KARACHI: Fed up with lack of water and other basic facilities, scores of residents from Mauripur staged a sit-in in front of the Keamari Town Office on main Hawke’s Bay Road
The protesters came from nearby coastal localities and gathered outside the Union Council Gabopat under the leadership of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, an NGO working for the rights of fishermen. From there, they marched on to the town office. They presented a memorandum to the town officials demanding that a water supply line be provided to them. They also asked for help in improving the sanitation system.
The rally was addressed by one of the protestors, Khuda Ganj Shad, who said that residents of more than 86 coastal villages in three union councils are facing an acute water shortage. Despite complaints, the authorities have never bothered to fulfill their demands.
The protestors, including a large number of angry young men, blocked the main Hawke’s Bay Road for over two hours. They were unable to meet the Keamari Town Administrator who left the office without seeing them. However, other officials came out and negotiated with the local elders.
They assured the protestors that they will ask the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board to take care of the Mauripur residents’ demands.
Some of the protestors also alleged that some people were taking advantage of the water problem.
Private tankers were taking water from the main water pumping station located at Gul Bai and then selling it to people at exorbitant sums. Town officials told the community representatives that they will look into the matter and punish those found to be involved in this illegal trade.
Published in the Express Tribune, June 16th, 2010.