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Causes of Floods in Kech Balochistan Pakistan

PAKISTAN | Saturday, 24 November 2012 | Views [2113]

What are the Causes of Floods in Kech Balochistan Pakistan 

Kech is the native land of legendary Puno, does locate 25˚- 24' to 26˚-30' north longitude and from the 61-49' to 64-31' east longitudes. At the north side of Kech there is Punjgore District while at east there is Awaran District. In the south of Kech it is Gwadar District and at West side there is Iran. The total area of the district is 22,539 square kilometers.


The whole District is mountainous by contour and majority of its Population is around the Kech and Nehing River. This process begins from Hoshab and end at Mand where Pakistani borders meets with Iran's border. The Tehsil Turbat and Tehsil Tump some 28 Union Council’s Population do locates at across the Kech and Nehigh, while the other two Tehsil known Bulladah and Dasht those consisting of some 10 Union Councils which are settled on the other directions.   The length of Kech Velley where in these two Rivers catches water that some 250 Kilometer.


People are social and gender biases are not severe here as compare to the other parts of Balochistan. Kech is not in the tribal belt, therefore socially people are free to decide their political rights, and despite of few familial feuds there is no tribal feud in the region.


Date (locally called: nah, hormag) is the major crop of this area and the Makran region contributes Pakistan date’s productions 40% and in varieties of dates this area is rich. Among hundreds of varieties Bagum Jangi (in short BJ) is the major crop. Dates harvesting times are spread in three, duration’s i.e. early, mid and late dates. Along with Dates Dry Dates, are also produced here and the sources of dry dates are, Mosathi and Aleeni.


The Kech geographical location, the Love legend Puno Fort (Meri Fort), its delicious dates varieties, and Zikri Sect Ritual place makes the Kech to be known country wide, but since some years Kech is also famous due to recurring floods.


Since 1998 Turbat Kech is being aired from every so often in the papers due to catastrophes. A flood came in 1998 have violated peoples houses at Koshkalat and lot of agricultural property and crops. Later a drought stretchly mounted for 8 years, given a big shock to livestock of the area. A flood hit on 2005, which was due to the bad planning of Engineering Departments. The flood hit on 26 June 2008 was biggest than all.


In the floods context, historically, there are believe among people that this Area have received lot of Floods, and people understands that, the Dasht Silt terrain is piled up due to the Rivers. In this regard, people quote somewhere in the past, there was a rain, which lasted for 2 days.


Kech District in Balochistan is in the Baloch belt, and Balochi Language is spoken here, people strictly observed the Baloch culture and customs. People are Muslim and the entire sect people are found here but the sectarian conflicts not severe here.


Men ware Kamees Shalwar and Ladies ware traditional Balochi dresses. Ladies dresses are made only in the Baloch community majority of the work is hand stitching. One Ladies dress is costly start from 6000 to 25000 costs for one dress.


Economically, majority of people are dependent to the agriculture however due to the Turbat being a commercial hub of the region few people have their own shops and business. Industries are not found here despite of few Ice factories and 2 flourmills there is no any other industry.


National level NGOs have started their work in the decade of 90s. According to the community development (formerly social welfare department) records, CBOs (community based organizations) commenced registering in the decade of 70s while people are experiencing few cooperatives like Bijjari and Asher as cultural institutions, from the far past. Bijjari will be received as help from the relatives, and friends to meet the cost of wedding. Asher is a cooperative people observe it for doing a bigger agriculture activity like harvesting a crop, or making a hut and cleaning of Karaizes. Karaizes are cleaned through this institution is called Raj Kar, where in shareholder contribute a labor for the day to work on behalf the shareholder.


According to the new local government set up, Kech is divided in 4 Tehsils namely Turbat, Dasht , Tump and Bullada. There are 38 Union Council of District; one of the largest Tehsil is Turbat Tehsil, which has 17 Union Councils.


Irrigation Sources of Kech is dependent to the Karaizes and but with the lowering of water table lot of Karaizes have been dried and few Karaizes have been violated by the Mirani Dam.


Local Systems and communication techniques:

People used local ways to distribute water among shareholders. When the watches were not common, people had used local systems. In the day light the used to measure a person’s shade by footsteps. But in the dark they used a system locally known Thas o Thagar. It was consisting of a shallow bowl (thaas), which was having a slight hole in the mid bottom that used to be put in a large container (locally known thagaar) of water.


