CHITRAL: The residents of flood-hit Reshun village have pinned hopes on the newly elected chief minister, Mahmood Khan, for solution of their problems because he had seen the devastations for himself last year during his visit to the area as irrigation minister.
The local elders including village nazim Shahzada Munir Ahmed, former union council nazim Amirullah Khan and others termed election of Mahmood Khan as chief minister a beginning to the end of their troubles, which they had been going through since July 2015’s flash flood.
They told local journalists that the flash flood that swept away 162 houses in the village deprived them of their basic facilities of life including drinking water and electricity.
Residents of Reshun say Mahmood Khan had witnessed the devastation as provincial minister
They claimed that the new chief minister had spent a whole day and night in the village, seeing each and every sign of devastation wrought by the flood.
“He was a kind and caring soul, who was saddened to see the large scale devastation and our sufferings and promised us to restore all the facilities,” they said. They added that the promises were not fulfilled as the government was heading towards the fag end of its tenure.
The elders said that all the households, more than 800 in number, of the village were left with no option but to drink contaminated water. “The public health engineering department is least bothered to rectify the supply system after its source was hit by flash flood and all our appeals to the high-ups of the department fell on deaf ears,” they added.
They said that due to consumption of contaminated water, the villagers were exposed to a number of waterborne diseases. “Our source of sustenance was agriculture, which has been ruined as the irrigation channels are yet to be restored and yield per acre has dropped to abysmal lower limits while the growing of local species of basmati rice on commercial scale has also been abandoned since the last three years as it requires huge quantity of irrigation water,” they added.
The 4.2 megawatts hydro power station of Reshun owned by Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organisation (PEDO) was also washed away by the flood and no work on its restoration was started resultantly the village is without electricity since then.
The school building is yet to be cleared of the debris of the flood and including the only playground of the village adjacent to it, presently there is no place for the youth to play games.
“The basic health unit of the village is without doctor and other facilities and the villagers have to go to the district headquarters hospital for treatment,” said the elders. They appealed to the chief minister to help them in getting rid of the troubles they had been facing for the last three years.
Published in Dawn, August 20th, 2018 (Zahiruddin).