Saturday, April 10, 2010

Coastal area without health amenties, water


KARACHI - Coastal areas of Karachi, which is the stronghold of the Pakistan People Party, is deprived of the basic facilities, says a survey.
During last the general election, all PPP's candidates won the election in fishing locality. "We are supporters of the PPP. We have been casting our votes for the PPP' candidates since its formation," said Dad Baksh, a fisherman of Mubarak Village, while talking to this scribe.
He complained that the government had not taken any concrete step towards developing their village into a model village despite making a pledge to do so. The Sindh government had announced in October 2009 that it would develop Mubarak Village, which is located along the western coastal side of Karachi, into a model village having all basic facilities of life.
However, he complained that the government had not taken any practical step to fulfil their long-standing demands.
According a survey, several fishermen's villages in Keamari Town have been facing numerous problems including lack of civic amenities for long time. These villages situated near the sea shore of Arabian Sea have been neglected for years due to apathy on the part of civic agencies.
Haji Daraya Khan Goth, Moosa Goth, Haji Faizo Goth, Haji Juma Goth, Pub Faqir Goth, Manjar Goth, Sukkur Goth and Mubarak village of Deh Mann and others are among the more affected ones.
The above-declared villages lack in water supply and electricity, health and education facilities, causing tremendous problems for their residents. They are compelled to live as wretched of the earth, having seldom hope of salvation. .
It is learnt that in October 2009 Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah visited the Mubarak village and handed down ownership rights and lease documents to some residents of the village, announcing that that the village would be developed into a model village where fishermen would enjoy all basic facilities.
However, the fishermen regretted that despite the chief minister's announcement, no officials concerned had paid any visit to the village. They said that it had yet to be confirmed whether they had prepared any plan in this regard or not.
A vast majority of villagers live in abject poverty and nearly 95 per cent of the population mainly depend on small-scale fishing. The fishermen complain that they have been facing a lot of problems in unloading fish catch because there is no any jetty facility.
Mostly these fishermen transport their catch to the Karachi Fish Harbour for auction and they have to sell their catch to middle men at throwaway prices.
There are 100 large boats in Mubarak village, which travel up to Gwadar and Pasni and about 300 small boats providing livelihood to these small fishermen, the survey shows. Talking to this scribe, the fishermen demanded immediate construction of a small jetty at the Mubarak Village.
They complained that availability of potable water was the most pressing problem for them. At present water is being supplied to these villages through tankers by the Union Council of Gabopat and the public health engineering department.
They said that the supply of water was not regular and insufficient. A majority of the people still depends on wells. In a number of villages, women and children have to walk long distances to fetch water from ponds. This water is usually contaminated and unfit for drinking and washing purposes. The villagers urged that a water supply scheme be launched by connecting the village with the water distribution system of the Hub Dam.
Villagers from Moosa Goth, Haji Faizu Goth, Haji Juma Goth and Sukku Goth also complained of lack of healthcare facilities and urged construction of maternity homes in these villages.

The writer is a staff member of 'The Nation'.

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