John Mock & Kimberley O'Neil



Shimshal Natural Resources Program
2nd Annual Report (1995)

Written by the teachers and students of Shimshal village, Gojal, Northern Pakistan

Translated into English by John Mock
Compiled and edited by Kimberley O'Neil

Introduction

The Nihon University Global Activity Group of Tokyo, Japan introduced the Shimshal Natural Resources Program in 1993. Through this program, young people of Shimshal observe the environment so they may learn about the relationship between the physical and social environment. The program is organized under the following principles:

  • Students at the middle school level are organized into several groups, each of which takes responsibility for studying a particular topic.
  • Each group then collects and compiles information about one of the following topics:
    • Nature
    • Calendar
    • Livestock
    • Population
    • Daily Life
    • Weather
    • Tourism
    • Politics
    • Societal Management
    • History
    • Agriculture
  • A teacher is assigned to each group and supervises the students' research.
  • The research is conducted outside of school hours.
  • Each group prepares a written report on its topic.

The benefits of the Shimshal Natural Resources Program are:

  • Students and teachers obtain a better awareness and understanding of Shimshal's physical and social environment.
  • Participants strive to improve environmental conditions, which provides opportunity for intellectual development.
  • Students learn to accurately compile statistical data.
  • Students learn to recognize environmental changes.
  • Through studying the Shimshal Natural Resources Program reports, Shimshal village will be better able to address environmental concerns in the future.

In this report, we have attempted, as far as possible, to present accurate statistics. This 1995 report has been compiled as a joint effort of the teachers and students of the Shimshal Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee (DJ) Middle School and Federal Government Middle School Shimshal. Research was conducted during November 1995.

1.0 Nature by Sher Ali

The word nature connotes a wide range of meaning that is difficult to convey in these few paragraphs, and whatever we write here cannot begin to convey the vastness of nature. One sense of nature is that of natural law, which is the basis of our entire universe, and according to whose rules it operates. It is God's command that humanity study God's creation. In the holy Quran it is written (Ankabut 20):

Oh Prophet! Set your feet in motion so that you may seek out the origin of life.

Another verse teaches (Inam 99):

Study the stages of growth and ripening of the fruit of trees.

The study of God's creation and discovery of its true nature requires of us a pure heart and open eyes. The Prophet (PBUH) teaches that "God's nature is that which has created humanity. God's creation never changes. This is God's truth." From this saying of the prophet, it is clear that it is only God who creates; according to this basic principle humanity and the entire universe was created. There can be no changing this except through God's will. In several places the holy Quran tells us to carefully observe nature. And 756 times our attention is directed to the study of the universe. It is this very study that has altered humanity's course. Those who have engaged in the study of nature have made significant progress, and attained a level that is the birthright of all humanity. Through striving to comprehend the principles of nature, humanity has transcended the limits of our planet to the far reaches of the solar system.

We here in our remote mountain area may not have access to all the resources in other parts of the world, yet this should not be an excuse for neglecting the study of nature. We hope that this report can be a beginning to our deeper study of nature and the world in which we live and will be a useful initial study of Shimshal's unique physical environment and its botanical and biological life.

1.1 Topography

Shimshal is located in the Karakoram range. The elevations range from Shimshal village (3108 metres) to the highest summit Destughil Sar (7885 metres). To the north of Shimshal lies Chinese Turkestan; to the east, Baltistan; to the south, Nagyr; and to the west, Gojal/Hunza. The Shimshal area lies between 75 to 76 east longitude and 36 to 37 north latitude.

1.2 Altitudinal Zones

Shimshal area has three main altitudinal zones: the lowest zone where crops can be cultivated (roughly around 3000 metres); alpine pasture zones (around 4000 to 4500 metres); and high permanent snow zone of the mountain summits (above 5000 metres). Between the cultivated areas and the alpine pasture zones are largely barren areas with mostly artemisia (sage) vegetation and occasional juniper stands.

1.2.1 Areas Under Cultivation

The largest area is Shimshal village and its adjacent smaller settled areas. This area supports the population of Shimshal, and is the only permanently inhabited section of the entire Shimshal region. The main Shimshal village consists of three parts, from east to west: Khizarabad (Chukurth Dasht); Center Shimshal; and Aminabad (Shulalaksh), all along the southern bank of the Shimshal River. Also on the same side of the river, but further west, is the newer settlement of Rezgeen-e-ben. On the north side of the Shimshal River, where the Zardgarben stream joins the Shimshal River is [insert name], further west, also on the north side of the Shimshal River, and across from Rezgeen-e-ben, is the newer settlement of Qalandarabad (Tang-e-dasht). All these areas produce both wheat and barley as main crops. Besides these settled areas in the Shimshal River valley are several areas in the Ghujerab River valley which are not permanently inhabited. Notable among these are Spey, where wheat can be grown, and Dih, where only barley ripens. In the Pamir region along the Braldu River, crops are cultivated at Chukor, Gozkhun, Shaukhun, and Ferokh Diyor, where wheat ripens.

