Due to climatic changes in Dir Upper, the month of January is passing without rain and snowfall this year. Natural springs and clean water wells dried up due to prolonged drought. While the wheat crop is also damaged.
Usually, when the month of January begins, different spells of snowfall begin in the upper regions including Dir city, attracting tourists to visit Dir Upper to witness. However, in January this year, the mountains of Dir Upper are empty of snow. There is neither snow nor rain, and the plants have dried up due to the long drought.
Baz Muhammad, 70, told TNN that in the past, the snowfall season in Dir Upper used to start in December, but later it reached January. In January, it used to snow so much that people could not leave their houses; there was no question of going to the mountains, but this year there was neither snow nor rain.
According to Baz Muhammad, when it snows in winter, its water is absorbed by the ground, which is then used by people for drinking and other needs from natural springs and wells throughout the year. He further said that the water that falls on these mountains flows into the rivers and people use it for irrigation, but this year the rivers have also dried up.
Local man Ehsanullah said that due to lack of rains, there is a long drought due to which his old well has dried up and the water level has gone very low. Now they are forced to bring water from far away.
Due to the absence of rain and snowfall, the winters are dry, and seasonal diseases are also on the rise. According to MS Dr. Imtiaz of District Headquarters Hospital Dir, nowadays most of the patients come to the hospital with chest, fever, and cough complaints which are mainly due to dry cold and dust. Dr Imtiaz advised people to use hot water and masks.
Prolonged drought has also increased fire incidents in Dir Upper. Eight houses in Gawaldai were gutted by fire in a single night. More than fifteen houses, shops, and forests in different areas of this district have caught fire in the same month due to which people have lost lakhs of rupees.