Monday, August 2, 2010

Flood in Pakistan a man made calamity

The number of causalities and the vast devastation brought with floods of 2010's monsoon in Pakistan are sad and shocking and we should support the victims as much as we can. Every one was very happy when the rains started during the mid of July and had no idea that these rains would lead to divesting natural calamity in the coming weeks. Calamity we may say but can we really call it natural? and if floods are a natural phenomena then there must be a solution in place for them by nature.
It seems so bizarre that humans who pretend to know the best act so ignorantly towards nature, mostly never considering the consequences.

Floods in Pakistan like every where else in the world are natural, but the destruction and damage caused by them is almost always man made. Accounts of the Indus river from the times of Alexander's campaign indicate a healthy forest cover in the region, which has now considerably receded. The Mughal Emperor Babur writes of encountering rhinoceroses along its bank in his memoirs (the Baburnama).

Extensive deforestation and human interference in the ecology of the rive banks has led to deterioration in vegetation and growing conditions. The Indus valley regions are arid with poor vegetation now. Massive deforestation of the
KATCHA initially under the British Raj and then by the common man and Pakistani government has lead to an almost non existent flood fact massive human settlements have sprung all over what was 30 miles of Jungle on each side of river Indus. This massive jungle on river banks was commonly know as KATCHA in Sindh and Punjab, and acted as a flood buffer with thousands of natural dips in the elevation of its scape. During monsoon all the KATCHA area would come under the flood which would contain it to a great extent, slowing down the water spill to the agricultural flood plains. Even until 1870's most of the agriculture done on the agricultural flood plains was done after the flood water started seeping out of the KATCHA. Thus human settlements were obviously protected by these two natural buffers, the KATCHA & the agricultural flood plains. The jungle on the river banks would also release its organic content to the agricultural flood plains making them fertile.

The banks of river Indus should be declared as conservation land and the human settlements should be moved inland, the conservation areas should be reforested with man made water containing dips or pockets.... undoubtedly this would be a plan which would be executed by generations of Indus dweller, but this is the only natural solution because even a 100 dams cant contain the mighty Indus....

Above Image: Notes from field by Imran who is part of the Pakistan Wetlands Programme of WWF - Pakistan.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

TEDx Lahore 2010 was ORGANIC

TEDx Lahore 2010 was ORGANIC, had a GREEN twist to it, nothing less then inspirational and we need events like this to be held more frequently and telecasted on TV ....

Talking to the attendees was great, the musical performances were amazing and the food was nice.... kudos to the Tedx Lahore 2010 team/presenters for their simple, confident, loud & Proud manner that made the event an absolute success.....and that's why the few sound and visual errors every now and then were the beauty and organic nature of the event.... it was like picking a tomato from a plant in ones back yard .... nothing like a polished shiny hybrid beast from the aisles of a supermarket.....

I don't think anything needs to be said about the speakers but strangely i feel confident to make the bold attempt of concluding every presentation into one single word..... COMMUNE..... it felt as if each speaker was urging us for community build up to think original and to communicate ..... while Arif Hasan Sab was trying to paint the picture of a village water well providing community space ..... Dr. Haque wanted Pakistanis to think local.....Dr. Rehman & Saima Zaidi did a great job in presenting the much real past and the wider horizon of commune. People like Mudassir Zia and Asher are all about community anyway.....and both Dr. Usmani and Dr. Khan reassured us about the good quality of Made in Pakistan..... thus Collective Genius

Greed and temptation took over and i couldn't resist to pick couple of left back tree saplings and put em in my goody bag..... thoroughly enjoyed the drums and was not the last to leave.........

Thank you TEDx Lahore 2010 team.....

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