After downing the bowl (one time) mean a certain time period is passed off, thus they allowed a waiting shareholder to catch water, for this they used to shout a big voice (apa begir) communicating a message to allow a switch over.


There are historical, ways people join each other in a collective, Asher will be used in the men for doing a collective activity, there is a way that when ladies to make a dress in a short period of time then they invite other women to help for making a dress, that is called Rochki .  in the same way in the costal belt , when there would be lot of fishes and that is behind the capacity of one fisher man then he used the word Adanga it does mean inviting people to fish together.


In the month of Ramadan, people would sing God and Prophet’s praising poetry from the mosques speakers to wake up people for the Sehri


Traditionally, in the wedding people used to send a band of people to invite people by going door-to-door raising a sound for giving invitation to attend the wedding ceremonies. 


When government had to announce something and the intention was to inform public then a drummer used to go to villages announces with the beat of drum.


Announcement through speakers using vehicles to inform public for participating in a public gathering is a common practice here.


For the funeral announcement people use Mosques loud speakers to inform about demising of a person, and announcing the place and time for funeral.


Kech Floods and Catastrophes information:

Mirani Dam information

Mirani Dam is built at the place of Meerani Dasht, which is located towards western direction that’s distant some 40 kilometer from the city center. It is an earthen (rock filled) dam the face of it is concreted with steel work, from the foundation to top. Its type is called Concrete face earth filled dam. The dam’s work begins in 2002, and completed in 2006. Discon Engineering a Lahore based company was having its contract along with 2 others company as joint venture project. The Dam height is 127 feet, and the total length for the dam from north to south is 3080 feet. And the height of spill way is at 100 feet. The spillway, which drains out the excess water, is 600 feet in length. This does not posses any other emergency gate to drain out the excess water. Its height is 100 feet high; water passes, when it reaches 244 sea levels. Nodiz area's many parts goes in water, this happened when it just, passes water from its spillway.  But as much as water level goes up more areas goes in water at 264 Nodiz 70% goes in water. When it reaches 272 then we have the biggest chunk of Nasirabad Union Council, in 15 feet down the water.


Mirani Dam has two cannel called right bank and left bank canal. According to Government Sources it can irrigate 33200 Acre of Land, in the down stream.


Officials couldn’t declared it so far its feasibility study is done properly are not, because, with the same specification it seems it was not possible, because when we down its height then floods wiped it away. And if we get its height is high that is we have in present so it would destroying the Kech valley thus, we can conclude that its environmental impact assessment has been overlooked. And when the engineers impartially had studied it the result would have been, something else. Experts (those knows the conditions of the kech) say it’s a man made monster and one day it would engulf Kech.


Nespak (an engineering Company) has done the initial survey of the dam. They introduced some levels and given some declaration regarding those. They said that the level 244 is the place that goes in water most early. Godi village was located on that level; therefore engineers recommended compensations. Regarding the locations of 264 sea level engineers declared that this place would go in water after some 50 years thus they did not recommend immediate compensation. But June 07 flood proved those declarations of Surveyors wrong because it not only went into 264 even it went to 272 levels wherein Nasirabad does locate. 


Facts and figures say that it irrigates some 33200 Acre of Land in the down streams through its 2 canals. But at its up stream it can likely destroy the land, which is 70000 Acres. In the recent flood (happened on 26 of June 2007)it has violated Lot of agriculture lands, Karaizes, and date palms. One more crippling repercussion of this it has increased humidity in the climate that is harmful for the date production. It can turn a tragic to the date growers in the coming time. 


A date crop needs scorching sunny days and dry weather, while humid and cloudy weather is harmful for its ripening.  In humid and cloudy weather it receives fungus.


Water courses: 

Kech (Kore) River:

Kech River that divides Kech in two parts (southern and northern parts) and Kech Bridge does connect both the part at the place of Union Council Singani Sar and Sari Kahan. Kech River is a source of increasing the water of many Karaizes and it is a source of providing people the dry wood after the floods.

Kech River catches water from Hoshap, which is distant some 150 Kilometer at the east from Nasirabad. There is a River called Kil Kore, which locates at hoshap, its half water flows towards Kech River and the other half flows towards District Awaran. Another River known as Gish Kore River joins Kech River at Sami.

