Thursday, July 22, 2010

This is Sindh of Mighty River Indus without Water.

A view of Sindh River.—APP/File photo [Courtesy Daily Dawn] Activists of the Awami Tehreek staged a sit-in for six hours on the National Highway at Hatri bypass here on Wednesday in protest against reopening of the Chashma-Jhelum link canal, release of water into Greater Thal canal, proposed construction of Bhasha-Diamar dam and tribal. A large number of men, women and children, raised slogans against what they called a theft of Indus water. Speaking on the occasion, chief of the Awami Tahreek Rasool Bux Palijo said that Sindh was the creator of Pakistan but it was being pushed against the wall. He said Sindh was passing through the worst phase of its history and alleged that the government wanted to destroy the province. The government was following an international conspiracy against the country, Mr Palijo said and added that rulers had always acted against the interests of the country under the dictates of foreign powers. He expressed solidarity with all the oppressed nations of the world and accused America of imposing its hegemony on the international community. - HYDERABAD: Sindh Irrigation Minister Murad Ali Shah has said that the provincial government plans to move the Council of Common Interests (CCI) to address shortcomings of Water Apportionment Accord 1991. He called for doing away with lacunas of the accord like operation principles of two dams — Tarbela and Mangla — link canals, sharing of shortages and surplus of water flows. “That’s why we are in process to move to CCI, Mr Shah told Dawn on telephone. The minister said that he is perturbed over the fact that non-availability of criteria how to fill and empty dams creates problems and said that procedure how to open link canals is not documented. “Differing opinions over sharing of shortages and surplus create a big difference because Punjab has a different reading of the situation when there is shortage as it always talks of sharing them as per historic usages, he said. Punjab invokes para-2 of the accord which refers to usages of water between 1972 and 82 but Sindh insists that after criteria of three 10 dailies (allocation for first, second and third 10 days of a month under 14-A and B clauses to reflect seasonal allocations, the historic usage formula gets redundant”, he said. REFERENCES: AT activists protest against reopening of C-J canal Bureau Report Thursday, 22 Jul, 2010 Sindh plans to move CCI on water accord By Mohammad Hussain Khan Thursday, 22 Jul, 2010

نه سي تڙ هــوڙاڪ، نه وايـــون وڻـــجارن جون
سرتيـــون سامونڊين جا، اڄ پڻ چڪيم چاڪ
مـــاريــــنـــم فــــــراق، پــاڙيــچيــون پــريــن جا
[Courtesy: Xafar Sindhi]

Minor Interpretation of the verse above:

بندر تي نـ اُهي ٻيڙيون آهن، نڪي وڻجارن جون اهي رهاڻيون ئي آهن. اي سرتيون! اڄ منهنجي اندر ۾ سامونڊين جي ڦوڙائي جا ڦٽ پيا ڪڙهن. اي پاڙي واريون! مون کي پـرينءَ جي وڇوڙي جا سور ٿا مارين ـ

شاھ جو رسالو ـ ڪلياڻ آڏواڻي‬

[Courtesy: Xafar Sindhi]

A Docudrama shot on the once fertie Indus River showing the consequences of damns & their effect upon the populations down river. The struggling fisher folk (Mallah) of Sindh are almost all but striped of their ancestral profession, source of food & income. All 'actors' are real Mallah's without any film knowledge. The desert shots are of the actual river bed of the once mighty Indus river as it is today, without life...[Note: The ZBGlobalProduction were courteous enough to produce the Docudrama in Sindhi Language as well, click the LINKS IN URL]

Courtesy: ZBGlobalProduction

Courtesy: ZBGlobalProduction

Courtesy: ZBGlobalProduction

KARACHI (October 20 2005): Pakistan Fisher-folk Forum Manager Programmes Zulfiqar Shah a young research scholar has warned that if enough water was not made available to the Indus Delta the mangrove forests would deplete inviting natural disasters like cyclones. The Indus Delta is on the verge of destruction, the bio-diversity, ecosystem, and agronomy of the delta are threatened from the lack of water flowing dwn from Kotri barrage. The Indus Delta needs at least 35 maf (million acre feet) of water only to survive in present state, Zulfiqar said. Zulfiqar Shah’s study report on Indus Delta is under publication. After completing his masters in philosophy from Sindh University Jamshoro, Shah took to research on water and development issues. Being a member of International Rivers Network, Society for South Asian Studies (UK) and International Society for Philosophers Sheffield University UK, he holds international repute in his fields. Zulfiqar Shah maintains that when he realised that water was the major issue of Sindh, he decided to work over it and come up with the latest information. Whereas, the research on Indus Delta was simply inspired by the poetry and cultural history of Sindh, he quipped. He revealed that historically the entire area of lower Sindh was a delta. "Actually, there were two major deltas, one was Sarsvati in Run of Kuch, and the second is the Indus Delta.

"Sarsvati has dried up long ago," he said adding, "There are only remnants of this delta while the Indus Delta is also dying gradually." Referring to the degradation of the Indus Delta, he said disasters like earthquake and tsunami had immediate effects, but the Indus Delta was going through a slow and gradual death so it could not attract the public eye. "The degradation started way before the partition of Pakistan and India when mega projects in the Punjab were constructed and the first urbanised port of Sindh Sokhi Bander Island was destroyed. Sokhi Bander existed near the mouth of Indus Delta, close to Malh and Mutni creeks and inhibited by more than 30,000 peoples," Shah said. "Rice mills existed there. The sanitation system of Sokhi worked better than that of a medium-level city. It was the first victim of mega projects till the 1955," he added. Pointing out towards other aspects of the degradation, he said according to the official figures of the Sindh Board of Revenue some 1.22 million acres of the fertile land went under sea intrusion until 2001. "But, the number has reached to around 2 million acres till the March 2005 in the eight Talukas of two districts of Thatta and Badin," he said that the data was collected from the local farmers and landowners.

He did not agree with the views of one official of the Board of Revenue that the sea intrusion was the cause of the cyclone. "Cyclone could not have such a large impact to change the hydrology of the local ponds and lakes from sweet water to saline," he stated. "Cyclone could not be blamed for the sea intrusion, cyclones also hit other countries but there is no case of the sea intrusion," he said. He said that construction of mega projects destroyed the topography of the Indus Delta. "At Sajawal Bridge (Thatta city) the ecology of the Indus River has changed to marine from sweet water composition, although Thatta is 40 kilometres away from the mouth of the Indus," the self styled scholar claimed. Highlighting the gravity of the situation Zulfiqar said that drinking water available in Thatta has 15000 tds (total dissolved solvents) in it, whereas according to World Bank health standards nearly 5,000 tds is the maximum acceptable level for the human consumption and solvents above this level are disastrous leading to the severe diseases. He attributed the high child mortality rate and pregnancy related deaths to rising tds ratio of Indus water, "The mortality rate among new born is 18 per cent, and mothers 15 per cent." He lamented that in some areas of Sindh one gallon of irrigation water was being sold for Rs40, which was used for the drinking purpose by the thirsty masses. Discussing the socio economic impacts of the degradation he said that the market value of 2 million acre fertile land facing sea intrusion is worth more than the benefits of the dams. Referencing to the current three studies over sea intrusion, ecology and environmental impacts and water requirement in Pakistan, he criticised the Sindh Government saying that it had accepted the ToRs of the studies, which were harmful to the Sindh and the delta. "Sindh should not have agreed over the ToRs of the report titled ‘Seawater Intrusion’, which only covers sea intrusion in the river while ignoring the destruction of the whole delta." He mentioned, "consultants were given the task to verify the water requirement downstream Kotri and not to suggest the alternatives, which is absolutely against the 1991 water accord." Finally, he said that the Indus Delta should be provided at least 35 maf to 46.3 maf water for sustainability, "rehabilitation is addition to it, which needs more water," he concluded. REFERENCE: News Channel Indus Delta needs 35 maf water to survive By Shahid Shah

Indus Delta dying by Mega Projects.

