Fishermen urge govt to end encroachment from lakes

Say freshwater bodies in clutches of landlords, influential persons 

Our Correspondent July 11, 2024


The fishermen of Sindh have warned the provincial government to immediately end the encroachment on all freshwater lakes, a statement of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) said on Wednesday.

In a meeting with fishermen, PFF Chairman Mehran Ali Shah stated that illegal occupation of the lakes has created unrest among the poor fishermen.

However, he told the fishermen not to fall for the shenanigans of the political adventurists. "We won't allow anyone to exploit the peaceful situation just as much as we won't allow anyone to occupy the lakes and disturb the livelihood of the fishermen," Shah said.

He continued, "the provincial government has the power to implement the law and it should take strict action to support our fishermen."

The fishermen have been raising their concerns for the past two weeks regarding the illegal occupation of Kakaho Lake, located in Sanghar district, by the Hongorjo community, as well as other lakes by influential feudal lords in the coastal belt of Sindh. The fishermen said that they have been protesting for a long time against the powerful landlords who are rendering hundreds of fishermen jobless. "They do not listen to poor fishermen. They want to occupy our resources," said Ramzan Mallah, PFF's general secretary. He added that his organization will not abandon the fishermen.

The fishermen demanded that the provincial government end the encroachment immediately. The meeting decided that a protest campaign would be launched after Ashura if the illegal encroachment was not stopped.

The PFF has also requested political parties, civil society organizations, and media personnel to support their cause. It is pertinent to mention here that there are over 1,200 small and major lakes in the Sindh province, and thousands of fishermen depend on them. With the occupation of these lakes, hundreds of thousands of people will be economically, socially, and culturally disconnected.



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