1.2.2 Alpine Pasture Zone

These summer meadows are used as seasonal livestock pastures, as well as being grazed by wild ungulates. The Pamir is the largest and most important of these alpine pasture zones. Besides the Pamir, other pasture areas are Ghujerav, Lupgar, Khurdopin, and Yazghil.

1.2.3 Mountain Zone

Approximately 80% of the Shimshal region falls into this high mountain zone. The mountain zone can be divided into two distinct sub-zones: those areas not under permanent snow cover; and those areas under permanent snow cover.

1.2.3.1 Areas Not Under Permanent Snow Cover

Significant mountainous terrain not under permanent snow cover includes Amras mountains, the largely rocky summits and ridges that run from the Qarun Pass to the Pamir; Khurdopin Tupop, which lies to the north of the Khurdopin Glacier; the Chat Pirt massif and connected rocky ridges along the south bank of the Pamir-e-Tang River; the Ghujerav range, which extends from the Khunjerav Pass to the Pamir; and the largely snow-free mountains of the Pamir region. Numerous passes, usually snow-free during the summer, cross the ridges of this lower mountain sub-zone. The better-known passes among them follow in Nature Table 1.

Nature Table 1: Passes in Areas Not Under Permanent Snow Cover
Name of PassElevation (in metres)
Qarun4873
Boesam4725
Chafchingol5100
Shpodeen5270
Uween-e-sar4420
Shachmirk4160
Shimshal4420
1.2.3.2 Areas Under Permanent Snow Cover

The Hispar Muztagh range, which separates the Shimshal region from Nagyr and Baltistan, has many high peaks, including Destughil Sar (7885 metres), the highest peak in all Hunza, Nagyr, and Gojal. Other major summits of the range are:


Nature Table 2: Major Peaks in the Hispar Muztagh
Name of PeakElevation (in metres)
Lupgar Sar7200
Momhil Sar7343
Tiliver (Trivor)7728
Yazghil Dome7324
Kunyang Chhish7852
Pamiri (Pumori) Chhish7492
Yukshin Garden7641
Kanjut Sar7760

Above Shimshal village itself rises beautiful Adver Sar (also known as Shimshal White Horn), an unclimbed summit of approximately 6500 metres.

1.3 Glaciers

Descending from the snowcapped summits of the Shimshal region are many large glaciers. Among the more well-known are: Avdegar; Lupgar; Momhil; Mulungutti; Yazghil; Shungditk; Yukshin Garden; Khurdopin; Virjerab; Braldu; Wesem; Spey; Dih Dest; Chafchingol; Bari Yaz Paras; Shuijerav Dest; Shuwerth; and Waliyo. Two high glaciated passes cross the Hispar Muztagh range: Lukpe La or Braldu Pass (about 5700 metres), which crosses from the Braldu Glacier to the Sim Glacier and Lukpe Lawo (Snow Lake); and Khurdopin Pass (5790 metres), which crosses from the Khurdopin Glacier to Lukpe Lawo.

1.4 Flora and Fauna

1.4.1 Mammals

Brown Bear (Ursus arctos; nogordum in Wakhi) - Bears occasionally enter the Shimshal region from adjacent Chinese Turkestan. Bears feed on grasses, berries, roots, and small animals. During winter, they are largely inactive and hibernate in caves. In the spring, they emerge, typically quite hungry, and remain active until the start of winter.

Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes; shapt in Wakhi) - Wolves also enter the Shimshal region from Chinese Turkestan. These carnivores prey on wild ungulates, small mammals, and also on domestic livestock. They inflict the largest loss on domestic livestock of any predator.

Snow leopard (Panthera uncia; pes in Wakhi) - Snow leopards, a rare animal throughout its range in the high mountains of Asia, inhabit the entire Shimshal region, though their numbers are small. Snow leopards are also carnivores, and prey on small animals and wild ungulates. They also occasionally prey on domestic livestock.

Himalayan Ibex (Capra ibex sibirica; yuksh (male) and merg (female) in Wakhi) - Ibex are found throughout the Shimshal region at high elevations. They are extremely agile climbers and belong to the goat family. Males exhibit a great range of seasonal altitudinal movement; females and immature ibex do not move to the same heights as males.

Blue Sheep (Pseudois nayaur; ramapoi in Wakhi) - Blue sheep are most abundant in the Pamir region, but are also found in Chat Pirt and Ghujerav. Although they are called sheep, they actually exhibit characteristics of both sheep and goats, and hence are classified between true sheep and true goats. Blue sheep are not as agile as ibex, and are typically found on more open and grassy areas. Blue sheep range throughout Nepal, Tibet, and Indian high mountain regions, and Shimshal is the western extent of their range.

Tibetan Wild Ass (Equus hemionus kyiang; kulan in Wakhi) - This member of the horse family occasionally visits the Shimshal region along the Muztagh River from Chinese Turkestan.

Cape Hare (Lepus capensis; sui in Wakhi) - The Cape Hare, a type of rabbit, is extremely common in the Shimshal region. Although the heavy 1990 rain and snowfall reduced their number, their population has increased steadily since then. They are significant pests in newly cultivated areas, where they damage crops and young trees.

