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Concern over degradation of Indus Delta

September 18, 2005

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BADIN, Sept 17: The non-release of water below Kotri has destroyed land, livestock and fisheries on which millions of people depended for their livelihood. This was stated by speakers at a seminar held at the Government Islamia Degree College on Thursday.

The seminar “Discharge of water downstream Kotri: Waste or need” was organized by the Natural Resource Protection Programme, Sindh, in collaboration with the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum.

NRPP president Mashkoor Ali said following the fast drying of the Indus River about 1.3 million acre land had been damaged by sea and forests, which were sixth number in the world, had been ruined.

Zulfiqar Shah said non-release of water downstream Kotri had devastated ecology and environment and increased human sufferings.

He claimed 2.2 million acre land of Badin and Thatta districts had been swallowed by sea water.

He said mangrove forest had been reduced from 261,000 acres to 71,000 acres in a decade.

Prof Abdullah Mallah said more than 400,000 fishermen and their families, residing within 100 kilometres of the coastal line, were under threat.

He said the Indus River ranked 18th among the world’s biggest rivers but its delta was diminishing day by day while other rivers were developing 10 to 4,000 acre delta every year, he said.

Mohammad Rahimoo said diverting water from the Indus River was an international crime and the matter be brought to the International Court of Justice.

The other speakers said in case situation remained unchanged in the Indus delta it would aid poverty and would vanish the culture.

They said degradation had been mainly caused by reduction of fresh water in Indus into delta due to wrong policies of the government which had over exploited the Indus River by constructing several storage dams and barrages on it.

PFF president Mohammad Ali Shah, Mithan Mallah, Roshan Ali and Mohammad Khan Samoo also spoke on the occasion.

RAIN: Badin and its surrounding areas received rain on Friday.

It started at 5pm and continued for over 15 minutes, inundating low-lying areas and damaged paddy crops.

The electric power went off the first drop of rain.