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Mountain regions in Pakistan face flood risk

Government steps up efforts to prevent loss of lives among local communities

Gulf News

ISLAMABAD: Rising temperatures in Pakistan’s northern areas are leading to formation of glacial lakes in the glacial areas, which are exacerbating socioeconomic and environmental risks in the mountainous areas.

However, efforts have been expedited by the government to mitigate risks to the lives and livelihoods of the mountain communities in Gilgi-Baltistan and Chitral district by enhancing flood-resilience of the mountainous areas and communities in northern areas.

Environmentalist and media spokesperson at the Climate Change Ministry said that after successful completion of the first phase of the five-year Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF) project in 2015, the United Nation’s Green Climate Fund approved in October 2016 an amount of $36 million (Dh132 million) funding for second phase of the GLOF project.

He said that the Ministry of Climate Change conceived the idea of the second phase of GLOF and hammered out the project proposal in support with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). “Mitigating the growing risks from the glacial lakes outbursts in the country’s north Northern, implementation of the GLOF project’s second phase is being mulled over with relevant stakeholders including Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNDP — Pakistan, Pakistan Meteorological Department, Pakistan Flood Commission, National and Provincial Disaster Management Authorities, community-based organisations, which will cover 15 districts of Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyper-Pakhtunkhwa, benefiting 29 million people, he said.

For the past ten years, climate change induced disasters have taken momentum in the valley, particularly the floods caused by glacial lakes.

— APP

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