMC Center at Thal Kohistan while 5,250-feet long protection walls have been built in Lower Chitral, Upper Chitral and Swat districts.

It has constructed 40 irrigation channel five centres for community-based disaster risk management committees and slope stabilisation on 137 hectares.Rashid Khan, a representative of GLOF-II Project, said that in six valleys of KP Thal Kumrat in Upper Dir, Matiltan, Utror , Mankial in Swat , Reshun , Madaklasht and Arkari in Chitral, Kandian in Upper Kohistan and other areas were identified as vulnerable to GLOF.

He said that approximately 20 GLOF events occurred in 2017 and 43 in 2018. Incredible as it may seem, there were 83 GLOF events in 2023.Rashid Khan said such occurrences were expected to increase in frequency over the next few years. “We must be ready for the unavoidable,” he added.

He said that a multifaceted project was being implemented as part of the GLOF-II initiative to safeguard and restore the impacted communities. The representative said the early warning system instruments will also be installed in all eight areas of KP, with the collaboration of the Pakistan Meteorological Department to provide early warning to the people living in the valleys under the glacier.

The local community thanked the GLOF-II Project for constructing protection walls in the flood-affected areas.These people of Thal Kumrat said the UNDP GLOF-II had saved an ancient historic Thal Darus Salam mosque in the Kumrat valley from the expected flood. This mosque was under threat from the Panjkora River at Thal Kohistan.