COURTESY: saeedcheeta [Paskistan Fisherfolk Forum]

KARACHI: It was a unique event in which hundreds of women carrying babies, gathered under a wide area covered by tents to raise their voice against the project, which has almost destroyed their livelihood source for generations. Belonging to fishermen, farmers and herdsmen families, the ordinary stakeholders participated in the programme to show their anger against the World Bank-funded project Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD). The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum convened a Peoples Tribunal, comprising Retired Justice Rashid A Rizvi, Karamat Ali, Director Piler and Jami Chandio, the head of Center for Peace and Civil Society (CPCS), recently outside Badin Town. Stakeholders, water experts, victims, government officials and non-government organizations representatives participated in the Tribunal. Laung Mallah, 50, a victim of the project, describing his plight said he never imagined about what hundreds of the fishermen families are facing at the natural lake ‘Narreri’, internationally recognized Ramsar site, touching Badin and Thatta districts in Sindh province. The Narreri Lake linked to the sea receives poisonous water through the LBOD and other drains. LBOD collects excess irrigation water, saline seepage, pump saline groundwater, rainfall runoff and industrial and municipal wastewater, ending into the sea at Zero Point, Badin District and polluting fresh water lakes near there. Jhubo Lake, also declared Ramsar Site has been destroyed after 1999 Cyclone and now it is no more the attractive for marine life, birds and fishermen. “About 10 years ago we were spending a happy life, with more catch of fish, hunting migratory birds and taking water vegetables at the lake. But now not only fish is dying by poisonous wastewater but no vegetables are there. Migratory birds do not visit the lake, which is dying gradually due to receiving waste of sugar mills, agriculture, municipal institutions, forcing hundreds of families to migrate.

“We are unable to catch more fish from the lake, as it has been turned into poisonous. Women travel several miles to fetch water from neighboring areas for domestic use,” Mallah said. Siddiq Mallah, 55, belonging to Mehar Dandal village, located at Narreri Lake said floods in monsoons and high tides in the sea, breaching in the LBOD and other linked drains had put the lives of hundreds of families at stake. They have lost loved ones, along with the boats, fishing nets, shelters and cattle heads in the past incidents. Therefore, they have been living under fear that they may face similar incidents in future. Local grower Natho Khan, 70, said there were more wildlife, fish and plants species which have disappeared due to receding fresh water in the River Indus and its tributaries, inundating fertile land. He called the LBOD project as disastrous, which has caused displacement of the communities.

Iqbal Haider, head of the Laar Humanitarian Development Organisation quoting history told The News that Karo Goongro canal, carrying rainwater and irrigation water was to feed the Shakoor Lake, comprising 300sq km— sharing water with India. About 96sq km of the Lake comes under Pakistan while major part of the lake comes under the Indian part. Narreri, Kandri, Jhubo, Sanhro and Mahro lakes, all declared wetland centers, have become poisonous, depriving hundreds of families of their source of livelihoods, Haider pointed out. LBOD aimed to drain out saline water and storm runoff, from 127 million acres of land in three districts Nawabshah, Sanghar and Mirpurkhas of Sindh Province to alleviate water logging and salinity. LBOD project was to bring drainage effluents from the upstream and dispose it of into the Arabian Sea, via the Tidal Link Canal. However, due to some technical problems the drainage effluents instead of going into the sea started destroying lands and internationally recognized wetlands.

Prof Shahab Mughal, Researcher and teaching in Mehran University of Engineering and Technology said the project induced problems like flooding, sea intrusion, loss of crops and agriculture land, reduction in fish catch and loss of lives but nobody cared to overcome these faults. Mughal told The News that the National Drainage Programme (NDP) consisted of 1673 drainage wells, 361 scavenger wells, 1623km surface drains, 1500km tile drains, 295km interceptor drains, 2700km electrical distribution lines, remodeling of 470km canals and Chotiary Reservoir with storage capacity of 0.70 million acre feet (maf). He said the WB had ordered an inquiry into alleged violations of its policy guidelines in implementation of Pakistan’s LBOD project and NDP that caused large scale loss to the people, ecological system and agriculture in Badin and adjoining coastal areas of the province. Wapda General Manager Ghulam Ali Soomro negating the version of the affected families and water experts and civil society members said there was no any fault in the feasibility of the project. He justified the feasibility of the project saying had LBOD not been established the wide area of the district Badin would have inundated into the salinity and sea intrusion.

It was the LBOD that has protected the life and source of livelihood of hundreds of families residing in the area. The salinity was increasing that might have caused wide destruction and displacement of the communities, deriving their livelihood there. Soomro said the Pakistan government is negotiating with the Indian authorities to release the waste through drains into the major Shakoor Lake. Because, he said earlier the neighbouring country’s government took objection over the release of effluent into the lake sharing water with India. He was optimistic about the project, saying they are redesigning it (project) to avoid such losses in future. He contradicted the point raised by experts and said: “if it is true that the agriculture has been destroyed and lands inundated in the area due to LBOD why the number of sugar mills has increased from four earlier to seven at present?” The government officials reveal that when the project was being designed there was sufficient irrigation water and more torrential rains, feeding natural lakes and was prosperous for marine life. Retired Justice Rashid A Rizvi announcing the verdict in the light of public reaction, experts viewpoint and official response, said “planning of the LBOD has failed. Therefore, there should be an independent commission to assess the losses faced by the community, environment, ecology and marine life in the entire affected area.” He said there should be initiated a mega rehabilitation programme for the affected community, ecology and ensure it’s proper implementation. In this regard, he suggested to compensate the affected communities and the loss of environment. Apart from this he said the government should block the Tidal Link, which is responsible to this human loss and environmental degradation. The Jury head also urged the Sindh Coastal Development Authority to focus on the people of Indus Delta, affected by this mega project. He said in future the government should ensure participation of all the stakeholders before designing any project so that it can avoid losses to the life and livelihood of the community. He responding the official version pointed out that if the feasibility of the project was right and fault-free why the government is redesigning the same project. It proves that there was a defect, which caused this problem, destroyed sources of livelihoods and creating uncertainty among the locals. REFERENCES: The News, November 2, 2008 Stakeholders raise voice against LBOD project in ‘People’s Tribunal’ November 02, 2008 By Jan Khaskheli Dawn, 6 November 2008 Editorial LBOD: victim of flawed planning Content from the People’s Tribunal of 2007 and a campaign letter to the World Bank 1. Awami Adalat ( Peoples Tribunal) —Badin - 19th September 2007 Awami Adalat ( Peoples Tribunal)

Rivers of Pakistan by Aziz Sanghur Part 01.flv


Global warming is increasing in the average temperature of the earth. As a result the earth is getting hotter and the glaciers started melting in Pakistan.

