Gadap residents facing serious environmental threats

Gadap residents facing serious environmental threats

KARACHI: A man is sitting next to a heap of animal parts comprises on bones, skulls, hooves and horns, trying to remove flesh from the animal parts, while next to the heap, some labors are burning litter and plastic in the stove which is made by digging ground on which a huge size iron pan is kept, filled with animal flesh.

They are extracting fat from the flash, which will be further heated to make oil and according to the laborers the bones will be sold and the meat would be further cooked and dried. Large numbers of iron drums are observed at the site; some of them are filled with oil and fats.

The air is contagious with the pungent stink of burning flesh and stray dogs are roaming all around and flocks of kites and crows are hover over the area.

This is happening far from the city center, near a graveyard adjacent to Afghan Camp in Gadap Town, in outskirts of Karachi.

"The smoke and stench is affecting more than a dozen villages and settlements in the locality," said Sami Memon, a senior journalist of Malir Press Club. He said this is being practiced on permanent basis, but it got acceleration after the Eidul Azha, as the laborers collected the animal parts from all over the city and have brought it here to sell it to these illegal factories, which make oil from the fats and the bones are sold to different factories in industrial areas of the city.

These illegal factories are set under the open sky, posing serious environmental and health threats to the residents of several villages and settlements of Gadap Town. "Large numbers of the residents of the surrounding villages have suffered with respiratory diseases, as they have to smell the pungent stench all the time," said Memon.

Far away from Gadap, in city's historical fishermen settlement, Ibrahim Hyderi, there are so many such illegal factories, which make fish meal from small size fish and they also extract oil from animal fats, as the authorities have started throwing offal and bones collected here, almost from the entire city.

Located on the edges of Arabian Sea, a settlement, Ibhrahim Hyderi has converted into a garbage dumping site, where trucks and loaders of government departments bring garbage and sump it on the shores.

"These illegal factories are causing serious health issues for the local residents and also posing serious threats to the environment," said Kamal Shah, a social worker with Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum.

The locals have protested many time, but authorities have not taking any action in this regard , he said.