KARACHI: One of the oldest coastal fishermen settlements of Ibrahim Hyderi is suffering from acute shortage of drinking water for past several years. Annoyed by the persistent water shortage the residents have announced to hold series of protests against the shortage and water theft.“The illegal fish feed factories are stealing the water from the main pipe, due to which colony is witnessing water shortage, therefore, the residents have decided to hold protest demonstrations and sit-in in front of the Water Pump office on Tuesday”, said Kamal Shah, a local social activist. He said Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF)’s chairman Muhammad Ali Shah will lead the protest and large number of the women will participate in the sit-in.According to PFF’s data, there are around 160 fisher folk settlements and over 200 traditional coastal hamlets along the 129km Karachi coast that are still deprived of basic facilities, such as school, healthcare, electricity and, most importantly, drinking water.“Out of the total 52 neighborhoods of Ibrahim Hyderi, only 10 to 15 neighborhoods are supplied with water and remaining neighborhood are without water for past many years”, Shah added.The water shortage is severe in Mirbahar Para neighborhood, Solani Para, Khakheli Mohala, Laasi Para, Benazir Chowk, Warwani and Peerwani Mohala.One can see, women carrying pitchers and Gerry canes, walking for hours to fetch water from different areas.Traditionally, the residents of these villages have remained supporters of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), ruling party in Sindh and when the party came into power, the villagers hoped that this time they would get water connections, but they were disappointed. There are several small industries and fish feed factories in the area for which government authorities provide bulk water, however, for the local residents, water is not being supplied.“Being PPP voters, we demand the party leadership and especially chief minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah to take the issue seriously and provide us with water,” said an elderly resident of the colony. Published in Daily Times, July 31st , 2017.