In recent years, Gilgit-Baltistan University, Karakoram International University Gilgit, and WAFA Foundation have teamed up with locals to create five artificial glaciers in Gilgit-Baltistan.

By Naseem Sheikh

Five artificial glaciers have been created in Gilgit-Baltistan to counter the effects of climate change and to ensure that locals have access to water in summer.

In addition, the procedure is part of the Glacier Lake Out Burst Flood Risk Reduction (GLOF-II) project, launched by the Ministry of Climate Change. The University of Gilgit-Baltistan, Karakoram International University Gilgit of Pakistan, Wafa Foundation, and the local people of Chandu village, Skardu, Nagar’s Marko village, Hussainabad village, and Khawardo village cooperated in this excellent environmental cause. This new development will fight climate change and store water.

With more than 7000 glaciers, Gilgit-Baltistan is called the land of glaciers. But where some glaciers are not formed naturally, an ancient technique of grafting is used. The exercise involves both technique and ritual. There must first be a suitable place – a cave or a deep hole in the mountain – located at an altitude of at least 4,000 to 5,000 meters above sea level, where the temperature stays below zero throughout the year. Snowfall and avalanches should be normal, without direct exposure to sunlight.

Gilgit-Baltistan experts decide to tackle the negative effects of climate change. Who directed a plan to create artificial glaciers in the area. Another use of these artificial glaciers is to collect and freeze large amounts of water during the winter months so that they can be used in dry weather.

In just a few weeks, a 50-foot artificial glacier could be created, capable of holding more than a quarter of a million gallons of water. According to local media reports, two glaciers have formed in Skardu and one each in Nagar, Hussainabad, and Khawardu. Four of these glaciers are over 4,000 meters high and one has passed over an altitude of 3,200 meters.

Asif Khan, another climate change expert and part of the Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC, also endorsed the process. As the temperature rises in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas (HKH), so will the melting of ice. In this scenario, transplanting artificial glaciers is considered a sustainable solution.

Commenting on the development, Mahwesh Bukhari, a UNDP Pakistan official, said that the UN agency would monitor the glaciers every week to ensure that local communities had access to water during the summer. Artificial glaciers are just another step towards reducing the problems caused by climate change in Pakistan. The country has been hit hardest by climate change in recent years, and such projects could help reduce or eliminate damage in the future.