Before reaching to Nasirabad it encompasses some 19 rivers and streams, like at the place of Apser Union Council Dukurm while at Gokdan Sorap enters into Kech River. Dukurm and Sorap come from the southern hills. From the northern hills at the place of Ginna and Solband, Garok and Shoorma fall in Kech River. 


River Nehing:

River Nehing catches water from the Iran and before it reaches to Nasirabad it encompasses the water of some 18 other Rivers and streams into it. At the Place of Kolahoo, a river machi gets into Nehings. Another River, which also comes from, the southern hills entered into Nehing at the place of Nazarabad. Ganda dar Rivers enters at the place of Tump. A River known as Rodaan enters Nehing at the place of meerabad this river comes from the north, while another river Shah Aap that also comes from north enters Nehing at the place of Rodbun. Few more Rivers, Gatti, Ban peer and Culber, which comes from the north’s hills, inters Nehing at Kohad, Gomazi and Aspi Kahan.


The Rivers Kech and River Nehing are the main tributaries of River Dasht both the rivers play a big role for fostering the civilization of Kech valley. These provide a source for livelihood, water and fertile agriculture land to the inhabitants on its banks. Most of the greenery, date palms and other agriculture are being done along side of both rivers. This process begins from the Hoshap and, end at Mand.


Kech valley shape is like a rectangle-bowl, rather a stretching a zigzagy rectangle channel its sides descend to south to the coastal belt and at north to the hilly side of Bullada Band. And at these ranges water is scarce and water table is much below. Therefore people are resided along side of these rivers. We can call it people are compelled to reside here.


The contour of the land does route the rainwaters almost in an area of 250 Kilometer through Kech and Nehing. Water accumulates at a place called Kore e Awar where in Kech and Nehing meets. After meeting they change their course towards south into River Dasht. Mirani Dam is built on River Dasth at the south of Nasirabad. Further it flows towards south and falls in Arabian Sea at the place of Jiwani Gwadar.


Catastrophes in recent past:

A flood came in the 3rd march 1998 have violated peoples houses at Koshkalat and lot of agricultural property like crops, tube wells and livestocks have been destroyed by the flood. After the 1998 flood the area was hit by a severe drought for 8 years, in the result of that lot of migration has been happened and livestock of the area have reduced 60 % low. After the drought a flood came in 2005, which was due to the bad planning. Around Ginna National high way has built the culverts under quantity therefore those drained waters unnaturally that caused disaster for people. And lot of culverts, which were built on the same pattern on Zubaida Jalal Road, has been collapsed those caused destruction for the people.


The flood hit on 26 June 2008 was biggest than all. June 07 flood was caused yim yin cyclone it was a massive flood. But the recently built Mirani Dam has exacerbated the flood. Union Council Koshkalath, Nasirabad, Nodiz, Gokdan, Kalatuk and Ginna have received extremely large destruction. Some 50000 thousand people have lost their houses, crops, animals, karaizes, household items, shops and agriculture resources.


In the context of floods and maneuvering of (rivers) Kech and Nehing, People believe that these areas had received lot of Floods and people believe that the Dasht Silt train is piled up brought by these Rivers. And also people quote somewhere in the past, there was a rain, which lasted for 2 days. In the context of rains, In Balochi poetry there is a poem, which tells the severity of a flood. The legend Atta Shad interpreted his feeling in a poem saying that do not stop rivers; make a way, and he floated suggestions not to build a house near the streams. There is another poem, which shows the severity of flood. It is floating bride and bridegroom, dressed with their bridal costumes and children with their all cradles in their basinet. The mentioned poetry indicate that some where in the history this has occurred with this area.


What Causes Flood:

Floods occur in Kech due to access of water in river Kech and Nehing.  And when these giant rivers bring water at the same time before surging ahead these pushes back each other. In result of that water level goes up and overflows from its banks. After overflowing these flash ahead towards settlements and agriculture lands, wiping away each and every thing. People houses, crops, fertile soil of agriculture field and people animals become the prey of the Rivers. Nasirabad, Nodiz, Koshkllath, Gokdan, Kalatuk and Ginna are the most vulnerable areas of flood.


Mirani Dam exacerbates this phenomenon many times bigger because it puts resistance to the Rivers smooth surging ahead.  In the result of that water flows backward, because surpassing away onto banks. Due to this, phenomenon map of the area and courses of rivers are getting changed.


