CHITRAL: World Disaster Reduction Day was observed at Chitral on Tuesday. a ceremony was held in this regard at Chitral University in which Malik Amin Aslam, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Climate Change and Environment, also planted a sapling in the university lawn. Experts expressed their views at a function held at the University Hall on this occasion of World Disaster Reduction Day. Additional Deputy Commissioner on Disaster Abdul Wali Khan was the chief guest on the occasion. The project director Prof. Dr. Badshah Munir Bukhari presided over the function.
Speaking on the occasion, experts said that in most of the natural calamities, man is involved and he harms the surrounding environment with his own hand. The event was sponsored by the GLOF 2 project. (Glacial Lake outburst Flood)
Addressing to the function, the experts said that Chitral is one of the red zones where there is a constant risk of large scale earthquakes. Similarly, climate change is causing centuries-old avalanches to erupt and melting which leads to catastrophic floods. He said that two glacier eruptions in Golan caused floods and similarly for the first time an avalanche erupted in Yarkhon Valley which killed a young girl and destroyed 26 houses.
He said that GLOF-II project is a joint venture with various agencies that will prepare case studies of different valleys and work on various projects to protect these areas from damage in the form of natural calamities.
Experts also urged the public to play their part in keeping the environment clean as the government alone cannot do everything.
Prof. Dr. Badshah Munir Bukhari said that government agencies should formulate a comprehensive plan for construction in which the use of materials related to the environment of Chitral which would not cause more casualties in the form of earthquakes or floods. He said that plastic bags available in the market should be banned and cloth bags should be used instead.
Experts stress that dirt should not be dumped near avalanches, lakes and reservoirs so as not to damage the glaciers as climate change is causing them to melt faster and wreak havoc in the event of floods.. A spokesman for the GLOF II project said the project would survey dangerous areas and valleys where glaciers are at risk of eruption and take various precautionary measures to protect the surrounding population in these valleys. A large number of students of Chitral University also participated in the function.