THERE is an oil spill near Mubarak village which has become an environmental hazard in the area. It is believed that a refinery, a power plant and shipment of coal to Port Qasim, have put the marine life of the coastal area in grave danger.
The people who live near or around Mubarak village say that before this oil spill they would catch fish by simply putting a bucket into the water. But now they find dead fish everywhere. This condition of Mubarak village coastal area is because of charcoal and crude oil.
Pakistan’s coastline is 1,050km long. So our export potential should be $1.2 to $1.7 billion but owing to factories wastage and other environmental pollution, the export level has gone down. Unfortunately, today our export level is $350 million.
According to reports, the first oil spill near Mubarak village was spotted by a fisherman who works with local fishing communities at Abdul Rahman Goth. There are also conflicting reports that it is because of leakage of oil pipeline, while some think vessels in the vicinity spill oil.
The biggest loss, however, is being faced by the fishermen. Their only source of income is fish exports. But after this disaster they have been facing a financial crisis. Not only this, their equipment and nets are also getting damaged because of marine pollution.
Mubarak village habitants are also getting affected by the pollution and are getting ill. The Mubarak village was a beautiful picnic spot and frequented by tourists. One can hardly see visitors now.
The government and authorities concerned should wake up and take immediate remedial measures.
Dr Shahnaz Rashid
Centre of Excellence in Marine Biology
University of Karachi
Published in Dawn, November 14th, 2018