Tibetan Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes montana; nakchir in Wakhi) - Fox are also widely found in the Shimshal region. They have large annual litters of as many six kits.

Wild Dog or Dhole (Cuon alipnus; kitk in Wakhi) - Dhole is a member of the dog family. It has not been observed in the Shimshal region for about 15 years. It has a black face. It is more common in Chinese Turkestan. Although it has not been properly classified, it may be the animal known commonly as wild dog. The reasons for its current absence in the Shimshal region are not known.

Vole (Alticola roylei; purk in Wakhi) - This small rodent is found year-round in every home and house in Shimshal, and in shepherd's homes in summer pastures. Its full name is Royle's High Mountain Vole.

White ermine/Alpine Weasel (Mustela erminea/Mustela altaica; mol frinjin Wakhi) - This is a long-bodied, long-tailed small mammal. It frequently inhabits caves. In Shimshal, it is also called mergitch peritch in Wakhi. It has a rodent-like snout, thick brown fur, and its body is about one foot in length. Its tail is black-tipped. Its brown fur molts to white in the fall and winter. It preys on voles, small birds, and crows.

Pika (Ochotona macrotis; shashk in Wakhi) - This large-eared, tailless animal burrows among rocks in the alpine and sub-alpine areas. Its thick fur protects it from the cold. Although this animal looks like a rodent, it is actually classified with rabbits and hares.

1.4.2 Birds

Birds (tapinisht in Wakhi) of the Shimshal region are of two types: migratory birds and permanent year-round birds.

1.4.2.1 Migratory Birds
  • Wakhi (English)
  • batbat (goose)
  • bogmaiyun [yellow, short beak, same size as hudhud]
  • chilulu [black water bird with red legs]
  • chol yoch [white head]
  • chilbobuk (hoopoe) [hudhud]
  • didang palulu [black, larger than a duck, short beck, short legs]
  • dist wingus
  • dunglai
  • dunglik (grey heron) [also used to refer to a crane]
  • gadimkhur [smller than hudhud, bigger than wingus]
  • kapu [bluish, bigger than hudhud]
  • khar yoch
  • kirgus (Himalayan Griffon)
  • kirzhepch (magpie)
  • legleg (black crane)
  • mindalich (black swallow)
  • payali
  • qrich (falcon)
  • shiyak wingus (a type of sparrow)
  • tarnai (white crane) [red bill]
  • tazqara (Eurasian Griffon)
  • tiro [small grey song bird]
  • wulch [black, larger than swallow, comes in autumn]
  • wuzuma nuchk [duck, bigger than dunglai]
  • yirgot (Bearded vulture, Lammergeier)
  • yoch (duck)
  • yoch buch [feather on crown]
  • yurj [smaller than sparrow]
  • yurj wingus (a type of sparrow)
  • zharzh wingus (a type of sparrow) [possibly a dipper, seen in Shimshal Pamir]
1.4.2.2 Permanent year-round birds
  • Wakhi (English)
  • arichan [grey/brown, size of sparrow]
  • bos (medium-sized raptors eg, peregrine falcon)
  • bospur (golden eagle)
  • chukar (chukor)
  • deez wingus
  • khirz (ram chukor)
  • kim (owl)
  • liboy (starling)
  • qarga (chough)
  • qarting (snow partridge)
  • shend (raven)
  • sheed #1 (lark)
  • sheed #2 (finch)
  • [sheed possibly house sparrow, rose finches, mountain finches]
  • titiq [same size as sparrow]
  • tsus (all thrushes and pipits; also Hume's short-toed lark)
  • yurz

1.4.3 Insects and Spiders

Insects include both flying and non-flying varieties. All insects have six legs, whereas spiders have eight legs. Common flying insects include: bee; butterfly (chelmindok); fly (maks); flying ant; and moth. Common non-flying insects include: ant (mirprich); bed bug (khavzut); black beetle (lal beg); lice (shish); termite; tick (kuwind); ? (dodog); ? (ozankarch); ? (bicchu); and various plant pests. Several varieties of spiders are common to Shimshal.

1.4.4 Plants

Shimshal lies in an arid climate zone. The high Karakoram mountains prevent most of the summer monsoon rains of South Asia from reaching Shimshal. Most precipitation falls as snow above 5000 metres. Hence, there are no significant forests in the Shimshal region. Stands of ancient, slow-growing juniper are found in certain areas favorable to their growth, but these are not extensive. Most vegetation occurs along side streams. Wildflowers and grasses are abundant in alpine pastures as snow melts. All cultivation in the Shimshal region is dependent upon irrigation.

