Amidst all the violence and mayhem in Fata, one area has managed to maintain its tranquility despite the fact that it shares a border with Malakand and Bajaur Agency. This diamond in the rough is called Prang Ghar and is located in Mohmand Agency.
Thanks to the strong customs and traditions of tribespeople, the area has managed to fend off any designs to make it a militant stronghold. A peaceful environment also translates into development opportunities and that is exactly what the locals are looking forward to.
Among the schemes completed in Prang Ghar is the Moto Shah dam. With a 25 square kilometre catchment area, the dam has the ability to usher in an agricultural revolution in the mountainous tribal area.
In his briefing to Mohmand Agency Political Agent Waqar Ali, project engineer Tariq Khan said the dam was completed over a period of two years at the cost of Rs191 million. He said irrigation channels measuring about 70 kilometres have been created for between 550 and 600 acres of land thanks to the dam.
Besides Moto Shah, the Khursheed dam has also been made in the same tehsil of Mohmand Agency. Apart from its practical use, the dam has caused water levels to rise, adding greenery to the mountainous landscape.
Moto Shah dam in Prang Ghar, Mohmand Agency. PHOTOS: MUREEB MOHMAND/EXPRESS
Local malik Dost Muhammad said Prang Ghar was famous for its poppy cultivation in the past as the only source of irrigation was rainwater. During the rainy season, locals had little option but to cultivate poppy as the crop grew easily.
However, the dam has increased their scope and farmers are even able to grow off-season crops and vegetable on their land. Muhammad urged the government to carry out more such development schemes to ensure further progress in the area.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2015.