Construction of Friendship Irrigation Channel - Bringing the Countries Together

 

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Mr. Bisharat Manga is one of the residents of Sudhpura and he says that before the rehabilitation of channel he used to cultivate only rice but now he is also able to cultivate vegetable as well.

Mr.Arif said that people of Indian Occupied Kashmir often came with white flags for rehabilitation of water channel because a large number of irrigated lands depend on this channel but all time went back in despair and disappointed because no one was taking interest or was ready to rehabilitate it.

 

Flash floods in last year brought havoc to the locals of Leepa where it washed out standing crops, pedestrian bridges, culverts and irrigations channels. Friendship Irrigation Channel is also one of the main sources of irrigation for the local farmers of Pakistan and Indian Occupied Kashmir. This channel is historical one which was constructed before the partition which is starting from Leepa valley and going down into Indian Held Kashmir and irrigating more than 3,100 kanals of agriculture land of 03 villages of Pakistan administrative Kashmir and 19 villages of occupied Kashmir. During flash floods in 2010, this irrigation channel was completely washed from the source which adversely affected 3,100 kanals of agricultural land of Pakistani Kashmir while the affects in Indian Held Kashmir were more severe.  As agriculture is the main source of income for majority of the residents of Leepa, so this adversely affected their livelihood pattern. This created serious problem of food shortage but also made the farmers more vulnerable.
Apart from its economic value, this channel has a strategic importance between India and Pakistan where it is considered as a medium of friendship between two countries. There was an immense pressure from the local administration, army and the local communities to reconstruct the channel on emergency basis which was great challenge for Qatar Charity. Farmers were suffering a lot due this as the harvesting season was about to start.  Having a very limited budget with time constraints, QC took this initiative with the help of local communities and started its reconstruction. Different committees were formed who were responsible for operations and maintenance, procurement and project management and in this way the entire irrigation channel of 2.3 kilo meter was reconstructed within shortest possible time of 28 working days.
The channel has benefited more than 210 families in Pakistani Kashmir while the number is higher in Indian held Kashmir. As a token of thanks the Indian held Kashmiri people came of the line of control with white flags appreciate the efforts of Qatar Charity for the occupied people of Kashmir.


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Mr.Bostaan Khan a beneficiary farmer of Leepa says that he was facing serious problem of shortage of irrigation water for cultivation of crop. He used to cultivate rice which was giving handsome profit out of its sale but last year he was even unable to harvest because the main source of water had been completely washed out but this time after the rehabilitation of irrigation channel, he is in a good position to harvest the crops and expecting good return out of its sale.

A Mother, Mrs. Zulaikhan said that she used to wash cloths at River Qazinag and some time it was very difficult to carry it especially in rain and snow fall But after the rehabilitation of irrigation channel, now I can easily mange to wash cloths of my family near at home, which is helping me in utilizing the same time for my other family matters.i.e cooking, kids. Apart from this we are also utilizing the same water for livestock in our home.