1.4.4.1 Native Plants
  • Wakhi (English)
  • algun
  • chrir (wild rose)
  • furz (birch)
  • kangr
  • shaw
  • targ (tamarisk)
  • targoq (a type of poplar)
  • wunik (willow)
  • yarz (juniper)
  • zolg
1.4.4.2 Cultivated Plants
  • Wakhi (English)
  • branzh (mulberry)
  • cherry (cherry)
  • chuan (apricot)
  • mur (apple)
  • safida (poplar)
  • sariqoli (a type of willow)
  • shaft alu (peach)
  • tar (walnut)
1.4.4.3 Wildflowers
  • Wakhi (English)
  • amber
  • banafsha
  • chamuru (wild thyme)
  • chir jos
  • chrir (wild rose)
  • dunspreg
  • gul marwoi
  • gul siri
  • mimon spreg
  • nwich
  • sat berg
  • shadon bayt
  • sharwishn
  • shilm
  • shog shog
  • tal khating
  • yirogn
  • zart spreg

The lists are not necessarily complete inventories of all mammals, birds, insects and or and plants found in the Shimshal region. Any additions, corrections, or suggestions are welcome.

2.0 Calendar by Ali Aman

Forthcoming.

3.0 Livestockby Hussan Bibi

Livestock Table 1: 1995 Shimshal Livestock Population
Animal Male Female Total Per Household
YAK
Calf (new-born) * 85 99 184
One-year old 67 69 136
Two-year old 55 49 104
Adult 223 313 536
Total Yaks 430 530 960 8.0
COW
Calf (new-born)* 34 35 69
One-year old 24 17 41
Two-year old 12 19 31
Adult 113 145 258
Total Cows 183 216 399 3.3
DONKEY
Foal (new-born) 3 3 6
One-year old 0 1 1
Two-year old 0 0 0
Adult 7 18 25
Total Donkeys 10 22 32 0.3
GOAT
Kid (new-born) * 354 383 737
One-year old 301 312 613
Two-year old 194 160 354
Adult 1218 1551 2769
Total Goats 2067 2406 4473 37.3
SHEEP
Lamb (new-born) * 229 237 466
One-year old 154 151 305
Two-year old 109 115 224
Adult 720 832 1552
Total Sheep 1212 1335 2547 21.2

* Also indicates the total number of milk producers in 1995.

According to the 1994 data, there were 842 yaks. In 1995, this number increased by 118, or 14%, to 960. The average number of yaks per household increased 0.35%. Compared to 1994 data, the total number of cows increased by only one, even though seven cows were purchased during the year. Disregarding the cows purchased in 1995, there was a net decrease of 2%. The total number of donkeys increased from 1994 to 1995. The average number of goats per household is almost double compared to sheep. Compared to 1994 statistics, the current total of sheep and goats has decreased significantly because the 1994 data was collected by students without supervision of teachers, increasing the probability of errors in the 1994 data, and some households inaccurately reported their 1994 livestock holdings. To resolve these problems in data collection in 1995, the responsibility for livestock data collection was given only to students of the DJ school, and a teacher supervised the data collection and accompanied the students to every household. Hence, the 1995 statistics are significantly more accurate than that of preceding years.


Livestock Table 2: 1995 Shimshal Dairy Production
Production per day (per animal) Production 15 May to 15 Oct
Animal Total Animals Average daily milk production per animal (litres) Milk (litres) Butter (kg) Cheese (kg) Milk (litres) Butter (kg) Cheese (kg)
Produced in Shimshal Pastures
Yak 184 3.00 552.0 23.0 57.5 85008 3542 8855
Goat 737 0.33 245.7 10.2 25.6 37838 1571 3942
Sheep 466 0.33 155.3 6.5 16.2 23916 1001 2495
Total Pastures 1387 n/a 953.0 39.7 99.3 146762 6114 15292
Produced in Shimshal village
Cow(1) 69 3.00 207.0 8.6 21.6 31878 1325 3326
Total Village 69 n/a 207.0 8.6 21.6 31878 1325 3326
Total Production 1456 n/a 1160.0 48.3 12.09 178640 7439 18618

It should be noted that the people of Shimshal depend heavily upon livestock for income and for survival. Without livestock, neither agriculture nor agricultural work would be possible. Animals numbers in Shimshal are the largest in Gojal tehsil and the average number of yaks, goats, and sheep per household is significantly greater than other Gojal villages. (2)

Actual pasture dairy production is more than what is shown on Livestock Table 2. Only those milk-producing animals are counted whose new-born young (calves, kids, and lambs) remained alive for a full year. Those animals were not counted that were giving milk for a second year, nor were those milk-giving animals counted whose young (i.e., calves, kids, and lambs) died.


