Fishermen migrate for bread and butter in Sindh

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Thatta: Fishermen communities are migrating from Indus Delta along Thatta and Sujawal Districts towards Karachi, Gwadar and other wetlands in Interior Sindh.

 Chairman PFF Pakistan Fisher Folk Forum, Syed Muhammad Ali Shah believes that for the last couple of years, owing to several reasons, fishermen and labor communities are migrating from southern areas of Sindh towards the interior Sindh. Non-release of water in Indus downstream Kotri, frequent arrests of fishermen from Pakistan territorial waters by Indian Naval forces and shrinkage of livelihood resources are some of the major reasons behind this huge shift.

Syed Shah revealed that, over 5000 fishermen from coastal island Kharochann and scattered settlements Ketibunder, Ghorabari, Sajjanwari, Mor Chaddai, Babeeho, Jhaalo, Udasi, Shahbunder and Jati have already migrated in search of bread and butter.

Ghani Katiyar, head of Katiyar clan told News Lens Pakistan, “We are tired of pleading for help to get our families released from the Indian prisons in Gujarat, Rajasthan. Therefore, the families there had no option but to move towards other places and strive for some labor jobs.”

Due to degradation of delta, vanishing mangrove forests and outpouring of over 1.3 million agricultural land under oceanic water in Thatta, Sujawal & Badin Districts is the migration graph is unfortunately ascending high, EX Sindh Minister on Tourism & Culture Sassui Palejo says.

Consequently, EX PPP MPA Humaira Alwani revealed that around 5768 acres agricultural land has been rendered barren due to shortage of water. Currently, the Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) is discharging more than 2800 cusecs of poisonous water into the Indus delta causing considerable damage to the fish seedlings. On the other hand, the RBOD (Right Bank Out Fall Drain) also carries poisonous substance to the extent of 3500 PPM (parts per million).  Besides, the constant use of fishing nets locally called “Boolo and Gujjo” is also causing damage to fish in Indus delta eco region and migration of the poor fishermen communities.

Provincial Minister in Sindh Cabinet Muhammad Ali Malkani , an MPA from coastal constituency “Jati”,  instead of realizing the  miseries of the deltaic population seems to be optimistic and contended. He expects no positive prompt step regarding the arrests of the fishermen by the neighboring country until a permanent settlement of controversial “Sir Creek”- a 96 km (60 mi) strip of water that is disputed between India and Pakistan in the Rann of Kutch marshland is made amicably. Moreover, consecutive natural catastrophes and manmade jolts were also the reasons behind this gradual migration from Indus delta.  He adds that being a representative from the coastal constituency, he would do his utmost to deliver and help address the issues of coastal population by exploring alternative avenues of livelihood in the coastline.

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