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Wednesday February 28, 2024

Tree cover can help reduce floods intensity

By Our Correspondent
September 01, 2022

Islamabad : The plantation of trees on both sides of rivers, canals, and streams can greatly help reduce the intensity of floods in the country.

The initial findings showed that the areas where flood water inundated the residential areas and damaged crops had less or no tree cover that could mitigate the impact of the floods.

The official record revealed that a panel of experts had recommended to the government after the devastating 2010 floods that trees should be planted on both sides of rivers and protective walls built alongside canals to prevent the spread of the flood water.

The record also showed that the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government took some initiatives and planted trees in some areas that were vulnerable to floods and also built protective walls in Nowshera and other areas. But that was not enough to protect life and property during recent flash floods.

The data showed that the Hindu Kush Himalayas is heating up at a rate faster than the global average, causing an increase in melting rates of seasonal snow cover and some low-elevation glaciers.

An official said the plantation is actually a man-made forest; some trees like Eucalyptus and Mangroves are very helpful, and they naturally protect the areas from floods, tidal waves, and Tsunamis.

“Trees also help reduce flooding by directly intercepting rainfall and promoting higher soil infiltration rates.

In the coastal areas of Pakistan, forests in the form of mangroves are protection against floods, cyclones, and a possible tsunami,” he said.

He said, “We can plant them near rivers, canals, and dams. Actually, Eucalyptus has a lot of properties; it is a fast-growing tree and a kind of natural insecticide.”

“It is also called a thirsty tree, its roots spread deep underground and dry up all the water so it is also used to drain swamps and marshes; and the mangroves forest also does the same,” he said.