Livestock Table 3: 1995 Shimshal Livestock Sales
Animal Total Rate (Rs) per animal Revenue (Rs) Total Revenue (Rs)
YAK
Male 25 15000 375000 -
Female 12 6000 72000 -
Other 3 600 1800 -
Total Yaks 40 - - 448800
COW
Male 5 6000 30000 -
Female 5 5000 25000 -
Other 0 500 0 -
Total Cows 10 - - 55000
DONKEY
Male 0 n/a 0 -
Female 0 n/a 0 -
Other 0 n/a 0 -
Total Donkeys 0 - - 0
GOAT
Male 137 1200 164400 -
Female 63 600 37800 -
Other 6 50 300 -
Total Goats 206 - - 202500
SHEEP
Male 30 800 24000 -
Female 20 400 8000 -
Other 8 30 240 -
Total Sheep 58 - - 32240
Total Sales 314 - - 738540

Livestock Table 4: 1995 Shimshal Livestock Purchases
Animal Total Cost (Rs) per animal Expense (Rs) Total Expense (Rs)
YAK
Male 8 9000 72000 -
Female 2 6000 12000 -
Other 2 600 1200 -
Total Yaks 12 - - 85200
COW
Male 3 6000 18000 -
Female 4 5000 5000 -
Other 0 500 0 -
Total Cows 7 - - 38000
DONKEY
Male 0 n/a 0 -
Female 0 n/a 0 -
Other 0 n/a 0 -
Total Donkeys 0 - - 0
GOAT
Male 4 1200 4800 -
Female 8 600 4800 -
Other 0 50 0 -
Total Goats 12 - - 9600
SHEEP
Male 0 800 0 -
Female 2 400 800 -
Other 0 30 0 -
Total Sheep 2 - - 800
Total Purchases 33 - - 133600

Livestock Table 5: 1995 Shimshal Livestock Slaughtered (for household consumption)
Animal Total Value (Rs) per animal Value (Rs) Total Value (Rs)
YAK
Male 17 15000 255000 -
Female 16 6000 96000 -
Other 0 600 0 -
Total Yaks 33 - - 351000
COW
Male 2 6000 12000 -
Female 8 5000 40000 -
Other 0 500 0 -
Total Cows 10 - - 52000
DONKEY
Male 0 n/a 0 -
Female 0 n/a 0 -
Other 0 n/a 0 -
Total Donkeys 0 - - 0
GOAT
Male 92 1200 110400 -
Female 67 600 40200 -
Other 0 50 0 -
Total Goats 159 - - 150600
SHEEP
Male 75 800 60000 -
Female 29 400 11600 -
Other 0 30 0 -
Total Sheep 104 - - 71600
Total Slaughtered 306 - - 625200

Livestock Table 6: 1995 Shimshal Livestock Deaths
Animal Total Value (Rs) per animal Value (Rs) Total Value (Rs)
YAK
Male 1 9000(3) 9000 -
Female 5 6000 30000 -
Other 52 600 31200 -
Total Yaks 58 - - 70200
COW
Male 7 6000 42000 -
Female 13 5000 65000 -
Other 19 500 9500 -
Total Cows 39 - - 116500
DONKEY
Male 0 n/a 0 -
Female 0 n/a 0 -
Other 0 n/a 0 -
Total Donkeys 0 - - 0
GOAT
Male 6 1200 7200 -
Female 32 600 19200 -
Other 123 50 6150 -
Total Goats 161 - - 32550
SHEEP
Male 2 800 1600 -
Female 43 400 17200 -
Other 87 30 2610 -
Total Sheep 132 - - 21410
Total Deaths 390 - - 240660

Most livestock deaths result from starvation, which typically occurs in late winter or early spring when grass is covered by snow. All values for sale, purchase, slaughter and death of livestock are based on 1995 average market rates for Gojal.


Livestock Table 7: 1995 Shimshal Livestock Population Changes (Value in Rs)
Animal Sales (+) Purchases (-) Slaughtered (+) Deaths (-) Total
Yak 448800 -85200 351000 -70200 644400
Cow 55000 -38000 52000 -116500 -47500
Donkey 0 0 0 0 0
Goat 202500 -9600 150600 -32550 310950
Sheep 32240 -800 71600 -21410 81630
Total 738540 -133600 625200 -240660 989480

Livestock Table 8: 1995 Potential Shimshal Carpet (palos) & Coarse Woolen Cloth (CWC)/(pattu) Production
Animal Age Total Animals Animal's hair per carpet Carpet = yak/goat CWC = sheep Rate (Rs) per carpet/roll of pattu Total (Rs)
Yak One-year old 136 40 3.40 6000 20400
Two-year old 104 35 2.97 6000 17820
Adult Male 223 8 27.87 6000 167220
Adult Female 313 20 15.65 6000 93900
Total Yaks 776 - 49.89 - 299340
Goat One-year old 613 50 12.26 2000 24520
Two-year old 354 35 10.11 2000 20220
Adult Male 1218 15 81.20 2000 162400
Adult Female 1551 30 51.70 2000 103400
Total Goats 3736 - 155.27 - 310540
Sheep One-year old 305 20 15.25 800 12200
Two-year old 224 18 12.44 800 9952
Adult Male 720 12 60 800 48000
Adult Female 832 15 55.46 800 44368
Total Sheep 2081 - 143.15 - 114520
Total - 6593 - 205.16

143.15

- 724400

Data in Livestock Table 8 represents potential production. Actual pattu production is significantly lower. Presently, apart from pattu weaving, wool is also used to fill quilts and for saddle pads for donkeys. The size of a typical carpet is two or 2.5 metres wide by five metres long; pattu is two feet wide by nine yards long.