There are more than three hundreds glaciers in Pakistan, which are located in northern areas of Pakistan. We get 70 percent water from these glaciers and 30 percent water from rains. The agricultural ecosystem can collapse due to global warming and associated risks as it is feared that rising temperature can lead to catastrophes like droughts, water shortages, productivity and biodiversity loss across the world. 70 percent of the total land of Pakistan is located in arid and semi-arid regions, while droughts and loss of biological productivity are common phenomena in the country. Pakistan is confronted with environmental deterioration in agro-ecosystem and it may cause change in land use due to contamination of farmlands by chemical pollutants from industries. Pakistan is an agricultural country. Eighty percent of its agricultural output comes from the Indus Basin. Pakistan has one of the world's largest canal systems.

Rivers of Pakistan by Aziz Sanghur Part 02.flv


The construction of Tarbela Dam began 1968 and completed in 1974, at cost of USD 1,497 Million on the Indus River. Tarbela Dam is the largest in the world formed by an earthen dam. There is a power house, which generate three thousands and five hundreds MW per day. This dam is not in good condition and is needed to be cleaned.

This is a picture of Jehlum River which flows from India and enter in Pakistan. It has a total length of 774 kilometers.

Rivers of Pakistan by Aziz Sanghur Part 03.flv


The Mangla Dam located in Mirpur District in Azad Kashmir. It was built on Jehlum River, at a cost of 6.5 billion, funded by World Bank. There is a power house that generates one thousand MW per day. Chenab River flows form Himachal Pradesh India and enter in Pakistan. It is merged with Jhelum, Sutlaj and other five rivers near Uch Sharif. But in 1960, Pakistan and India had signed an agreement on water sharing. After that pact Pakistan lost three of its rivers including Sutlej, Beas and Ravi. This treaty divided the use of rivers and canals between the two countries. Pakistan obtained exclusive rights for the three western rivers, namely Indus, Jehlum and Chenab. And India retained rights to the three eastern rivers, namely Ravi, Beas and Sutluj. The treaty also guaranteed ten years of uninterrupted water supply. Written By Aziz Sanghur

The majestic River Indus originates at 5183 metres above sea level in the glaciers of northern slopes of Kailash Parbat in Tibet. Starting as a tricklet, it collects rainwater and melting snow from a catchment area of 940.000 sq km to become one of the mightiest rivers of the world, ten times bigger than Colorado River and twice as large as the Nile.

On its long voyage of more than 3,000 km it is augmented by 10 major rivers __ Kabul, Swat, Kunhar, Haro and Soan in the northern Frontier Province and Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej and Bias at Panjnad in the province of Punjab. The ferocious Indus, more than a million cusecs at its peak flood time, passes through 500 km of Sindh province to disperse in the salt water of Arabian Sea. This large body of water varying widely between 200 to 120 million acre feet (MAF), depending upon the quantum of rainfall and snowfall in the Himalayas, provides agricultural and water needs of 130 million people of Pakistan and lately a large population of India. But for the province of Sindh it has a unique and significant presence.

Flowing through the whole length of Sindh and literally bisecting it River Indus inundates, a swatch of land, at an average 4 km wide, during its peak flood season (July 20 to Sep 30). For this strip of about 2 million acres, 595,000 acres of which are dense forests and 600,000 acres rich grazing land, River Indus is the only life line providing it with rich nutrient and moisture. At the ends of its travel the river cascades into a delta where, over the centuries, it has developed a 650,000 acre thick mangrove forest which sustains exotic and colourful life in plants, reptiles and mammals.

All of this, and much more is under threat now. Since 1859 when through upper Bari Doab Canal water was first drawn from Ravi, 19 barrages and 43 canal heads with 48 offtakes have been built on Indus River system creating world's largest contiguous man-made system consisting of 61,000 km of canals and 105,000 water courses, irrigating 35 million acres of land. When in 1960 Indus Basin Treaty was signed between India and Pakistan, India was apportioned the exclusive use of Ravi, Sutlej and Bais and further right on the water of remaining 3 rivers to irrigate 1.3 million acres of land. In compensation Pakistan was helped to build three storage dams: Mangla on Jhelum river for storage of 6.4 MAF and Tarbela and Chashma on river Indus for storing 11.9 MAF and 1.8 MAF, respectively.

The effect of the loss of three rivers to India and demand of further 114 MAF for irrigation needs of 4 provinces of Pakistan has reduced the once mighty Indus to a trickle when it passes through Sindh.

Kalabagh dam

While the kutcha area and deltaic eco-system is under threat of their survival, government of Pakistan and Punjab and the most populous and powerful province, wish to build a mega dam professedly to generate 3600 MW electric power and store 6.1 MAF water but to actually draw a further 6 MAF water through 2 canals to irrigate 2 million acres.

Rivers of Pakistan by Aziz Sanghur Part 04.flv


The consequences of Kalabagh will be felt severely by Frontier Province:

1. 182,000 acres of productive land will be lost under the reservoir.

2. 34,000 people will be displaced (with another 59,000 in Punjab).

3. Nowshera, a sizeable city of Frontier Province, will be threatened (Nowshera town itself will stand 24 feet below on the height of Kalabagh storage) with, at worst, horrible termination if the dykes break, or at best, serve degradation of land by water-logging in about 20 years times.

Sindh the worst sufferer of degradation of nature

1. Availability of Water:

As lower riparian, Sindh has suffered the most due to ill-planned and ill-conceived withdrawals of water from Indus river system. Despite much tinkering of figures by those who favour Kalabagh dam, fact remains that measured at rim stations of the 3 western rivers (Indus at Kalabagh, Chenab at Mangla and Jhelum at Marala), the water availability 4 years out of 5 (80 percent probability) is 123.59 MAF. The water accord between provinces of Pakistan signed on 15.3.1991, apportions 114.35 MAF for their needs and the system losses (occurring in the bed of the rivers) projected by WAPDA is 10 MAF (much below the actual system losses of 16.2 MAF calculated by WAPDA between 1977-91, after Tarbela dam was constructed). The balance is negative 0.76 MAF flowing into the sea.

