Flooding in Swat River has inundated thousands of acres of agricultural land in Kabal tehsil, local farmers informed The Express Tribune on Thursday.
The farmers of the affected Bara BamaKhela area claim that around 80 per cent of their standing crops have been washed away in the flooding, and blamed the government’s failure to construct flood protection walls in their area for their losses. They have appealed to the authorities to take measures to prevent further damage to their lands.
Majeedullah Khan, a local farmer, said that whenever the water level of Swat River rises, water starts seeping into the adjoining agricultural land and reigns havoc. He said that after the area was devastated by the floods in 2010, the government promised to construct protection walls on both sides of the river to prevent flooding, but nothing has been done to date. Khan added that a number of locals have started migrating to safer areas due to the flooding.
“Over 70 per cent of the people depend solely on agriculture to survive but the government is still not serious to protect the sector,” lamented Akbar Ali, another local resident.
Officials of the district irrigation department said that construction of flood protection walls along Swat River is underway; however, areas where the walls have not been constructed have been affected. They attributed the recent surge in the river’s water level to a rise in region’s temperature.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2012.