In a bid to build the war-ravaged and militancy-ridden Khyber Agency, an amount of Rs 300 million has been earmarked for the agency under Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Annual Development Programme (ADP), Pakistan Today has reliably learnt.
According to the document, an amount worth Rs 300 million was approved for Integrated Area Development Programme in Khyber Agency, including communication schemes, agriculture and forestry, livestock, Public Health Engineering (PHE) and irrigation projects.
Khyber Agency is the most vital and important link between Pakistan and Afghanistan mostly comprising a barren rugged mountains terrain but it also has some beautiful valleys with plain cultivable lands.
After a decade of conflicts and war-like situation, peace has finally been restored in Bara and migrated families have started their journey back to their homes with a rapid pace. But these families have even greater challenges ahead as the infrastructure in Khyber Agency has come to point zero and other sectors, including communication, PHE, forestry, livestock and agriculture sector also got a huge set back during the decade-long conflicts.
In order to uplift the standard of living and livelihood, the government of Pakistan, through FATA secretariat, emphasises on the development of this agency by implementing ADP schemes.
According to the documents, a lion share has been allocated for communication sector which amounts to Rs 98.96 million, making a 32.98 per cent of the total amount.
During the decade-long conflict, the roads network has been badly damaged so hefty amount is proposed for the construction of roads and street payment, including the construction of BT road from Lar Bagh to Shlouber (three kilometres), construction of BT road from Haider Kandow road to Durbikhel road (1.85 km), construction and black topping of road from Badraga Bakar Abad/Ghundi (three km).
The project will provide communication facility to 0.190 million people of Khyber Agency, besides facilitating transportation of valuable agriculture products to the local markets and mineral wealth to the factories.
In a bid to enhance farm income, ensure food security and exploit the potential of natural resources of the area, Rs 53.85 million has been approved to educate the farming community in improved agriculture practices and to increase per acre yield of crops, vegetable and fruits.
Under the proposed project, 1340 acres vegetables seed would be distributed directly benefiting 20,195 people from the project activity. Farmers will be educated about high yielding varieties of wheat, maize, fruits and vegetables and their capacity will be improved in cultivation and maintenance of farm activities.
Public Health Engineering:
The PHE will get Rs 61.07 million which is 20.36 per cent of the total allocated amount under the scheme. The project aims to construct new drinking water supply schemes and solarise the existing water supply schemes in Tehsil Jamrud and Bara sub-division of Khyber Agency. The project upon completion shall provide clean drinking water to a projected population of 17,703 people.
Livestock and dairy development:
Livestock farming plays a vital role in the daily life of millions of rural people; however due to military operation in Khyber Agency most of the livestock infrastructure is either damaged or razed to earth.
So in order to revive the sector, Rs 15.99 million has been proposed for the sector in the current year so as to purchase variety of medicines, vaccines, fodder seed, chopping machine and Wanda.
The scheme is directly related to the objective of providing prompt and proper disease diagnosis facilities to animals at an easily accessible and nearest possible place. Better services will be provided to the livestock owners and the occurrence of disease will be controlled and production rate will be increased.
The valleys in Khyber Agency have the exposition to flash floods in the monsoon season so soil erosion is a common phenomenon. Every year, the farming community is losing their lands and wheat and maize yield is reducing. In this project, Rs 47.56 million is proposed with a well-out strategy to deal with these issues.
The scheme aims to construct a 6,700 feet long flood protection wall, a 6,104 ft long irrigation channel, and a gabion protection wall for houses residing along the banks of nullahs.
The scheme on completion will ensure irrigation and protection of 223 acres land in addition to provide water for the generation of five Micro Hydel Power Generation Units.
An amount of Rs 19.709 million has been approved for forestry under which a quantity of 0.092 million of conifers will be purchased and will be distributed free of cost amongst the local community of Tirah Valley. Forestation on over 125 acres of communal land at Jamrud Ghundi will also be carried out.
According to the land use statistics, 70 per cent of the area is lying wasted and unproductive in Khyber Agency so a better planning and promotion of forestry activities could reverse the process of retrogression.
After the completion of the project, not only intangible benefits like improvement of degraded environment, control of soil erosion and enhancement of capabilities of watershed will be obtained but also the tangible benefits like availability of fuel wood and small timber, regularisation of water regime and development of waste lands will be achieved.
Government of Pakistan FATA Secretariat Peshawar has the objective of the sustainable development in the tribal built to uplift the backward society and bring them to the mainstream of the country.