KARACHI: Community leaders residing in the vicinity of oil, gas, and coal fields across various districts in Sindh on Tuesday called upon the government to take effective measures for environmental protection around oil and gas exploration fields.
They pointed out that residents in these areas have been grappling with health issues due to the absence of effective measures to mitigate the impact.
Representatives of communities from Badin, Sanghar, Tharparkar, and other areas called upon the government and private companies to safeguard the surrounding environment and the health of people.
Speaking at a joint press conference at the Karachi Press Club (KPC), Knowledge Forum director Zeenia Shaukat, Abdul Majeed Mungrio, Advocate Sanghar Leela Ram, Ishak Soomro, Muhammad Aslam Malah and others highlighted the plight of the villagers living around the oil and gas fields.
In particular, the leaders pointed out that Badin district has been a long-time producer of gas and oil, yet the welfare of local communities has been continually denied. Basic amenities such as clean drinking water remain elusive, despite the responsibility of companies to provide essential services such as healthcare, road infrastructure, education, technical training, and employment opportunities.
The detrimental impact of oil and gas operations is acutely felt through the contamination of local water sources, resulting in a surge in waterborne diseases among the populace.
The leaders stressed the need for government intervention to protect the rights of local communities. They called for measures to minimise pollution discharges, reduce harmful emissions, and mitigate climate impacts by curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2023