Home Glaciers Endangered wetlands affect humans and wildlife

Endangered wetlands affect humans and wildlife

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KARACHI:

Water scarcity, climate change, the disappearance of wetlands and the rise in temperature have made the lives of fishermen and farmers miserable.

Due to the phenomenon of climate change, the rains are becoming uncertain, the threat of droughts is looming and the summers are getting hotter.

Freshwater dependent people living along wetlands have suffered severely. Studies show that melting glaciers provide 80 percent of the Indus River’s water. According to filmmaker Abdullah Khan, “Studies show that 28% of Pakistan’s glaciers have disappeared in the past 15 years.

He also pointed out that the glaciers were melting quickly. The ‘Vanishing Wetlands’ film, which aired Sunday on Express TV, revealed how endangered wetlands have harmed wildlife and people’s lives. Healthy wetlands feed birds, including migratory and resident birds.

They are also essential for human survival. During droughts, wetlands can replenish parched fields by releasing water from natural reservoirs. They can even filter pollutants from the waste.

But more than anything, wetlands are nature’s nurseries, supporting 40 percent of the world’s wildlife.

Haji Ahmed, one of the fishermen from Lake Manchhar, said his family had lived in the lake for seven generations. “Our ancestors sailed on these ships. They were born and raised here.

Before we had no worries. We had everything in the past, ”he said. Fishermen, commonly referred to as Mohana, have had their way of life and culture linked to this profession for over 5,000 years.

Basheer Mallah, another man said: “We slept, worked, married and did everything on the boathouses. Our lives were stress free. We used to grow vegetables here. The fishermen never cared about the grain crops. Lake Manchhar is one of the largest lakes in the region, but drastic changes have taken place in the lake affecting local mohanas. The polluted water poured into the lake destroyed them.

“The water [polluted] is now so toxic. It destroys everything. Our happiness is gone, ”said Basheer Mallah. Basheer said that the life of fishermen is very hard and sad now. Ahmed said the water in the lake comes from the Indus River.

“Now that flow has been stemmed.” He said the size of the fish has decreased. “How can we make a living from this? He asked himself. He also complained that fresh water for them was a precious commodity.

“A can of drinking water costs Rs 40. How can we pay for that? We have no choice but to drink this polluted water, ”he said. Industrial effluents and illegal fishing are also responsible for this loss. Pakistan is one of the countries that are afraid of water. But the country still has 19 Ramsar sites which are wetlands of great importance. Each year, more than a million birds pass through the Indus Flyway.

The Indus River, after an epic 3,000 km journey, finally reaches the Arabian Sea, dividing into a massive delta that has supported wildlife and humans for thousands of years. Indus Delta Life in the Indus Delta is not ideal for fishermen and farmers. Ghulam Mohammad, who lives near the delta, said: “The Indus River has ruled a natural system for thousands of years changing its path and direction, it brings the land to life.” He said that all the crops that grow there shine like the Sindh River.

“I don’t think there is a plant that doesn’t bloom here. The secret ingredient to all this beauty comes from the Indus River. The soil is imbued with the aroma of the faraway places along the Sindh River.

“He is of the opinion that human development has collided with nature.” Now we are faced with the consequences. The scarcity of water, the lack of rains, a rise in temperatures which has only increased in the last 15 years. Before, there was no such thing, “he said. He said farmers grew large crops of betel leaves in the area.” His ideal growing temperature is 25 degrees centigrade.

“He said that due to the rising temperatures, the betel leaf crop was being wiped out.” The disturbed farmer said much of Sindh’s water is channeled through canals. He said that when fresh water stops flowing downstream, the Arabian Sea flows. “This is why so many hectares of land have become barren,” he said. “Other areas are now barren because salt water has seeped from the basement.”

Also recalling, he said, “When our elders tell us that they once cultivated rice and fruit. We find it hard to believe it. Almost 1.2 million people have already migrated from the narrowing Indus River Delta to Karachi. And thousands of mohanas have abandoned their ancient floating villages. Abdullah said the film also aims to portray the beauty of nature. He said the wetland is home to 40 percent of the wildlife. “We have to say what kind of threats they face,” he urged.

He also said that it was difficult for him as a filmmaker to find the animals. Sharing the details, Jamshed of WWF-Pakistan said that the “Pakistan Wetlands Programs 2005 and 2012” had been launched and aimed to focus on the restoration, conservation and preservation of Pakistan’s wetlands. He said biodiversity is good at Manchhar Lake.

“Pollution is one of the reasons for the destruction of Lake Manchhar,” he said. Abdullah also said the fishermen were facing problems because they were not pulling enough fish from the water. “Agriculture is also disrupted,” he added.