Kohistan Lower’s Dubair valley residents await government heed

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The residents of Dubair valley of Kohistan Lower and Kandia tehsil of Upper Kohistan have been looking towards the government to help them, taking them out of the crisis as 6 houses came vulnerable to slip down as a portion of mountains below the village slipped down into the river.

The main roads of Dubair Valley in Lower Kohistan and Kandia tehsil main road in Upper Kohistan were washed away by the floods, 6 houses were vacated by people on a self-help basis after a portion of the mountains below caved in at Baneel area of Dubair Khas union council.

Kohistan district was bifurcated into three districts in 2017, the Upper Kohistan’s Kandia tehsil had been affected by the flash floods several times since 2010 devastating floods. Also the Lower Kohistan’s Ranolia tehsil which 38 kilometer long stretch of road in Dubair and 11 Kilometer Ranolia road completely washed away by the floods third time in the last two years.

Riaz Ahmad, a flood affectee told The Northern Post that due to heavy rains on March 15, landslides caused significant damages in the union council, Dubair Khass, Baneel area, leading to the evacuation of the houses.

“We have shifted our families to distant houses because our houses are almost about to fall as the mountains below it slept down. There is no solution to safeguarding the houses from landslide as soil erosion has continued since April 12,” He lamented.

A video shared by Riaz Ahmad with TNP, shows the land below the houses continuously fall intermittently and seems the houses above likely to fell down to the river as it is around 200 distance from the river.

Haji Akhtar Khan, whose house among those prone to collapse with the landslide at Dubair said urged the authorities of Lower Kohistan to provide them with safe locations for living and ensure the availability of basic necessities like food and water.

He said they had been evacuated and were facing severe hardships but forgot by the authorities concerned although they had children, women and elderly and looking at the government for emergency help because there was no chance of saving their houses from landslide as the land below turned hollow.

Malak Asad Khan, a social activist from Dubair said that local people had constructed the makeshift road and it roughly completed recently but unfortunately the current rain-triggered flash floods washed away it again and further increased their problems.

He said the communication system of the Lower Kohistan Dubair valley had completely paralysed due to inaccessibility people shifted their patients on Charpoy by hours walk in the hard mountainous terrains.

Mehboob Ur Rehman, a local politician in Kandia, Upper Kohistan said that their main road connecting the tehsil with the rest of Kohistan at Karakoram Highway washed away by the floods along with mini power stations and water mills by putting the local people in further miseries.

“We have repaired the road on self help basis two months ago but it has been washed away again by the floods as it located along the river and could not be protected from the flash floods on self help basis, while government has not any interest in addressing our problems,” He said.
Kohistan people protest against delay in road repair
He added that Kohistan had been affecting by the floods, rain triggered slides for several years but still the neither the government nor elected people devised a policy or initiate project to protect the area from natural disasters.

Muhammad Bilal, assistant commissioner, Pattan, Lower Kohistan when contacted, he told TNP that the survey of damages was being underway, however, work on the roads rehabilitation started.

He said he would comment formally about the damages details after the ongoing survey completed.

Replying to a question, he said he had not yet received verified application from the Baneel Dubair area affectees.

The Kohistan Lower Bankad Ranolia tehsil and the Upper Kohistan Kandia tehsil were badly devastated by the flash floods in 2022 and 2023 catastrophe.

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