Rivers of Pakistan by Aziz Sanghur Part 05.flv

2. The inundated kutcha lands:

The Indus inundates an average 4-km wide strip of kutcha land of about million acres, 595,000 acres of which are thick forests and another 600,000 rich grazing lands. This strip husbands a substantial number of cattle, goats and fowls and economically sustains about one million people. All this is now threatened.

i) The progressive decline of water over the last 50 years has led to soil erosion and accretion so that succession of fresh plants is considerably on the decline. The riverain forest is slowly but surely dying.

ii) Many plants specifically grow in kutcha areas. One such species, populous Enphratica, the timber of which is exclusively used for Sindh's famous craft, Janjhi (bright, colourful furniture) is fast approaching extinction.

iii) Loss of moisture coupled with wind erosion has caused soil degradation and consequent desertification. No survey has been conducted recently but it is estimated that 2 million heads of cattle are reared on 600,000 acres of the grazing lands of kutcha. Further degradation will extract enormous cost in the shape of loss of dairy and meat products and economic and social well being of a million people.

iv) With recession of water comes drying up of wells and ponds in kutcha area, leaving no water for human or animal consumption.

3) The natural lakes

i) The changing of River Indus over millions of years has created thousands of lakes and ponds in Thatta and Badin, two southern districts of Sindh. Inundation of River Indus and consequent availability of water in canals helps fill up these lakes.

There is growing awareness among people to commercially raise fish in such ponds and many have started doing so. With shortage of water in Indus, a promising source of protein generation as well as economic well being of so many people will not materialise.

ii) Sindh is home to some of Asia's largest natural lakes, the Manchchar, Haleji,

Hadero, Keenjhar and Chotiari. Manchchar the 700 sq km. lake in Dadu, that can store 1 MAF, and Chotiari in Sanghar that can store 0.4 MAF are filled through inundation of Indus. These lakes are winter and summer home to thousands of migratory birds from Kazakhstan and Siberia, who use what is known as "Indus Fly Way" to fly thousands of kilometres in a marvelous and awe-inspiring phenomena so as to beat the severe Siberian winter. All this is threatened to be lost for ever. The 222 type of birds that are so far reportedly seen in Haleji, Hadero, Meenjhar (Kalari) and Chotiari ranging from Pelicans to Pintails and from Black Drango to white swams make these lakes a bird watcher's paradise and have been declared a wild life sanctuary by the government of Sindh.

Rivers of Pakistan by Aziz Sanghur Part 06.flv


4. Mangrove forests are not "wastelands"

The mangrove forest in Indus delta is spread over 650,000 acres and is the 6th largest mangrove forest in the world. Fed through the nutrient carried by 100 million tons of silt by river Indus each year, the mangrove estuaries are the most productive forests, protecting and nurturing thousands of botanic, aquatic and wildlife species. According to World Conservation Union (IUCN 1991), "The mangroves are the principal components of the delta ecosystem, without them and the nutrients they recycle and the protection they provide, the other components of the ecosystem will not survive __ mangrove estuaries provide ideal nursery grounds for many commercial fish species specially prawns." The other wildlife species supported by mangroves is propoises, jackals, wildboars, reptiles, migratory fowl bird, 3 species of dolphins of the mangrove habitat is destroyed then the continued existence in the Indus delta of all those will be threatened, (IUCN Korangi ecosystem Project 1991).

5. Economic significance of mangrove forests

The mangrove estuaries are 4-5 times more productive than tropical estuaries without mangroves (IUCN). Compared to an agricultural land-growing wheat, acre for acre, mangrove is 3 times more productive. Significant economic benefits of mangrove are:

I) Timber resources for fuel wood and buildings.

ii) Fodder and grazing for cattle, goats and camels.

iii) Fisheries within the delta area.

iv) Fisheries for species using delta as nursery. It should be noted that Pakistan earned 2.25 billion rupees from the fish production of 0.4 m tons (1989 figures) most of which pass some part of its life in the mangrove estuaries of Indus Delta especially prawns.

v) Coastal protection from erosion.

vi) Employment of approximately 100,000 people and sustenance of their families in the Indus and its deltaic fishing industry.

Rivers of Pakistan by Aziz Sanghur Part 07.flv


6. Health problems

There are about 40 major cities located on the banks of Indus or its tributaries. The raw sewerage of which is discharged directly into the water of Indus. Added to the decreasing quantity of water flowing in the river, the population has crested on epidemic like situation in Sindh where water borne diseases have registered a 200 percent increase in the last 2 decades.

An epidemic of eye disease known as viral conjunctivitis originates from Karachi and ravages the whole country almost every year. This viral infection is directly attributed to polluted water.

Respect nature: There is increasing awareness among the people of the world that nature has established a Blanca of elements that must not be disturbed in the name of development unless advantage of such a development far outweigh the disadvantages.

Out of the 40,000 small and big dams erected throughout the world, more than half of which are in China, many have brought prosperity and well being to the people but in the case of most mega dam the result is destruction of ecosystem, pollution of water and degradation of soil that enormously outweigh the advantages.

All those favouring Kalabagh dam must know that there is hard scientific evidence, collected in the United States and available to any one, that destruction of forests and mangroves leads to destructive erosion, loss of bio-filtration function and drastic reduction of biological productivity. Natural forest and mangrove forest development is an incremental process, that takes 50 to 60 years for the trees to mature. When the soil is removed through erosion, a nutrient recycling becomes difficult due to shortage of fresh water, reforestation will be much more time consuming and the forests start to die. In the United States, Colorado rivers used to flow into Gulf of California. With the construction of huge Hoover dam and myriad other hydro electric dams, the flow to the sea disappeared with horrific results wiping out entire Mexican fishing villages and denying a substantial part of northwest Mexico of its share of Colorado's water, The United States will be making reparation to Mexico forever.

There are alternatives to building mega dams.

The reasons advanced for building Kalabagh dam are:

(i) Production of 3600 MW of electric power and

(ii) Storing 6.1 MAF water, at a cost of US $ 5.0 billion (1987 cost). This cost has escalated to US $ 8.0 billion in Oct, 1996.

So far power generation is concerned, it has been established around the world that small storage dams and power generation units are much more feasible and maintainable than mega dams. WAPDA has estimated potential of 30,000 MW on streams and rivers up north. Ghazi-Barotha is such a project that can produce 1450 MW and is a run of the river project that does not propose storing water. Other identified sites are Dasu, Bhasha, Thakot, Skardu and Banji. About storing water, all dams so far built, or proposed to be built, on Indus River System, are such that they will store about 150 MAF water in flood season for release in the lean period of the same year for wheat sowing (Rabi) season. Addition of 6.1 MAF of Kalabagh is expected to appreciably increase availability of water. However all dams are drained by 31st December of the same year. Super floods occur in Indus River Systems once in every 5 or 6 years when more than a million cusecs water flows out of sea. If there were a dam to store this water, most of Pakistan's problems concerning water availability would be over. Aswan high dam in Egypt can store 124 MAF of water and can withstand 9 consecutive lean year (1978-1987). Unfortunately no site for such a dam has been identified in Pakistan.

