Poisoning Indus

31 Jan 2020


A FEW days ago, the media highlighted that people around Sukkur poisoned Indus waters near Sukkur barrage in an attempt to catch freshwater fish.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time this crime went unnoticed and did not invite attention of the wildlife department. Even the Sindh irrigation department seems to be in deep slumber.

This is the easiest method of having a big catch, because fish, after consuming poison poured into water, quickly die and float on surface. This method not only contaminates water, it may also kill all other aquatic living beings, including banned-to-hunt ‘blind dolphins’ and turtles.

Moreover, the fish poisoned to death is sold in local market and its consumption may develop serious health problems to consumers.

The Indus water is also used for irrigation purposes. If this unlawful practice of catching fish is not dealt with iron hand, vegetables and crops grown from poisoned water may prove dangerous for consumers’ health.

Up to 75 per cent of Sukkur residents and people who live in its outskirt use filtered Indus water for drinking. The continuous use of poison for hunting fish and the waste products, including tonnes of plastic bags thoughtlessly drained into the river Indus, poses health hazards to a large population.

The Sindh government should immediately take bold steps to save the Indus river and its aquatic life before it is too late.

Zaheer Sahito

Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2020