By Noor Muhammad ⋅ January 7, 2010
The worst happened on January 4 when the already cracked mountain located above a beautiful, tiny, hamlet called Attabad slid off and buried most of the village, along with the people who had chosen to live in it, its cattle, houses, fields and orchards. The land mass that slid off has completely blocked the Hunza River gorge. More than two kilometers of the gorge through which the river once flowed is now filled with sand and rocks over, turning the river into an expanding lake, posing great risk to the low-lying villages of Gojal Valley.
More than two and a half kilometers of the Karakuram Highway has been completely destroyed, disconnecting Gojal Valley from the rest of Hunza. This blockade has severe implications for life in Gojal valley, as the supply of food, medicines and other essentials is not likely to take place till complete opening of the road. The government will have to seriously work on air – supply of such essentials of life.
The role of FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance, an affiliated institution of AKDN, is also highly appreciable because it trained, organized and equipped groups of local people to work in the times of disaster, enabling them to work on their own in a more organized manner. This is despite of the fact that the onus of governance and community empowerment primarily rests with the state and not the non – governmental organizations.