4.0 Population by Mohammad Khaliq

Population data for 1994 and 1995 follows in Population Table 1 and Population Table 2. Statistics from 1994 are included to illustrate changes in population.

Population Table 1: Shimshal Population as of December 31, 1994
Age Group Male Female Total by age group Total as % of total population
Adult (16 years or older) 289 264 553 53.53%
Child (15 years or younger) 227 253 480 46.47%
Total by gender 516 517 1033 -
Total as % of total population 49.95% 50.05% - 100.00%

Population Table 2: Shimshal Population as of December 31, 1995
Age Group Male Female Total by age group Total as % of total population
Adult (16 years or older) 308 280 588 54.60%
Child (15 years or younger) 228 261 489 45.40%
Total by gender 536 541 1077 -
Total as % of total population 49.77% 50.23% - 100.00%

One change in Shimshal's population is the increase in the total number of females. In 1994, the total female population (517) was one greater than that of the total male population (516). In 1995, the total female population increased to 541 and became five greater than the total male population (536).

Population Table 3: 1995 Shimshal Population by Age
Age Range Male Female Total % of total population
0 to 5 years 99 108 207 19.2%
6 to 10 years 63 82 145 13.5%
11 to 15 years 66 71 137 12.7%
16 to 20 years 59 57 116 10.8%
21 to 25 years 48 47 95 8.8%
26 to 30 years 40 34 74 6.9%
31 to 35 years 33 30 63 5.9%
36 to 40 years 30 29 59 5.5%
41 to 45 years 29 29 58 5.4%
46 to 50 years 21 17 38 3.5%
51 to 55 years 12 12 24 2.2%
56 to 60 years 10 18 28 2.6%
61 to 65 years 10 3 13 1.2%
66 to 70 years 10 1 11 1.0%
71 to 75 years 3 1 4 0.4%
76 to 80 years 2 1 3 0.3%
81 to 85 years 1 0 1 0.05%
86 to 90 years 0 1 1 0.05%
Total 536 541 1077 100.00%

One regrettable fact about the population is that elderly individuals are quite few in number. For example, the total number of individuals over 66 years is only 20, the total over 70 is only 9, the total over 80 is 2, and there is no one over the age of 90. The reasons for the lack of elderly individuals, and for individuals typically dying between the ages of 50 and 70 needs to be determined.

Population Table 4: 1995 Shimshal Adult & Child Populations
Gender Adult Adults as % of Adult population Child Children as % of Child Population
Male 308 52.38% 228 46.63%
Female 280 47.62% 261 53.37%
Total 588 100.00% 489 100.00%

Population Table 5: One-year change from 1994 to 1995 in Shimshal Adult & Child Populations
Adult (16 years or more) Child (15 years or less)
Year Male Female Total Male Female Total
1995 308 280 588 28 228 261 489 33
1994 289 264 553 25 227 253 480 26
Change 19 16 35 3 1 8 9 7


1995 Shimshal Population
  • Adult Female 26.0%
  • Adult Male 28.6%
  • Female Child 24.2%
  • Male Child 21.2%


Despite the relatively even balance between the total male and female populations, a closer look indicates the following:

The 1995 adult male population (308) is 28 greater, or 4.76% higher, than the 1995 adult female population (280). However, the 1995 child female population (261) is 33 greater, or 6.74% higher, than the 1995 child male population (228). If this trend continues, it may alter the societal balance between adult males and females in the future.

The adult population (16 years or older) is only 54.60% of the total population, whereas the child population (15 years or younger) is a staggering 45.4% of the total population.


Population Table 6: 1994 and 1995 Shimshal Birth Rates
Gender 1994 1995 One-year change
Male 24 25 1
Female 15 26 11
Total 39 51 12
Birth Rate as % of total population 3.93% 4.94% 1.01%

In 1995, the birth rate increased by 1.01% to 4.94%, which is over 2% above the already high national birth rate for Pakistan. Given this rate of increase, it is probable the birth rate will soon exceed 5%. Due to the birth rate increase and lack of resources in Shimshal, Shimshal's population cannot remain healthy. This uncontrolled growth rate inevitably will lead to a lack of progress in both the societal and educational spheres.

Population Table 7: 1994 and 1995 Shimshal Population by Birth Place
1994 1995
Location Male Female Total Male Female Total One-year total change
Shimshal 504 464 968 522 486 1008 40
Gilgit 7 4 11 8 6 14 3
Karachi 5 5 10 6 5 11 1
Chapursan 0 2 2 0 3 3 1
Karimabad 0 1 1 0 1 1 0
Gulmit 0 4 4 0 4 4 0
Avgarch 0 6 6 0 5 5 (1)
Hussaini 0 5 5 0 5 5 0
Ghulkin 0 13 13 0 13 13 0
Passu 0 12 12 0 12 12 0
Khaibar 0 1 1 0 1 1 0
Total 516 517 1033 536 541 1077 44

Population Table 8: 1994 and 1995 Shimshal Death Rates
1994 1995 One-year change
Gender Adult Child Total Adult Child Total
Male 2 7 9 4 4 8 (1)
Female 3 5 8 2 1 3 (5)
Total 5 12 17 6 5 11 (6)
Death Rate as % of total population - - 1.65% - - 1.02% (0.63%)
Death Rate as % of adult & child populations 0.90% 2.50% - 1.02% 1.02% - -

The 0.63% decrease in the death rate as a percentage of the total population from 1994 to 1995 may be attributed to better availability of health care. This trend might be expected to continue because deaths usually occur due to illness and the poor standard of living. The resulting decrease in the elderly population is a cause for regret.

