Heritage Foundation Pakistan recently handed over KotDiji Granaries Project to District Administration of Khairpurand commissioner Sukkur, after stabilizing and restoring the granaries through Heritage Foundation’s utilization of funding under the Prince Clause Fund and funds raised by Heritage Foundation itself. The three-domed structure which served as granaries were in terrible condition, with one dome lost completely to the elements, the second damaged partially and the third alsoshowing signs of stress and damage from erosion, before Heritage Foundation stepped in to salvage the situation.
The handing-over ceremony was attended by Abbas Baloch, Commissioner Sukkur, Fayaz Hussain Abbasi DC Khairpur, and other members of the local administration of Khairpur and adjoining areas, including local guests of note. Also present were Shahid Hussain Soomoro and his media team.
Opening the event, Naheem Hussain Shah, Project Manager Heritage Foundation, Pakistan spoke briefly about the work done by the Foundation in restoring the historic structures and thanked Abbas the Commissioner Sukkur for his continued support in all Heritage Foundation endeavours. Speaking on the occasion Abbas Baloch delved at length on the need to protect the historic and cultural heritage of Sindh, and appreciated the efforts of Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, especially founder and current chairman Yasmin Lari for being an inspiration and commended her untiring work towards preservation of Pakistan’s heritage. A tour of the granaries was enjoyed greatly by the guests with Naheem Shah regaling the visitors with interesting anecdotes of the history of the place and the project.
The conservation project has been especially designed by Heritage Foundation to show how bamboo and mud brick as well as burnt brick can beused to stabilize historic structures. This methodology, known as Lari Emergency Preventive Intervention (L-EPI) was developed earlier by HF when stabilizing the Tomb of Samma Noble I at Makli, which was also supported by the Prince Claus Fund. Work on the project started back in January 2015 and will be concluded in September 2016. The project did not come without its share of unique challenges, as it had to be carefully carried out without compromising the aesthetics of the domed structures. The innovative solutions provided consist of a remarkable 28’’diameter bamboo dome which covers the roof of one of the granaries, while the other two domes have been repaired completely and provide covered spaces which may be utilized to display historic artifacts.
It may be noted that since its inception in 1980 Heritage Foundation of Pakistan has been committed towards the goal of preserving the cultural and historical heritage of Pakistan, with their recent efforts concentrated on the preservation of Maklialong with KotDiji, and projects also in Shangla.
It is hoped that KotDiji’sgranaries will be eventually turned into a museum to showcase the cultural and historic richness of Khairpur for the benefit of school children.