Residents complain of soil erosion in Chitral village

Riri village in upper Chitral. ? Dawn
Riri village in upper Chitral. ? Dawn

CHITRAL: The residents of Riri village of Oveer valley have demanded of the government to take notice of soil erosion for early corrective measures.

Elders Islam Akbaruddin, Abdul Majeed and Mutiur Rehman told reporters here on Saturday that the water emanated from a gorge situated on the highland of their village in very large quantity before disappearing into the ground.

They said the gravity flow of the water below the soil surface caused its incessant erosion and that could be noticed by the growing number of fissures in the soil.

The elders said the houses didn?t withstand the process and collapsed within four to five years of construction.

?The position of a house constructed this year will be five to seven meters away downward in the inclined plain of the village after four years. Cracks appear in the walls in the very first year of construction,? an elder said.

The Islamabad-based geologists sent by a non-governmental organisation visited the area and confirmed that the water underneath the soil was causing erosion, which would stop only if water was drained and channelised downward to the village by digging channel.

They said the draining of sub-surface water would not only stop the natural hazard of erosion but also address the shortage of water both for drinking and irrigation purposes.

The experts said the residents of 300-plus village households feared damage three to four years after house construction.

They said the village was known throughout the district for apricot as locals grew hundreds of the fruit?s varieties.

The experts said the dried apricot was in high demand for its superb quality but the apricot orchards were affected badly by water shortage.

They complained that the erosion of farmlands and shortage of irrigation water, the farming activity had almost come to a halt in the village and thus, causing poverty among them.

The experts said the water draining was the only solution to the problem but their efforts for the purpose in the last two decades had failed to bear fruit.

They warned that if corrective measures weren?t taken without delay, the villagers would migrate.

SOLDIER LAID TO REST: Pakistan Army soldier Nasir Hussain was laid to rest in his ancestral village, Sarghooz Mastuj, here on Sunday with full military honour.

The solider was martyred a border area of Azad Jammu and Kashmir the other day.

Commandant of Chitral Task Force Colonel Moeenuddin placed wreaths on his grave on behalf of the chief of army staff, Peshawar?s corps commander and Swat?s general officer commanding.

Published in Dawn, November 18th, 2018

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