We know water is in a flash-current that makes the bed deeper and erodes its side banks therefore its banks stay upright thus the capacity of rivers may enhance keeping the water into its stream, but when it is stand still, that resembles a pond or a lake. Floods bring lot of silt, if it flashes ahead, the silt would travel with it to a due destination. In a situation water is not in a current the silt weight settles that where the current halt.  Due to this the rivers beds are getting silt up on each coming flood.


MRC's team did a survey: a place near solband village is an example of this the river bed used to be some 10 feet down, and a local man Sher Jan said that it was difficult to drive a bike while going down in the steep. But today the situation was changed, river kech have piled up mud and brought the level some 6 feet up.


In 1998, flood: in the stretch of its width floods were debarred deviating side wise, towards Malikabad Union Council at the place of Soragi and Thuchaan, by the embankments of these Karaizes. Later those flashes went to Koshkalath and destroyed people house on one strip only.


While in June 07 flood, River water surpassed these embankments and flowed in a small river called rothag. Rothag, a small river catches water around the city area and falls in Kech River at the place of Shinzdar. In June 07 it also did destroy some houses at Shahi Tump that area is located at the other portion oKoshkalath, which were not hit by the river because the rothag’s stream divide Koshkalat into two chunks.


These events show Kech River is cutting the embankments and filling the steeps by mud, and as much as the water will be in access this phenomenon of the floods further create the areas to be flat. The new shape may emerge:  no waterbeds but every place are waterbed around the main stream (river bed) of Kech. 


Irrigation sources, say that Mirani Dam has received so far 37% silt and its reservoir stretches into 20-kilometer length in the up stream. It is a fact; in coming floods it receives more silt. Engineers told that, its age is not more than 30 years. As much as it receives silt so the situation goes worst and destructions are likely to extend into more union councils. Regarding the flood 2007, People understand if River Nehing would have brought more water then one more UC (Balicha) would have been in the list of damaged villages.


Flood 2007 info:

Flood happened on 26 June 2007 that was resulted by the yem yin cyclones that originated in Bay of Bengal India, due to a sudden rising of the sea temperature. The cyclone hit the coastal belt of Balochistan. Heavy and torrential rain, have resulted floods everywhere. The water levels went high in the rivers and that have cause a massive flooding in Kech vellay. Nasirabad, Nodiz , Koshkalath, Gokdan, Kalatuk and Ginna has been destroyed, by the floods.  


This violated people houses, house hold properties, agriculture prosperities, people’s shops, crops, and domesticated animals. It did make 50000 people homeless. And government announced that rain indirectly have affected 2 million people in Kech.


Before the flood hit, people have evacuated the area and found shelter in government’s schools buildings. In the early days, it was announced that some 100 Camps would be established, but that was not accomplished so.


In the early days the Roads to Turbat from the main Cities of other provinces like Karachi to Turbat Road was remain Blocked at least for 15 days and that have hampered the relief provision. Many NGOs and Relief providing agencies purchased food and non-food items from the local market. But some time latter local Market Stock of food have completely worn out and the prices of food and fuel went high and due to that local people have suffered a lot.


The internal Road Network, which leads to Nasirabad and Nodiz, were remaining blocked because the Kech Bridge was damaged in the flood. And for some 8 days the relief could not reach to the other part of Kech.


Coordination of NGOs in Kech:

NGOs formed a coordination forum Kech Disaster Response Forum (KDRF) that was hosted by SPO.  Coordination was good and paved a way for the work of NGOs.  National, International and Local NGOs did take part and shared responsibilities.  In the early days IFRC did the reporting and later MRC did this task for the forum. Forum coordination was good as compare to other District of Balochistan. But due to unclear coordination mechanism and failing to apply clear-cut accountability measures the progress of the work and provision of relief was slow in the early days. For example in the early days few NGOs have booked places in their name and remained adamant to let any other NGO to work there. Even resources were available at some NGOs, but the possession of places remained an issues.


Along with local NGOs, Some international NGOs did the advocacy job very well like they mobilizes all players to carry out the emergency response on humanitarian ground and their input brought many changes and they itself contributed their services to many NGOs who were working in other areas they did install for them Tanks and provided them supply line.   In this whole business they did this job very well to build the pressure on NGOs and Government so as they not to overlook the work.


