Glacial Lake Outburst Floods: Impact On The Environment And Socioeconomic Conditions Of Hunza
Author: Irfan Karim


This study is based on Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) occurrences in Hassanabad, Pakistan, over the last five years. The study examines the impact of GLOF on households and understands indigenous knowledge along with community-based risk mitigation techniques to reduce the intensity of GLOF-related damages. The asset pentagon of sustainable livelihood framework of the Department for International Development (DFID) provided the fundamental concepts for carrying out this research. In addition, this study tapped upon the approaches currently used by stakeholders to mitigate GLOF-induced hazards and the lessons for perceived cataclysm. To achieve this, primary data sources, i.e., Focus Group Discussions (FDGs); the questionnaire-based Key Informant Interviews from the households; stakeholders and representatives from NGOs were utilized, and the gathered data was analyzed using SPSS. The data division was such that quantitative information was converted into percentages and frequencies. At the same time, the primary qualitative data was used to assess community resilience, disaster risk reduction, and GLOF management. According to 74.1 percent of the total respondents, there is a significant loss of cultivable land due to GLOF. Drinking water facilities and irrigation channels are disrupted, which causes 50.3 percent of households to fetch water from outside. This scarcity has limited the agricultural yield by several folds in the past three years. The local communities have been sustained by shifting from natural to social and human capital. Although the indigenous knowledge of the community suggests certain religious rituals to manage disasters like GLOF, the frequency and intensity of such catastrophes remain the subject of research across the region. The current socio-economic and environmental study is a reference for future research work.

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Keywords : Disaster, GLOF, Households, Socio-economic, Stakeholders
Supervisor: Iftikhar Ahmad

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