KARACHI: Promises made by various government officials with the residents of Ibrahim Hyderi have not been fulfilled.
This was stated by Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum Chairperson Muhammad Ali Shah who was addressing a protest against non-availability of water Tuesday afternoon. “Residents in several goths are still deprived of potable water,” said Muhammad Ali.
The residents of Ibrahim Hyderi, one of the oldest fishing neighbourhoods in Karachi, held a protest rally in wake of absence of line water for months. Hundreds of protesters of the area, among which many were women, participated in the rally from the Ibrahim Hyderi union council office to water pump stop, which was headed by Muhammad Ali and union council chairman Asif Ali Shah.
The residents carried mud pitchers and water utensils on their heads along with banners and placards demanding the officials to end water scarcity in the area. After reaching water pump bus stop, the protesters held a sit-in, blocked the road for three hours and torched tyres.
“In case we don’t get water within a week, we will protest in front of district council chairperson,” Muhammad Ali gave the ultimatum. “If our demands are not met, we will organise a march to CM House from Ibrahim Hyderi,” he warned.
The residents complained that the area has been facing an acute shortage of water for past many months due to water mafia. ‘Ibrahim Hyderi has become Karbala’, ‘have some shame’, ‘stop stealing water of poor people’, ‘give water to drink’, were some of the few slogans written on the placards and banners.
“The water mafia has been selling water of the area to fish processing companies and factories through illegal connections,” alleged Muhammad Ali. Due to the corrupt officials, poor people have not been getting a single drop of water, he added.
Activist Mai Bhanan told The Express Tribune that the government has turned the entire area into a desert. “We are unable to cook in our homes. Even small kids in the area have been deprived of a basic necessity like water,” she decried.
Among others who addressed the protest were Haji Babu Sholani, Haji Ahmed Batani and Ghulam Muhammad Mirbahar.