Frontier Corps Involvement:

In the early days when the NGOs were doing the food and Non-food items distribution they put lot of hurdles not letting NGOs to work on their own plan. For this few NGOs were having inclination to work with them but few INGOs, National and Local NGOs did resist that. They did not allow to work by violating the norms of humanitarian for example taking the armed personnel’s with them in distribution. Electronic and Print Media played a big role for highlighting this matter. 


Unicef, MSF, IFRC, PRCS, Oxfam, MRC, Save the Children UK, SPO, CWS, CRS, NRSP, FPAP, PAI, Khubaib Foundation, Al Kidmath Foundation, PMT, have responded the flood by distributing food, non food items, working on health, water and sanitation, camp management, psycho social, shelter provision, education, children protection, and hygiene promotion provision of sectoral training to volunteer and advocating people rights.


June 07 floods affected areas information:


Koshkalath: this is in the southern part of Kech and at some 4 kilometer towards west. Kosh means shoes and kallath mean fort, 2 or 3 decade earlier people used to make local shoes and an art chakan kari, were used on the them. This place was also damaged in 1998 flood. But this time it receives 5 times more destruction. This UC and its neighboring Union Council Gokdan People were not including in the compensation plan of the Mirani Dam.

At Koshkalat water did flow some 7 feet high from the ground, but at Nasirabad it was at some 15 feet high. Engineering surveys tell us that Nasirabad is at 272 sea levels. Water subsided in Nasirabad after 24 hours but in Koshkalath it stop flowing after 6 hours. This shows Koshkalat is at a higher place than the Nasirabad in the reference of Kech River bed.


Gokdan Village:

The village Gokdan and Danok, were damaged by the Sorap River that was happened by collapsing of check dam known as Sorap Dam. But the other parts like Tanzag, bindak, and Kor jo and Shinzdar those are at the strip of Koshkalath, but in the Gokdan Union Council were damaged by Kech River.


Nodiz, Nasirabad, Kaltuk and Ginna, had received damages due to Kech River water by up going of water level. In Solband village a group of people save their lives by climbing on a mosque and they stayed there, for 48 hours. And after 48 hours FC Helicopter had saved their lives.


Severity of damages:

Nasirabad damages are much more huge then the others in the list, 2nd worst is Nodiz then Koshkalat, Gokdan, kalatuk and Sari Khahn Union Council. 


Places completely vacated:


2-Meeroo bazzar



5-Nasirabad southern portions

6-Nodiz portions near to river



Issues of the affected People:

The rehabilitation and relocation of the people needs to be done, because people of Koshkalath, Tanzag, Bindak, Kore Jo and Shinzdar are in sheer danger because, they are in their previous places flood can turn to them any time.

Those who are dependent to agriculture and living in internally displaced people camps, are in problem, because they to expend much on commuting daily.


People often march on the roads of city to Government offices for demonstrating their angers they shall be compensated from the Mirani Dam compensation money, Land shall be provided to them and the Government shall construct a protection dam. 


District Coordination Officer Kech has announced that they did acquire 300 acre of land for the affected people 150 Acre of land will be provided to affected people and while on other 150 Acre of land Government would build a township. Along with this DCO Kech made another announcement that they did also get the approval from the provincial government and the protection wall for Koshkalat is included in the PSDP Fund of provincial Government.  


Regarding these projects people are having reservations for example a bad designed and sub standard materials dam can turned to be a mega disaster, because a Dam collapsing perhaps may not allow people to evacuate safely. 


And regarding the relocation land is small and affected people are too much. And what will be the criteria there is no such things laid that may satisfy people. And among people there is no unity on the matters they often has differing views on matters.


Nasirabad, Nodiz people have received their compensation from the Dam and new constructions can be seen at Nasirabad and Nodiz areas. But majority of the people are still in spontaneous camps. NGOs provided them transitional local huts as shelter still lot of people living there. Water supply systems of Nasirabad areas people is not on good manner because NGOs working there, they could not lay a good water supply network there. However people still using the dry pets' latrines in the camps.


The relocation matters of the Nasirabad, Nodiz, Kalatuk and Ginna, people can be done easily because there is lands availability in those areas and they can found lands little bet far from their livelihood but there will not be a big issue of commuting. But for people of Koshkalath and Gokdan Union councils, it will be an issue of commuting if they will be relocated.


Research and Report by:

Nasir Ali Sajjad

Freelancer Consultant








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