Coastal village women gifted solar lanterns
This story depicts the life of communities residing close to the sea, facing cyclones, floods and increasing salinity due to the sea level rise. Sea intrusion has put the people most vulnerable, facing displacement. They being live ion far off areas do not have access to electricity. Each family spends Rs100 for a litre of kerosene oil to light a traditional lamp. In fact the price of kerosene is lower in the urban market, these people spend more cost, equal to petrol.
Recently a group of philanthropists, comprising businessmen from Karachi and some from US came to visit a coastal village Haji Umar Jat, Thatta district to donate 300 solar lanterns among the well skilled embroidery maker women.
It was the first time for these tribes’ women, who attended a programme, different than their traditional gatherings. Otherwise, they usually gather at shrines located at distantly islands, where they travel by boats. The tribal bindings force them to stay at home or work in fields or boats with their family members.
The event was organized by a non-governmental Sindh Coastal Development Organisation in collaboration with UNDP Global Environment Facility (Gef) Small Grants Program, LEDtronics and Shan Technologies Karachi, which attracted more than a dozen philanthropists, who were eager to donate these gifts to the families living in the most neglected areas.
Masood Lohar, Country Director of UNDP Gef SGP said “this unique initiative is like a war against darkness, which we have started a few months back with this group of philanthropists.”
A group of these philanthropists have, so far, donated 3000 solar lanterns to the communities in the different areas with setting up five basketball courts to promote recreational activism among the youth.
Maryam Issa, leading the group of philanthropists, expressed the hope that these solar lanterns will support the skilled women to continue their work at nighttime. We have brought little gifts for 300 women of this area with a separate basketball court, also equipped with solar floodlights for their children.”
“We are seeing the skills, generosity and lifestyle of these people. Let us think how to adopt this village with providing all the basic facilities to it, specially health and education,” said the US-based Pakistani philanthropist woman.
The people in coastal areas are the most vulnerable in terms of tsunamis, cyclones, floods and droughts. The people being frightened whenever receive warning call of tsunami, cyclone or flood they shift their families hurriedly to avoid any loss.