Save the Mir Bahars of the dying Manchar Lake from the silent suffering..

Save the Mir Bahars of the dying Manchar Lake from the silent suffering..

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Nasr Rahman started this petition to Prime Minister of Pakistan and

Save the Mir Bahars of the Manchar from the silent suffering.

Manchar is one of Asia’s largest freshwater lakes, spread over 200 square kilometres. Mohana tribe is the indigenous fishing community, who have lived on Manchar lake for decades. There are now only 4,000 to 5,000 people living on the lake, compared to 20,000 back in the 1980s. Many boat people have been forced to sever their ties with the lake and move onto the embankments. In winters, it rains and their children die of cold. In the summers, they die in their swings. They have no village. They don’t get any tanker of clean water. They have no doctor to take their children to. They have so many children but they have no schools to educate them. With no education or way to earn a living apart from fishing, the once prosperous and proud community now lives in poverty.

The water is no longer drinkable. The pollution has killed off flora and fauna and it has become impossible to grow vegetables in the toxic silt. The problem is the water here is contaminated, it stinks. When they had clean water at Manchar, they had fish, they had birds, they had prosperity. They have taken so much loan because of their children. Everyone owes atleast 5 to 6 lacs. Where should they go? They take loan on interest. What else should they do? Their children are suffering. How do they tolerate their children’s hunger? Children and women are always falling sick because of the toxic concoction surrounding them which is used for bathing, washing clothes and utensils. Tuberculosis, skin diseases and eye infections leading to blindness are now common.

Fish stock has also plummeted. In the 1970s, more than 15,000 tonnes were netted each year compared with 2,000 to 3,800 tonnes in recent years, In the 1970s, a series of drains and canals were built to carry sewage to the lake from several major cities in Sindh, as well as industrial wastewater, and overflow from rice paddies full of pesticides and fertilisers. The slow death of Manchar Lake has been caused by pollutants from the Right Bank Outfall Drain 3 and Main Nara Valley Outfall Drain (RBOD 1) by Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA).

In March 2017, the Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered the concerned departments to tackle the issue. However, till this date, no real progress has been seen.If RBOD-II is completed immediately and the effluents are instead disposed of into the sea. Up until March, the RBOD-II had run into troubles. The project was to be jointly funded by the federal and Sindh government. However, the federal government will not release the amount unless the Sindh government provides its share.

There is only one way to save the Lake now, the lake needs a discharge canal immediately, but sadly there is no progress due to corruption. We can at least move what is left of the Mohana tribe to state aided shelters and aid them in starting a new life if not save the lake itself. But something needs to be done soon because we are losing one more national asset along with immense financial and human costs attached.Those who are strong are able to survive, others just die and they grieve their death. They have no other choice. No one takes responsibility for them. They are poor which is why they have no choice but to suffer in silence.

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