Read the story at this link.
This story focuses on the impacts of Chotioari Reservoir, spreading over around 1,800 hectares and covering 30 kilometer area in Sanghar’s desert zone, called White Desert.
The dam was designed with building stone-pitched embankment from one side, leaving the other three sides, which are open from sand dunes.
Environmentalists call it an ecological disaster, as it has not only destroyed the source of living of farmers, herders and fishermen, it has also impacted badly on the ecology.
The dam area was complex of around 60 small and big lakes, some of them are known natural habitats of several species of birds, reptiles and small mammals. The story I have designed with 20-year journey (visiting occasionally, twice or thrice a year to see the change.)
A report of WWF-Pakistan, 2008 reveals that Chotiari reservoir is home to 14 species of large and 19 species of small mammals, 109 species of birds, 58 species of reptiles and amphibians and about 53 species of freshwater fish.
The most important and globally endangered species of the complex wetland site is the Marsh Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris). The construction of reservoir embankments has divided the system in isolated wetland pieces and has definitely triggered the environmental disasters.
WWF-Pakistan with local community-based groups has been focusing on recovery of endangered species, sustainable rangeland management, promotion of sustainable fishing practices, management and control of seepage, provision of alternate energy and reforestation for the growth and improvement of livelihood.
There were herder families, enjoying separate states for their livestock. But gradually, they are facing as if losing the land under their feet. Because, water logging and erosion have not only shrunk grazing fields and islands it is also threatening to the life and livelihoods of communities and disturbing wildlife.
WWF-backed eco tourism project has introduced installing solar energy benefitting community with kitchen gardening, growing vegetables, fruits and grasses at the wider courtyards and open fields, where vegetables were not the choice of the communities. The eco center is attracting people to visit area, once the rich in biological diversity, where now communities are struggling to rehabilitate and promote the community forestation, protecting remaining grazing fields.