Based on the 1994 and 1995 birth and death rates, estimates of the total Shimshal population over the next 10 years project an overall increase in total population ranging from 20% to 32%.

Population Table 9: 10-year Shimshal Population Projection
Range 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Low-end 1102 1127 1153 1179 1206 1234 1262 1291 1320 1350
High-end 111911631209125613051 3561409146415211581

Population Table 10: 1994 and 1995 Shimshal Marital Status
Year Marriages Divorces
Total between Shimshalis Others
1995 11 10 1 1
1994 10 7 3 n/a
Change 1 3 (2) n/a

Of the 11 couples married in 1995, 10 were between Shimshalis and one woman married a man from Chapursan. Of the 10 couples married in 1994, seven were between Shimshalis, two women married outside Shimshal village, and one man married a woman from Chapursan. In 1995, only one couple divorced. In the past, Shimshal's divorce rate has been higher than that of other villages in Gojal, but in 1995 it decreased dramatically.

Population Table 11: 1994 and 1995 Shimshal Residences
1994 1995
Location Male Female Total % Male Female Total % One-year change
Shimshal 435 500 935 90.5% 455 513 968 89.9% 33
Outside
Gilgit 19 6 25 2.4% 25 13 38 3.5% 13
Karachi 43 11 54 5.2% 34 11 45 4.2% (9)
Other 19 0 19 1.7% 22 4 26 2.4% 7
Total Outside Shimshal 81 18 98 9.5% 81 28 109 10.1% 11
Total 516 517 1033 100% 536 541 1077 100% 44

The tendency of people to seek a more peaceful environment outside of Shimshal, if examined, is similar to the preferences of people throughout the world to leave the village for the city (ie, rural to urban migration). Note the decrease in the number of individuals residing in Karachi from 1994 to 1995. In 1995, nine students failed examinations and returned from Karachi to Shimshal. Despite this, the overall percentage of those choosing to reside outside of Shimshal increased by 12, or 0.6%.

Population Table 12: 1994 and 1995 Shimshal Employment
1994 1995
Male Female Total % Male Female Total % One-year change
Total Population 516 517 1033 100% 536 541 1077 100% 44
Less Children 5 years or under (94) (105) (199) 19.3% (99) (108) (207) 19.2% 8
Less students (of any age) enrolled in school (160) (125) (285) 27.6% (150) (113) (263) 24.4% (22)
Available Labor Pool 262 287 549 53.1% 287 320 607 56.4% 58
Occupations (of those individuals in available labor pool)
In Shimshal
Farmer 202 0 202 36.8% 183 0 183 30.1% (19)
Housewife 0 251 251 45.7% 0 262 262 43.2% 11
Teacher 10 3 13 2.4% 10 3 13 2.1% 0
Health Worker 6 2 8 1.5% 6 3 9 1.5% 1
Retired Army 18 0 18 3.3% 21 0 21 3.5% 3
Business n/a n/a n/a n/a 4 0 4 0.7% n/a
Carpenter n/a n/a n/a n/a 8 0 8 1.3% n/a
Other 10 1 11 2.0% 21 2 23 3.8% 12
Total In Shimshal 246 257 503 91.6% 253 270 523 86.2% 20
Outside Shimshal
Army 11 0 11 2.0% 12 0 12 1.9% 1
Business n/a n/a n/a n/a 4 0 4 0.7% n/a
Driver n/a n/a n/a n/a 3 0 3 0.5% n/a
Guide 3 0 3 0.6% 3 0 3 0.5% 0
Engineer 1 0 1 0.2% 1 0 1 0.2% 0
Journalist 1 0 1 0.2% 1 0 1 0.2% 0
Total Outside 16 0 16 2.9% 24 0 24 4.0% 8
Unemployed 0 30 30 5.5% 10 50 60 9.8% 30
Total 262 287 549 100% 287 320 607 100% 58

Carefully examining the employment statistics, it is evident that 94.06% of the total Shimshal population directly or indirectly depend on the village resources. Only 5.94% derive their revenue from sources outside Shimshal village.

In 1995, the number of salaried employees was 70, or 11.5% of the labor pool, most of whom work within the village.

The number of individuals working in Shimshal village increased from 503 in 1994 to 523 in 1995, This represents a decrease of 5.4% from 91.6% in 1994 to 86.2%, which illustrates rural to urban migration.

Although there is no shortage of natural resources in Shimshal, there is a lack of modern technical expertise through which these resources can be utilized. This expertise can only be acquired through education.

