KP-FATA Is Likely To Be Worst Victim Of Climate Change

Tayyeb Afridi 

The country has just awakened to the fact that climate change is happening and water shortage is one of its adverse impacts and some of us have asked again that why Kalabagh dam was not built in the first place.

If I may ask that why on earth there is only one place in Pakistan that should have dam. Can’t we have dams elsewhere in Pakistan? This was a stupid idea not to construct other dams because of Kalabagh as if it was the only option we have had. We all know this has been politicised badly and it won’t help even a technocrat comes up with facts and figures in support of it. It is not going to build in next 20 years or so until someone comes up with an idea that benefit local people and concerned provinces that claims royalty.

Anyways, this is still early that we realised there are other places as well that can be used for constructing dams. Thanks to chief justice of Pakistan- at least on this front- who brought scarcity of water as an issue to limelight in Pakistan. Indeed, the chief has solved a million dollars question as many governments failed on how to take decision regarding building other dams such as Diamer-Basha and Mohmand.

According to experts in Agriculture University Peshawar, the temperature in KP have raised 1.5 Celsius since 1990 and it will further raise by 1.5 Celsius which is an indication that weather patterns are changing drastically for all districts in KP except Chitral and Upper Dir.

It is not only the water that is at risk, our agriculture, soil, forest, livestock, and fisheries are also at grave risk and so far nothing significant has been done on part of governments in all provinces except a billion trees plantation drive in KP which was doubted by many but still it was pursued by PTI’s government and appreciated by environmental organisations at International level.

In KP, the seasonal shifts are already being experienced as winters are getting shorter and summer longer. The shift indeed has implications on crop production and water availability.

One of the scary news is that KP will come under monsoon corridor till 2030 as per experts in Agriculture University and it will have no or very rare rainfall during winter season, causing problem for winter crops.

There will be, on other hand, heavy rainfall in summer causing flash floods which will damage wheat crops-a major crop that we grow, consume and export it to the only country of the world i.e. Afghanistan. No one else wants our wheat because it isn’t as much nutritious as it is in other countries.

In such a situation if we don’t have dams we won’t be able to store water. The excessive rainfall in summer could destroy farming lands, leaving it unproductive and there is possibility of floods that could destroy villages as we have seen in 2010.

We need to find ways to timely adapt so as to tap on opportunities and reduce negative impacts on soil, food, and water. We also need technology-based assessment that should lead to adoption of new technology, which is necessary for water and agriculture products. It’s now a job of the government -not people- to find ways and tape on opportunities.

I do appreciate the current government for not forcing people into donations for Dams. Otherwise, there were ‘experts’ advising government to impose a particular tax like the one we had for TV. Whether we benefit or not from Pakistan Television (PTV), we have to pay 35 rupees in each electricity bill as a moral duty to keep national television alive. Whether that should be the case with dams is definitely arguable.

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