I AM delighted to see that Expedition Indus 2022 team has completed its exciting adventure. It is gratifying to see that after 43 years of the Indus River Expedition 1978, the youth today is continuing to explore the lifeline of Pakistan.
Our culture, cities, agriculture and trade evolved along River Indus. It is important that we continue to study and document the rivers of Pakistan to enable us to understand the effects of climate change and misuse of the river, and to act in time to take corrective actions and explore potential economic opportunities and ecotourism.
The team, too, must have noticed low river flow in the plains, while in the northern area the early melting of glaciers is causing a much early melt and a corresponding river flow. It must also have seen unbridled dumping of city waste and untreated sewage into the river which affects fish and human lives.
The barrages on the Indus either do not have boat locks or the locks are not functional. This is seriously affecting river trade and fish life. Their white water adventure in the upper stretches of the Indus and filming the culture and activities is highly commendable. I hope this will inspire more teams to continue exploring and recording the rivers of Pakistan.
While we are still on the subject, I may highlight the immediate need in Karachi for public boat launching ramps. There are currently very few such ramps and they are all within private clubs of the elite of the city.
Having more and accessible ramps will encourage boating enthusiasts to launch boats and explore Karachi’s mangroves and coastline. Hopefully, the stakeholders will step forward and find a way to build these public ramps with free access to the citizens of Karachi.
K.M Ali, Hamid Omar & Naeem Omar
Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2022