In these modern times, everyone is aware of the important of education. Without education, one cannot even dream of progress or development. Unfortunately, the prevailing circumstances in Shimshal are such that educated/literate individuals are the minority.

Population Table 13: 1994 and 1995 Shimshal Educational Achievement
1994 1995
Level Male Female Total % Male Female Total % One-year change
Primary 98 76 174 47.3% 75 49 124 39.4% (50)
Middle 73 32 105 28.5% 65 39 104 33.0% (1)
Matric 30 18 48 13.0% 27 17 44 14.0% (4)
FA 22 1 23 6.3% 23 1 24 7.6% 1
FSC 1 0 1 0.3% 5 1 6 1.9% 5
BA 13 1 14 3.8% 10 0 10 3.2% (4)
BSC 1 0 1 0.3% 1 0 1 0.3% 0
MA 2 0 2 0.5% 2 0 2 0.6% 0
MSC 0 0 0 0% 0 0 0 0% 0
Total 240 128 368(4) 100% 208 107 315 100% (53)

Science is a vital tool in this modern era, yet in this field there are almost no students. Currently, out of the total student population, there are only six students enrolled in FSC and only one in BSC (Engineering). It is also worth noting that students usually fail and return to Shimshal. Should this trend continue, then the following poem by Iqbal will be true of Shimshalis.

Should our people's thoughtless state prevail, our funeral bath will come from Kabul, our coffin from Japan... (i.e., we won't even be able to bury our own dead).

The terms literate/educated and illiterate/uneducated are used interchangeably in the following charts. Literate/educated indicates those individuals who have completed 8th class (i.e., middle school). Literacy can be attained at an earlier age, however individuals who do not complete 8th class tend to forget how to read and write.


Shimshal Adult Literacy (Adults 16 years or older)

  • Literate Females 10.0%
  • Literate Males 23.7%
  • Illiterate Females 37.6%
  • Illiterate Males 28.7%
  • Literate Adults [Female & Male] 33.7%
  • Illiterate Adults [Females & Males] 66.3%


Population Table 14: 1994 and 1995 Educational Status of Shimshal Children
1994 1995
Male Female Total % Male Female Total % One-year change
Total Children in population 227 253 480 - 228 261 489 - 9
Less Children 5 years or under (ie, too young) (94) (105) (199) - (99) (108) (207) - (8)
Potential number enrolled in school 133 148 281 100% 129 153 282 100% 1
Enrolled 123 116 239 85.1% 126 104 230 81.6% (9)
Not enrolled 10 32 42 14.9% 3 49 52 18.4% 10

The total number of children of school age and enrolled in school decreased by 10, or 3.5% overall. Unfortunately, the number of female children of school age and not enrolled in school increased measurably by 7, from 42 to 49, representing a 6.0% increase from 11.4% in 1994 to 17.4% in 1995. Two apparent reasons for this unhealthy trend are: the inability or unwillingness to pay school fees for female children; and the parents' desire to keep the female children at home for household chores.


Shimshal Child Educational Rate (Children 15 years or younger)

  • Educated Female 21.3%
  • Educated Male 25.8%
  • Uneducated Female 10.0%
  • Uneducated Male 0.6%
  • Females 0 to 5 years 22.1%
  • Males 0 to 5 years 20.2%
  • Educated Children [Female & Male] 47.1%
  • Uneducated Children [Female & Male] 10.6%
  • Children [Female & Male] 42.3%


Shimshal Literacy/Educational Rate (% of Total [Adult & Child] Population

  • Literate Adult Female 5.5%
  • Literate Adult Male 12.9%
  • Illiterate Adult Female 20.5%
  • Illiterate Adult Male 15.7%
  • Educated Female Children 9.7%
  • Educated Male Children 11.7%
  • Uneducated Female Children 4.5%
  • Uneducated Male Children 0.3%
  • Female Children 0 to 5 years 10.0%
  • Male Children 0 to 5 years 9.2%

5.0 Daily Life by Fatima

Forthcoming.

6.0 Weather by Raza

Forthcoming.

7.0 Tourism by Ghulam Beg

Tourists visiting Shimshal during this period were from nine countries: Australia (2); Austria (5); France (1); Germany (11); Pakistan (3); Singapore (1); Switzerland (4); UK (5); and US (3).

8.0 Politics by Daulat Amin

Forthcoming.

9.0 Societal Management by Mohammad Amin

Forthcoming.

10.0 History by Amanullah

Forthcoming.

11.0 Agriculture by Mohammad Amin

Forthcoming.


End Notes

1. Butter and cheese production (for cows) has been estimated. Most of this milk is consumed in tea.

2. Data for Morkhun and Hunza is from 1994 Aga Khan Rural Support Program (AKRSP) documents.

3. A yak being bred for sale is not being used for work and has more value than other yaks.

4. In 1994 those who attended and failed were counted, whereas in 1995 only those who attended and passed were counted (ie, those that failed were not counted). This discrepancy accounts somewhat for the total decrease of 53.

Copyright © Shimshal Natural Resources Program, 1997-2006


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