Depleting natural lakes, a threat to desert ecosystem

A profile of Kalankar Lake


Kalankar Lake

This story depicts the situation of a complex of once scenic natural lakes, which were formed long ago when an old Hakro River would stream to the sea from the existing Tharparkar district, the desert area. It was also said to be the part of Indus Delta long ago, because the country coast is still bordering the desert district.

After years due to lack of government policies landlords deprived these wetlands of their share of water, discarded the same to dry. Politically influential persons even encroached upon the dried parts of the lakes and using the land for cultivation.

These lakes official have been linked to Nara Canal for receiving water. But due to different approach by the landlords and government officials these abandoned lakes turned into brackish water ponds because of frequent shortage of rains and blockage of the fresh water streams. This impacted badly on the ecosystem of Thar desert and destroyed resources of livelihoods of the communities, fishermen and herders living along the lakes through generations.

Flocks of birds, local and migratory birds used to come there, which have changed destinations because of depleting wetland, shortage of feed and its water quality.

These community people– fishermen use smaller boats operating without engine and herders wandering behind the herds of cows and camels—have more to say about the prosperous days they spent and rich biodiversity.

Major portion of the old Hakro river bed was the natural stream of the rain water to avoid floods, but it has been encroached for cultivation with building infrastructures, now causing flood destruction.  After several years, the lakes receive rain water when the flood-2011 hit the province and the communities heaved a sigh of relief, hoping they might remain safe.

Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) struggling to restore these lakes by ensuring their water share like agriculture to preserve ecosystem and avoid impacts of climate change.

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