A long journey on foot against dams on River Indus

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Fisherfolk and peasant leaders from the Sindh province of  Pakistan organized a 16 day long march against the building of dams on the Indus River on 10 - 25 October 2018. The march was called on by the chair of ESCR-Net member, the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) and won widespread support and solidarity from fishing and peasant communities of Sindh, civil society organizations, and the media.

The Sindh Peoples Long March  involved a long walk of more than 200 kilometers over 16 days, starting from a small fishing village on the River Indus Delta region, culminating at the Provincial Assembly of Sindh, Pakistan in Karachi. The action was calling for the restoration of the natural flow of River Indus and opposing all dams on the river, including the Kalabagh and Basha Dams.

The call for the march comes months after the Chief Justice of Pakistan launched a pro-dam campaign, collecting donations for the construction of the Basha Dam on the River Indus. In addition, the Sindh Peoples have been very concerned with his efforts to promote the the construction of the controversial Kala Bagh Dam.  

Since the 1940s, the Indus River Delta has received less water as a result of large-scale irrigation works capturing large amounts of the water before it reaches the River Indus Delta. The result has been catastrophic for both the environment and the local population. As a result of the construction of dams and barrages along the river, there has been a reduction in freshwater, increasing salinity and thus rendering the delta unsuitable for the freshwater species originally inhabiting the area. In addition, the River Indus Delta has been shrinking as a result.

For more information on the PFF and their activities, please visit: http://pff.org.pk/