Baramulla, Sep 15: The recent cloudbursts in the forests of Rafiabad area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district that left five members of a nomadic family dead, caused massive damage to at least 12 water supply schemes in the area.
The damage to the water supply schemes has disrupted the potable water supply to 64 villages.
The damage to the water supply schemes has also posed a threat to human health as hundreds of animal carcasses are found scattered in the streams as well as on the dry land.
Following the presence of animal bodies, the Department of Health, DangiwachaRafiabad started an awareness campaign appealing people not to drink water directly and boil it at least for 20 minutes before its use so that water-borne diseases were avoided.
Block Medical Officer (BMO) Dangiwacha, Rafiabad, DrIrfan said, “We have been regularly announcing through our vehicles that the drinking water should not be used directly. There is an apprehension of the spread of water-borne diseases if tap water is not boiled before drinking.”
As the department of Jal Shakti is busy in restoring the damaged water supply schemes, over 64 villages are struggling to receive drinking water.
Amid drinking water crisis in the area, the Department of Jal Shakti, Rafiabad is working on a war-footing basis to restore the affected schemes.
Some water supply schemes are situated in the upper reaches of Rafiabad, mostly the forest area.
The employees of the Jal Shakti department are using horses to reach far-flung areas so that water supply schemes are restored on a priority basis.
Assistant Executive Engineer, Jal Shakti, Rafiabad division, Fayaz Ahmad said, “Today we have been able to restore the regional water supply scheme, which is located in the forest area of Rafiabad. The restored scheme is important as it supplies water to more than 15 villages.”
He said that the department was working day and night to restore all the affected water supply schemes and so far nine small big water supply schemes had been restored.
“The process of restoring the affected water supply schemes is in progress. So far, nine such water supply schemes have been restored,” Ahmad said.
The multiple cloudbursts that hit Rafiabad forests on Saturday night caused death to five members of a nomadic family.
The cloudbursts also caused death to a herd of cattle accompanying the nomadic family.
A resident of Dangiwacha, Rafiabad, who along with several mohalla residents went to the affected area, said that around 300 animal carcasses including dogs, horses, and sheep were scattered all along the area.
He said that the authorities needed to come forward to lift the carcasses to avoid an outbreak of epidemic.
Muhammad Afzal, a resident of Dangiwacha, Rafiabad said that the animal carcasses were scattered everywhere.
“Some of the carcasses are lying in the streams, water of which is used for drinking purposes. The authorities along with local volunteers should take an initiative of clearing the area of carcasses. Otherwise it will prove extremely hazardous for the local population,” he said.