Water conservation strategy

Out of the 114.35 MAF apportioned to all the 4 provinces of Pakistan 50 to 60 percent or roughly 60 MAF, is lost in the system (15 MAF is lost in river beds, 10 MAF through canal embankments and the rest, 25 to 35 MAF, in water courses and on farms). This percolation of water renders 100,000 acres of farms into a water-logged waste every single year. Although losses through river beds cannot be stopped, at a fraction of the money earmarked for Kalabagh dam (US $ 5.0 billion at 1987 price) the entire 105,000 water courses in the irrigation network of Pakistan can be lined and crash training programme mounted for farmers in the proper leveling of farms and in water management, reclaiming at least 10 to 12 MAF double the storage capacity of Kalabagh. The added benefit will be the appreciable reduction in water-logging and consequent degradation of soil. REFERENCE: Kalabagh Dam: An Ecological Disaster.
Abrar Kazi Source: The Frontier Post, Peshawar Pakistan.

People of Thar Yearning for Water- By ActionAid Pakistan


District Tharparkar is one of the most impoverished and marginalized areas of interior Sindh, Pakistan, with almost 90% of the households living below the poverty line. Given the extreme poverty, many families are indebted to the local money lenders who give loans at very high interest rates thereby trapping people in virtual slavery. The causes of poverty are many, the main causes being vast unemployment, lack of resources, lack of marketing skills, low literacy particularly among women (2% or less), lack of health services and failure of government to provide livelihood infrastructures to the poor masses of Tharparkar district. About 40% of the one million of population comprise of Hindus and remaining 60% is Muslims in District Tharparkar. The quality of education is very low. The teachers are not adequately trained to provide quality education and most of them have no inclination for teaching, they are incompetent and remain absent for most of the time. There is no proper monitoring of schools from the government education department, therefore the teaching standard is very poor. In Nagar Parkar another factor for low education is the drought and migration of parents outside of Nagar Parkar for finding work to maintain themselves. When the parents migrate during the drought, it also results in the heavy drop out of children from schools. As there is no one to look after the children going to schools, they are forced to migrate with parents suspending their education. This some times results in the permanent drop out due to situation beyond their control. People think that if there would be some facility like hostels, these children could stay in hostels and carry on their education. REFERENCE: Primary School Support Project in Nagarparkar July to Dec 2007 Fozia Rajput Programme Manager PVDP

A Prayer for Rain-By ActionAid Pakistan-part 1.DAT

A Prayer for Rain-By ActionAid Pakistan-part 2.DAT


صوبہ سندھ کا ضلع تھرپارکر بارہ لاکھ افراد کی آبادی اور چار بڑی تحصیلوں پر مشتمل ہے ، لیکن صحت عامہ کے حوالے سے پورے ضلع میں صرف ایک ڈسٹرکٹ ہسپتال صدر مقام مٹھی میں موجود ہے، ایسے میں تھرپارکر کے لوگوں کو کس قسم کی طبی سہولیات میسر ہیں یہ جاننے کی کوشش کی ہے نامہ نگار نخبت ملک نے اپنی اس خصوصی رپورٹ میں۔

Courtesy: BBC Correspondent Nakhbat Malik.

Water logging and salinity affected areas - Large areas of good agriculture land have been converted to waste land due to water logging and salinity in Sindh since the seventies. The worst affected areas are Shikarpur and Larkana districts where rains since 2003 have made the situation worse and a large population have been pushed into deep poverty. The poverty has increased tribal conflicts as the economic cake shrinks. Tribal war between Jatoi and Mehar tribes and lost production due to salinity is increasing poverty in the Shikarpur region. This is leading to malnutrition and disease of all kind. It is also increasing the violence against woman in the area where in June 2006 alone 577 women were killed in the name of "Honour". Tribal wars, water logging, and salinity causing extreme poverty in Sindh Written by Our Correspondent Friday, 23 April 2010 12:21 Tarique Khan Javed

Lake Manchar is dead

In mid-May this year, Hyderabad in Pakistan's Sindh province was hit by a severe diarrhoea epidemic. The pestilence, which lasted for two months, claimed 38 lives — mostly children. An unpublished World Health Organisation report cites contamination of Hyderabad's water's supply by untreated waters of the Manchar Lake, as one of the causes. The lake's waters reached the city via the Indus River, which was in spate. "As a result,' says the report, "its heavy salt content could not be adequately diluted.' A fact-finding report of the Pakistan's Human Rights Commission also blamed the lake's waters for the calamity, signifying a terrible irony: Manchar, which once gave livelihood to fishing and agricultural communities and life to several migratory birds had turned toxic.

Located 18 kilometres west of Sehwan in Dadu district of Sindh and 300 kilometres north of Karachi, Manchar is a vast natural depression surrounded by Khirthar Range hills in the West, the Lakki hills in the East and a flood embankment in the Northeast. It is Pakistan's biggest freshwater lake; some even say it is Asia's biggest lake, though that is debatable. But today it would be more apt to describe Manchar as a grim cesspool of agricultural effluents, including pesticides.

How did that happen?

The lake's misfortune can be traced back to 1982, when Pakistani authorities remodelled the Main Nara Valley Drain: built in 1932 by British colonialists to control floods in the Hammal Lake in southern Sindh and to protect the low-lying areas of the province, the water body was now turned into a drain to carry industrial runoff and agricultural effluents into the Arabian Sea. But then how did that affect the Manchar? The remodelled drain — now called the Right Bank Outfall Drain — did not work and was redirected to Manchar. The authorities assumed that freshwater from the Indus and from the torrents that gush down the Kirthar hills during the rainy season — the two sources of the lake — would dilute the effluents. That was a big mistake. For, Manchar's two sources don't provide it enough water to clean effluents. Flows from the Indus are drying up because of barrages and dams in its upstream. Moreover, the thinning down of Himalayan glaciers means that rainfall in Sindh is extremely erratic; so the Manchar does not receive much water from the torrents either. Environmentalists Naseer Memon and Zubaida Birwani note that, "The mean annual rainfall in Dadu is 4.43 inches (112.5 millimetres) while annual evaporation is about 80 inches (2,000 millimetres). Therefore, very little runoff is generated in catchments of hill torrents. The lake gets recharged only when there is heavy rainfall, which usually happens once in three years.'

A community vanishes

This has meant that Manchar can provide scarce support to communities who have lived by it for centuries — perhaps even ages. Amongst them are fisherfolk called the Mohanas. Architect and town planner Arif Hasan — who also writes on environmental issues — says, "Folklore has it that the Mohanas are descendants of people of the Indus Valley Civilisation. Some suggest that the word Mohenjodaro is a corruption of Mohana-jo-daro — the tomb of Mohanas.' They are a fast dwindling community today. According to Ghulam Mustafa Mirani, vice-chairperson, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, "There were once 60,000 Mohanas at the lake. Their population has dropped to 25,000 today because of droughts over the last five year and increasing effluents in the lake.' (See graph: Rising poison)

The community's source of livelihood has suffered a lot. As per a report of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) — an independent think-tank based in Islamabad —the fish catch in the Manchar has fallen from 3,000 tonnes to less than 100 tonnes in 2003. "Before 1999, I could catch about 20-25 kilogrammes (kg) of fish every day. Today, it has come down to 5-6 kg,' laments Analdal, a member of the Mohana community. Rues another Mohana, Haji Karim, "We used to eat fish and roots of aquatic plants. It was like a free meal. We only brought wheat and rice. Manchar was like a cup; it has now turned into an empty saucer.' The effluent-ridden lake water is no longer fit for drinking. So, the Mohanas have to purchase drinking water from a supply facility at the embankment. Each bucketful costs 5 Pakistani Rs. And there is crisis when water cannot be pumped out during power breakdowns.

