HEROSHAH -- The change is drastic: around the Heroshah region in Malakand District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), previously arid hills are now covered with forest as far as the horizon.
In 2015 and 2016 some 16,000 labourers planted more than 900,000 fast-growing eucalyptus trees at regular, geometric intervals in Heroshah. The titanic task is just a fraction of the effort across KP.
"Before it was completely burnt land. Now they have green gold in their hands," said forest manager Pervaiz Manan as he displayed pictures of the site previously, when only sparse blades of tall grass interrupted the monotonous landscape.
The new trees will reinvigorate the area's scenic beauty, reduce erosion, help mitigate climate change, decrease the chances of floods and increase chances of precipitation, said Manan, who oversaw the revegetation of Heroshah.
Residents also see them as an economic boost -- which officials hope will deter them from cutting them down for firewood in a region where electricity can be sparse.