KARACHI: Fisherwomen have vowed to lead a campaign against increasing pollution and degradation of fresh water bodies in the country, specifically in Sindh, saying like their forefathers they will continue to be the custodians of these resources.
They opposed contract system at the rivers and illegal encroachment which destroys the natural beauty of lakes, the community activists said only fishermen should have the right to get their livelihood from lakes. Fatima Majeed, senior vice chairperson Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), said this while presiding over a 11-member governing body meeting on Sunday and reiterated her pledge the fisherwomen from marine and coastal areas will lead the week-long campaign March 8-14 and celebrate International Day of Action for Rivers and Against Dams at the river bank near famous Al-Manzar, Jamshoro.
Hundreds of people, belonging to different waters will participate in the event to show their strength and release the message to the world people, who are very much conscious about their rivers, wetlands and lakes for their livelihoods. Fatima appealed to fisherwomen to come forward to protect natural resources and own the same for their life and livelihoods. Those legislators are backing certain feudal lords and tribal chieftains to encroach waters should be brought to justice and ensure the right to live to fishermen, who have been neglected in terms of development.
PFF General Secretary Saeed Baloch, Zulekha, Ramzan Mallah, Ayoub Shan, Talib Kachhi, Ishaq Meerani, Juman Mallah, Majid Motani and others, representing marine and inland waters attended the meeting. It was decided that the central executive committee will announce the schedule of week-long activities on March 7 in Hyderabad. These activities will be organized at district level to protect lakes, wetlands and canals through motivating community women and men about the significant role of these resources.
Saeed Baloch said they are mobilizing fishermen, farmers and herdsmen in the entire country to join hands for restoration of the natural flow of the rivers. In fact protecting Indus Delta, mangroves and riverine forests is the part of PFF’s ‘keep river free movement’. The meeting also appealed to Pakistan and Indian governments to resolve the sea territory issue and stop arresting fishermen in both sides.
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