KARACHI: The 'Sindh Peoples Caravan' completed its 14-day journey of different districts of Sindh on Monday, marking the International Day of Action for Rivers and Against Dams', at a picnic resort on the River Indus, alManzar near Jamshoro.
The participants from different areas, including Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, Sanghar and Umerkot took part in the concluding event organised by the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF). The participants held banners regarding food sovereignty, climate justice, deforestation, mangroves and riverine forests and fresh water bodies.
The caravan started its journey on February 29 from Karachi. It travelled to different districts of Sindh, including Thatta, Sajawal, Badin, Tharparkar, Umerkot, Naushero Feroze, Sanghar, Shaheed Benazirabad, Dadu, Jamshoro and Hyderabad. Majority of the participants included fishermen, peasants and labourers.
"We had launched this unique initiative to mobilise the people at a time when the country, especially Sindh, is experiencing political, social and economic crises. We have travelled to 11 districts and met people in more than 30 small towns, cities and major entrances on our way to the destination," said PFF chairperson Muhammad Ali Shah.
"We need to realise that there is no shortage of food in Sindh, as well as country, and only bad governance and unequal distribution of food are the major causes of deaths in Tharparkar," he claimed.
The purpose of caravan was to highlight the issues faced by fishermen and peasants, who are considered the extremely vulnerable to food insecurity and climate change.
According to PFF leaders, the people from Badin, Thatta and Sujawal want to stop the construction of mega water projects on River Indus as the projects effect the natural flow of the river. The caravan participants also demanded that the government stops exporting wheat to other countries and instead provide it to people living in marginalised areas.
The people of Sindh collaborated to save lands, livelihoods and protect waters from sea erosion, remarked Prof Ismail Kumbhar of Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2016.
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