The sinking lake has also put paid to the livelihoods of hundreds of agriculturists who diverted its waters through small canals, phats, and then used the lake-bed for farming. According to Memon, "This method relied on filling the lake during monsoons and then drawing out water to uncover cultivable land on which wheat was grown.' He notes that, "The lake was filled to about 113 feet by September end and was reduced to 106 feet in October. In the process, about 26,000 acres of land was uncovered for farming.' But today, Manchar doesn't have enough water and the lake-bed farmers have no work. And that is not the end of their woes: the lake's toxic waters have played havoc on the health of their livestock. According to Behram Chachar, team leader veterinary project, Indus Resource Centre (a non-governmental organisation that promotes informal education in Sindh), "Viral diseases, such as rinder pest and foot and mouth, and bacterial diseases such as haemorrhage septicemia and black quarter have become common among livestock. The animals in the area are also plagued by tympina/bloat and acidosis.'

An unwelcoming place

The lake's once-rich marine and aquatic life has also suffered. Mirani lists about 10 fish species that can still be found in Manchar but says that their diversity and numbers were much higher, even a few years back. In the past, the lake waters were kept at 112-reduced level (RL, the lake's water height with respect to mean sea-level). The surplus was diverted to the Indus; "fish seeds' swam into the lake against the flow of the Indus-bound waters. The process was a boon for the Mohanas, for these little creatures would grow up to weigh a tasty 2.5 kilogrammes. That's a thing of the past now. For, even with good rains last year Manchar's water level reached only 108.2 RL. In the past, the lake was the winter home to numerous migratory birds species. Since it was the first wetland on their route, Manchar during winters was redolent with a host of migratory bird species. In fact, according to the environmentalist Shujaudin Qureshi, "About 20,000-30,000 birds still visit the lake every year.' However, Qureshi also adds that pollution has caused a drastic fall in their numbers. Mirani also notes that migratory birds do visit the lake, but fly off after an overnight stay. REFERENCE: Lake Manchar is dead Author(S): Shahid Husain Date: 30/08/2004 Source: Down to Earth

The Manchar Lake and Climate Change Syeda Mahe Zehra Transboundary Water Resources Spring 2010


Manchar Lake is situated west of the Indus River in Sindh, Pakistan and is Pakistan’s biggest shallow freshwater lake and one of Asia’s biggest. It is situated at a distance of 18km from Sehwan in the province of Sindh. The lake is flanked by the Kirthar hills in the west, Laki Hills in the south and the River Indus in the east. It is a shallow saucer shaped basin and The depth and area of the lake are variable depending on the influx of water. Mean depth of the Lake is 2.5--‐3.75m and it covers an area of 233km^2. It is also a natural water storage facility and a big asset in the arid region where it is situated. The lake is fed by the Aral and Danister canals from The River Indus, hill torrents and the MNVD (Main Nara Valley Drain). Main source of freshwater are the Aral Manchar, Aral Lakhi and Danister Canals which link the lake to the River Indus and have a combined capacity of 1.54 MAF. The Manchar Lake area receives a mean annual rainfall of 4.43 inches while evaporation is 96 inches. In 1958 the lake completely dried Up due to extremely dry summer conditions. In 1995 a record flow of 300,000 cusecs was recorded. The Manchar Lake and Climate Change 3 The Manchar Lake is the main source of domestic water for the communities living around the lake. The groundwater in this area is not Suitable for drinking as it is highly saline and the lake water is important to people downstream As well, because they use it for irrigation and fishery. As a result of the extensive evaporation due to high temperatures and low rain the increase in salts, heavy metals and other pollutants Has led to deterioration of this eco--‐system. This deterioration is taking lives and 60 deaths were recorded for the year 2004. The once life giving Manchar Lake is now posing a severe risk to the livelihood, health and Lives of the communities living in and around the Manchar Lake area. The Manchar Lake And Climate Change


The Manchar Lake, a large water reservoir is (directly and indirectly) responsible For the livelihoods for half a million people. The water pollution has killed the unique culture And exposed the population living in that area to poverty and health issues. The women are specially affected as they are now in a situation where they cannot contribute to the livelihood Of their families as they used to while living on the lake. Their limited skills which were sufficient for their way of life in the Manchar area now prove insufficient in the places they have had to migrate to. As a result of this parents are getting their daughters married early. Malnutrition can also be observed in most people, especially women. This leads to varied diseases like Hepatitis C, skin and eye infections, TB, night blindness and infant and maternal mortality. In addition to all these problems each family has to now spend Rs60--‐80 ($1 = Rs. 80 approx.) a day to buy water. The degradation of the ecosystems of the Manchar Lake has been occurring for a long time but the effects have been felt recently. Due to diversion of the water from the Indus upstream and decreased storm runoff from the Kirthar Mountains there has been a diminished fresh water supply and even that has been rendered useless due to the saline drainage water from surrounding fields finding its way to the lake through the Main Nara Valley Drain. The main source of fresh water for the Manchar Lake is the Indus which is connected to The lake through three link canals. The flows in the Indus have been diverted upstream and so not Enough water flows into the Manchar Lake. Data on pre--‐Tarbela flows 1962--‐74 showed That 0.14 MAF of water used to flow into the lake which has now been curtailed to 0.08MAF.

The Indus is connected to the Manchar through some old inundation canals, like the Aral Manchar, Aral Laki and Danister Canal. The MNVD runs from Hamal Lake to Manchar Lake, it was constructed in 1932 to provide drainage for rice effluent and rain water and also Karachi plain Flows which were ponded at The Manchar Lake and Climate Change 5 Hamal Lake. The effluent Comes from the North Dadu drainage project (Wagan, K.N.Shah, Meha and Ghar) and this Is the main contributor to the salinity. There is also talk of remodeling the MNVD to enhance Its capacity to accommodate effluent from the Right Bank Outfall Drain Project as well Which will lead to further pollution. Presently 8000 cusecs of drainage is disposed through the MNVD During the peak Kharif planting season with a salinity of 1900 PPM while the numbers for the Rabbi planting season are 500--‐1000 cusecs and 2500--‐5000 PPM. In addition to the problems Arising from the dumping of the MNVD waters into the Manchar Lake is the issue of siltation And growth of uncontrolled natural vegetation in Manchar Lake have created massive problems As it limits the water holding capacity of the lake and reduces the water supply to adjoining areas.

