The Answer To Your Misery These Days

Paper%20Mullberry.jpgSpring has arrived in the Pakistani capital bringing clear skies and balmy weather but for many residents of Islamabad, spring heralds weeks of suffering and for some, it could mean death. Spring brings an explosion of pollen from paper mulberry trees, an east Asian species planted when the city was built in the 1960s that has thrived and infested its open spaces.

The trees produce levels of pollen that experts say are among the highest in the world. Islamabad was purpose-built in the 1960s, a small city with wide boulevards and plenty of greenery, on the edge of the Punjab plain, up against the foothills of the Himalayas.Designers planted paper mulberry on a massive scale. The trees were seen as ideal: they grow fast, provide good shade and bind the soil well. And they flourished.

The trees showed no mercy on native species. They have conquered most green areas, crowding out local flora and blanketing banks of the numerous streams that flow out of the hills and through the city. It is a very aggressive tree. It spreads quickly, grows fast and regenerates prolifically by all means

At that time, the people who were doing it did not know it would become a problem. The result was the number of trees increased in a small area, in one town, and with a lot of production of pollen at one time.

This year, the city is concentrating on hacking back the mulberry saplings that sprout so prolifically and also produce pollen. Workers have been cutting and bull-dozing, and spraying herbicide on inaccessible stream banks.

At the end of February the pollen from the male trees begins drifting through the air. In March it erupts, producing counts of up to 40,000 pollen grains per cubic metre of air. In the West, a pollen count of 1,500 is considered dangerous.

So most of you suffering from the so called Flu or the burning of eyes, and your throat pains as if you’ve got a cactus sticking in there, or have to bout with asthema attacks, you now have the answer to who is probably responsible.

2 Comments so far

  1. Tahir (unregistered) on March 6th, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

    yes, this is the news script which CNN is using at their website… what a pity…out of so many things happening in our country…they have always something like this to. they portray such a bad picture of Pakistan…that….anyway…. we all know what role western media plays in the world already..i am reminded of the comment from some blogger , who was told by a BBC official once “only bad news about pakistan sells”

  2. A for [pine]apple (unregistered) on March 6th, 2007 @ 3:52 pm

    Not to my misery these days :|

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