Pakistan: 34 of the sub-district's 42 settlements have disappeared under the sea.

A mill that used to export red rice from Pakistan to the Far East and Persian  Gulf countries has almost disappeared below the surface of the Arabian Sea. UPI  Next/Tehmina Qureshi

April 2, 2014

KARACHI, Pakistan, April 2 (UPI Next) -- The  intrusion of the Arabian Sea into the mouth of the Indus River on Pakistan's  southern coast is eroding land, forcing whole villages to relocate inland, and  threatening fishing livelihoods, residents and environmental experts say.

The sea’s intrusion into the once-thriving Indus Delta in the coastal Thatta  district occurs mainly because the Indus River does not carry enough water below  the Kotri Barrage, a major dam 190 miles north of the coast, to hold back the  saltwater from the river and its network of creeks and mudflats. The seawater  intrusion turns fields and underground drinking water saline, makes land  waterlogged and reduces fish catch.
Mohammad Saleem, a lifelong Keti Bunder resident, watches daily as the sea  erodes the earthen dike, near his wooden house.

"We had to move here and set up our village all over again because the sea  had entered our village over there," he said.

Houses are set on posts 2 feet off the ground.

"Around 80 acres of land have been eroded by the sea in Thatta district alone.  There used to be seven ports here but all of them were destroyed by the  encroaching sea," Alwani, a member of the Sindh assembly, told UPI Next.

Though no official records exist, 34 of the sub-district's 42 settlements have  disappeared under the sea, said Zahid Jalbani, a program manager at  Strengthening Participatory Organization, which specializes in development  advocacy.


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