The fishermen are also adding to the pollution problem by practicing harmful fishing practices such as using DDT, dynamite and grain as bait and motorized boats to increase their catch, not Realizing that they are infact part of the reason that the fish are dying out. Once the Manchar Lake used to sustain 2600 species of plants, animals and fish, the situation is very different now. More than 70% of the fisher folk have already migrated to other places in Pakistan and even Afghanistan and Iran and the Middle East. The catch of 3000 tons in 1950 had dwindled Down to less than one hundred tons. The numbers of fish species in the Manchar Lake Has also gone down and 14 out of 200 species recorded in 1930 are already extinct. All Popular and commercially valuable species are gone. Not only have the fisher folk been deprived of Their livelihood, the people buying fish from them suffer losses in their business, and There is less safe fish for consumption by sustenance fisher folks and community members. Additionally, the Siberian migratory birds have also lost a stop on their flight due to their not being enough fish In the waters of Manchar Lake. An ecological survey of Manchar Lake was carried out during 1998--‐1999, water samples were analyzed: water temperature, light penetration, pH, alkalinity, conductivity, salinity, total 6 dissolved solids, total hardness, phosphates, chlorides and dissolved oxygen were recorded.

The water quality analysis indicated salinity (1.8--‐3.9 g/L), pH (7.4--‐8.7) and hardness (614--‐1000 mg/L). These parameters are towards the higher side and these factors are one of The reasons for the decline in fish production. Around 300,000 acres of land stands affected due To water logging and salinity. 1,200 tube wells in the area are no longer of any use. Traditional Crops like rice, wheat and tobacco have become uncultivable or uneconomical .The lake bed Was also used for agriculture. Traditionally some crops used to be cultivated on the lake floor As the water receded going from 113 feet in Sep to 106 feet in October exposing 26,000 acres Of land. Another 50,000 acres were made cultivable through connecting channels. In addition The crop yields of downstream farms are also suffering as they rely on the water from The Manchar Lake to irrigate their lands. The pollution and reduced water in the Manchar lake Is not only heralding the death of a great lake it is also causing deaths in surrounding areas." In mid--‐May 2004, Hyderabad in Pakistan's Sindh province was hit by a severe diarrhea epidemic. The pestilence, which lasted for two months, claimed 38 lives — mostly children. An unpublished World Health Organization report cites contamination of Hyderabad's water's supply by untreated waters of the Manchar Lake, as one of the causes. The lake's waters reached the city via the Indus River, which was in spate. "As a result,' says the report, "its heavy Salt content could not be adequately diluted.' A fact--‐ finding report of the Pakistan's Human Rights Commission also blamed the lake's waters for the calamity" (Shahid Hussain, 2004: Add to this host of problems another variable, namely climate change and you see the situation get even more complicated.

There is not much information available about the impact that climate change might have on the Manchar Lake in particular but we can draw some conclusions by studying the facts. We know that the Himalayan glaciers are receding and this will eventually lead to reduced water flows in the river Indus and its tributaries. Flows will be reduced by as much as 50%! Currently the wetlands of Pakistan don’t get enough freshwater from the Indus system because there are many other upstream uses that currently have priority like agriculture. What will happen when the water is halved? Will the debate of restoring the wetlands even have any significance in the glaring reality of reduced water for drinking and growing food for an ever--‐ growing population? Another impact of Climate Change will be change in the monsoon patterns and though there will be more rain it will also be more concentrated increasing the risks of floods. We know that part of the water coming into the Manchar Lake is from the hill torrents of the Kirthar Mountain ranges. In the event of increased rain there could be an influx of water from that quarter. The increased temperature will also increase the rate of evaporation. The Manchar Lake Is one of many wetlands in Pakistan. Infact 9.7% of the country is covered in wetlands. Pakistan needs to figure out what water management practices it will adopt today To ensure that it will have water for its wetlands tomorrow. REFERENCE: The Manchar Lake and Climate Change Syeda Mahe Zehra Transboundary Water Resources Spring 2010

Manchchar The Dying Lake part 01 By Aziz Sanghur.flv

Due to lake’s water pollution (salinity more than 4,000 ppm – parts per million; presence of toxic metals, agro-chemicals and fertilisers), migratory fauna, including beautiful cranes no longer fly to Manchar Lake. Not only does the lake stand completely abandoned by its flying visitors; the indigenous population of birds has also diminished considerably. Manchar Lake receives freshwater from two sources: Indus River and hill torrents from Khirthar hills. ENVIRONMENT: Life on the lake By F.H. Mughal Sunday, 24 Jan, 2010 | 07:16 AM PST |

KARACHI- Manchar Lake one of the largest lake of Asia is polluted due to salinity and water logging, which is a threat to the livelihood of about 25, 000 population, who depends on are fishing. The marine life is badly destroyed. The catch is decreasing day by day. The affected fishermen community forced to migrate from the Lake, leaving their ancestral profession, fishing. The Right Bank Outfall Drainage (RBOD) is dropping the salinity and water logging to the Manchar Lake. The sweet water is turning into brackish and fishes are dying to salted water. The Main Nara Valley Drain (MVND), constructed at the time of the Sukkur Barrage now brings a considerable supply of saline water into the lake and has had a detrimental effected on Manchar Lake. In the future, the lake is likely to receive more drainage effluents by construction of a drainage network under the Right Bank Outfall Drainage (RBOD) schemes. More Reading: Manchar Lake is in ruins! present level of toxic particles in Manchar Lake is more than

Manchchar The Dying Lake part 02 By Aziz


Manchar Lake is located in Jamshoro and Dadu Districts, about I8 kms from Sehwan Sharif. It is a vast natural depression flanked by the Khirthar hills in the west, the Laki hills in the south and the river Indus in the east. Manchar Lake has been supporting various economic activities. It provided livelihood for a large number of fishermen, irrigation water for various crops and aquatic plants. The lake could also have supported the tourism industry if its beauty had been maintained. The lake is spread over 64,800 acres, having 25, 000 populations that live on their boats. It is unique in the world where fishermen community lives in the lake. Their children are unfamiliar about the land traditions. They have their own traditions to celebrate. They also arrange their marriage ceremony in the boats. They serve their guest in the lake over the boats, and decorate their boats during the marriage ceremony.

Manchchar The Dying Lake part 03 By Aziz


A twelve-member family including children and wives live only on 19 feet squares long and 14 feet squares wide boats. The fisherwomen produce their children on the boats. During the birthing the untrained midwives perform their services, which is risky for the women. It is reported that several women were died during the childbirth. Prevalence of tuberculoses TB, anemia, malnutrition, skin disease, gastroenteritis and water bome disease is widely reported. More than 80% of the women and children are sick. A local fisherman, Haji Qadir Bux Mallah said that health facilities are available in Shah Hassan and Bubak town. In Shah Hassan there is a government dispensary, which offers almost no health facility, he added. He said that in Bubak a Basic Health Unit exits, with two medical officers and no lady doctor. Fisher communities several deaths have occurred but health authorities have never taken any notice or bothered to intervene, he alleged. Talking to this scribe, a head of the family, Pir Muhammad alias Piral, 50, said that their family could not live on the land because they would die like fish. "When I was familiarized about the world. It was fish and birds. I did not know about the land" remarked Piral. He said that I suggested their children they would not change their forefather's profession. "The Manchar Lake is our mother, which is feeding us. It is our duty to love with it. Please write about my mother that is dying" feared Piral, while talking with this scribe. The fishermen complained against the contractors, which bounded them to sell their catch on half rate against the market rate. The contractor system was introduced some years ago.The fishermen loan the money from the contractor for building the boats and nets. The contractors also take their interests. The bounded fishermen have no right to protest against the contractors. There is no law to protect the bounded fishermen from the contractors. The concerned officials are aware about the contractor system. But they did not pay any attention in this regard. The fishermen communities are caught in the debt trap of these middlemen, who force them to sell the catch at rates as low as one third of the market rates. Many fishermen are in virtual slavery of the middlemen who are the only source of loans at the time of need. Fishermen are also facing another threat from the contractor system. Under this system they are supposed to surrender 25% of their catch to the contractor for continuing their ancestral fishing rights in the lake. Implementation of this contractor system has been temporarily reversed after a strong reaction by these fisher communities. If re-implemented, the decision would destroy the poor communities. Manchar Lake polluted, needs attention By Aziz Sanghur

Mangrove forests Part 01 By Aziz Sanghur.flv


Timber mafias have been active in mangrove forests along the coastal belt of Karachi. The Mangrove forests located near Ibrahim Hydri, Chashma Village, Rehri Goth, Lat Basti, Sandspite, Native Jetty, and other coastal localities of Karachi face threat. The local people were also involved in this illegal business. Going to Rehri from the biggest locality of fishermen Ibrahim Hydri somebody may witness heaps of fuel wood lying at the seashore and trucks coming frequently to take the same to the city markets. Local people are unaware of losses of their own resources as these sea plants are breeding grounds of shrimps and other fish species. Those keeping close eye over the decaying mangrove forests believe that wood mafia is playing havoc with the nature. "Fish workers are cutting trees to ease their poor families, as increasing marine pollution, wide use of destructive nets and operating deep sea trawlers have wiped out fish reserves near the Karachi coast" said Muhammad Ali Shah, Chairperson, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum. He said that several complaints have been made by the local fishermen against the timber mafias but no action has so far been taken by the forest department of the Sindh government. Nasir Panhwar of WWF said, mangrove wood may be cheaper than other woods so the traders are eyeing to destroy these green forests which offer attractive landscapes to Karachi citizens. Concerned on new trend of cutting the mangrove forests for commercial purpose, Panhwar said, "Community people are part of eco system as they have been living here along with flocks of camel and cattle heads for long. They get fuel and fodder from the mangroves but they never thought to ruin mangroves, hence this kind of approach by the community people should be taken seriously."

Mangrove forests Part 02 By Aziz Sanghur mov


According to area this wood is being used in poultry feed factories. There are seven species of mangroves and the local people used the same wood in building their shelters as well as in boats. But now there are only two species Avicennia and Rhyzophora, which are under threat. Mangroves also act as a shield against active tidal erosion in the area. Experts believe that if this trend of cutting mangroves for the commercial purposes persists it would cause sea erosion at Karachi coast. Experts say that mangroves support thousands of botanical, aquatic and wildlife species and provide a nursery for most of the fish species in the area. All these benefits are dependent on the survival of the forest. Mangrove forests By Aziz Sanghur

A documentary on water problems of Sindh Kohistan [Courtesy: SCOPEPAK]


Sindh Kohistan region is a mostly hilly and partly plain area in the south west of Sindh province. It is consisting on Kirthar mountain, which is hilly strip at the western border of Sindh and Baluchistan, stretching from Karachi in south to District Dadu in the North. Water is a rare commodity here. People use to fetch water either from dug wells or rainwater collection ponds. The water in dug wells is usually brackish that why people use to prefer water in rainy ponds, which could be highly contaminated. Water borne diseases are very common here. As most parts of Pakistan women bear the burden of fetching water from dug wells, ponds and hand pumps. One can witness the poor, feeble and malnourished women waiting for hour for their turn to fetch water and carry it on their heads and walking for miles in the scorching sun. Situation worsens during summer and drought seasons, when water dries up in the village ponds, springs and wells. People are forced to drink very dirty water which is beyond ones imagination. Livestock and other animals also shares the same water from stagnant rainwater ponds. Drinking water from the pond and open dug wells causes water born diseases such as diarrhea, dysentery, , typhoid, cholera, malaria and gastro-enteritis particularly among young children. Child mortality is serious issues in this area, especially during the drought season. [Courtesy: SCOPEPAK]


Expectations from the 2008/09 budget by villagers in rural Sindh and their current living standard [Courtesy: Mr Taha Siddiqui]

Poverty in a village in Rural Sindh, Pakistan by Taha Siddiqui


Poverty Reduction - Lack of employment in rural Sindh has deepened poverty and increased crime. Reduction in poverty through income-generation has always been helpful in improving socio-economic indicators, particularly when women are involved in such initiatives. Our correspondent Qurban Ali takes a look at such a scheme in a remote town in Northern Sindh. [Courtesy: DAWN NEWS]

Sindh Rural woman day ( Malik Imran Shahid)


About one third of Sindh’s population live on less than a dollar a day, about two thirds of them in rural areas, withpockets of extreme poverty. Sindh faces lack of basic services, high incidence of health problems, low literacy rate,high population growth, lack of rule of law, lack of access to justice and empowerment, inaccessibility of capital,increased unemployment, and weak service delivery. Social sector indicators in Sindh are very poor. Half of the children below age of 5 years are malnourished, and 11% of them die before the age of 5. Of the survivors, half donot attend school. The total fertility rate is 5 children per woman. Only a quarter of the rural population have access tosafe drinking water. The poor social indicators are linked to complex political and social organizations, poverty, gender discrimination, run-down social services, and governance problems. The rural society of Sindh is heterogeneous in terms of ethnicity, tribes, and caste. Social relationships are based oncaste, tribe, and language. The two major rural groups are Sindhi and Baluchi. In addition, there are Punjabi, Pathan,Bihari, and Hindu scheduled castes. The Hindu scheduled caste constitutes 6.5% of the population. The scheduledcaste includes Kholi, Bheel, Parkari Kulhis, Meghwar, and Khumber. Social groups found within rural areas of Sindh include landowner (zamindar) sharecroppers (Muslim and Hindu scheduled castes), small and middle farmers, wagelaborers, fisherfolk, artisans and service households. In addition to differences in castes there are seminomadic clansand, in some areas seasonal migrants and the boat people in Manchar Lake. In rural Sindh, status and power areconferred by land ownership. The land ownership, relationships of tribes and caste determine much of the political andsocial organization and functioning of the society. The skewed land tenure pattern and high degree of landlessness isrelated to perpetuation of the zamindar system. The skewed land tenure pattern, very low rainfall and periodicdroughts, and salination of lands have seriously affected agricultural output, and are contributing to deep rural povertyand migration to urban areas at the rate of 6% per year. REFERENCE: ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK RRP: PAK 34337 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE PRESIDENT TO THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS ON PROPOSED PROGRAM AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE LOANS TO THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN FOR THE SINDH DEVOLVED SOCIAL SERVICES PROGRAM

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