Category: Nature

480mn gallons of polluted water flowing into Karachi sea daily

Pollution in the Seas of Karachi

About 480 million gallons of polluted water and waste of Karachi city was daily flowing into the sea, causing destruction of marine life.Pollution in Karachi

This was stated by senior officials of the Ministry of Ports and Shipping in a meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Ports and Shipping held at Parliament House.

Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, Chairman Karachi Port Trust and other senior officials attended the meeting.

The committee was informed that sea pollution is not only affecting marine life but also causing health problems for the city’s residents.

Bizenjo said that his ministry has conducted two meetings with Sindh government to discuss issues related to water pollution. He proposed a jointly devised plan to contain the issue and to protect marine life.

The committee has decided to invite officials of Karachi Water Sewerage Board and other concerned departments in its next meeting.

Senator Taj Haider said that the provincial government initiated water desalination and is currently cleaning 250 million gallons of water under the TP1 and TP3 project.

And Dawn News Publishes:

A team of five exhausted fishermen has just returned from a three-day tiring journey of the Arabian Sea. After anchoring their wobbly 30-foot boat at the fishing jetty of Karachi’s historical fishing settlement, Ibrahim Hyderi, they start unloading nets and emptying the plastic baskets. Finally they pile up their catch, which comprises small fish. The three nights of labour will earn each fisherman Rs3,000, as only fish meal factories will buy it for less than the market rate.

“There are no fish near the shores and we have to travel into open sea to find the catch,” says Abass Mallah, the 40-year-old captain of the boat.

The residents in this oldest fishing village are running out of luck as they have to find ways to survive with the growing pollution from Pakistan’s largest city. These days they need powerful motorboats, bigger fishing nets and extra men to sail into the open sea and spend several days in search of fish.

“Dumping of garbage and pouring sewerage water into sea has badly affected fish,” says Saleh Muhammad, a fisherman from the village.

Just a few yards away from the fishing jetty, heaps of rubbish have been dumped on the beach. According to locals, influential people have started inviting rubbish trucks to come and dump municipal waste into the sea. They hope then to lay claim to the adjacent land, and sell it at a large price.

Just outside the village, there is a huge drain. It pours forth smoky black water, layered with white foam, into the sea. This effluent comes from the city. There are six industrial zones in Karachi with around 10,000 industrial units that manufacture everything from textiles to chemicals and paints. The most polluting, in terms of chemical waste, are the tanneries.

The authorities admit that solid waste and toxic industrial effluents are dumped into sea, untreated. Sindh Minister for Environment, Sikandar Mandhro, says that he is aware that the wastewater and solid waste is dumped into the sea. “This is not new phenomena, we have chalked out a plan to solve the issue on a permanent basis,” he said.

Authorities estimate that Karachi produces around 500 million gallons per day (MGD) of wastewater. Around one fifth of water comes from these industries, while the rest is the domestic or municipal sewerage. “Almost the entire sewerage and industrial waste water goes into sea without treatment, which has brought a natural disaster, as we are losing our fish catch and also it is affecting marine life. We are working to resolve the issue,” admits Mandhro.

According to the law, the owners of industrial units are responsible for treating industrial waste and disposing of the wastewater properly without harming the environment. “There was no law to punish the polluters in the past, but now we have introduced new laws and will soon ensure that every industry treats its waste,” says Mandhro.

However, factory owners have different ideas. “Most of the industries were built five or six decades ago and now they have no space to build treatment plants inside the factories,” says Syed Sadiq Ahmed, an owner of a small factory in Korangi Industrial area. He says the government has a plan to treat the industrial wastewater but nothing yet has been done. “A huge treatment plant was started in Korangi Industrial area, but is no longer functional,” he adds.

There are no designated landfill sites in Karachi, therefore the rubbish or solid waste, which includes plastic, is thrown directly into the sea or dumped in rainwater steams or nullahs and ultimately are washed into the sea after monsoon floods. According to data collected by the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa), there is also the waste from, the huge local cattle colony, which houses around a million animals, a mix of cows and buffaloes. The waste produced by them is also dumped in the sea.

Pakistan’s only two functional ports – Karachi Port and Bin Qasim Port – are also located on these shores, which also contribute to the pollution. The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) authorities claim that they are working day and night to keep the sea clean, but the Pakistan Game Fish Association has termed the port as, “possibly the most polluted port in the world”. Oil spills from the ships in the vicinity are common, and the Tasman Spirit oil spill in 2003, was one of the world’s worst. The Greek oil tanker carrying 67,500 tonnes of crude oil broke ran aground near the Karachi port, killing thousands of fish and birds in the area. The impacts of the spill still linger.

Ecologists are worried about the increasing marine pollution. Nadeem Mirbahar, a renowned ecologist and coordinator at the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Pakistan, says pollution has badly affected the fish catch and marine life. “Along the Karachi coast, locals sometimes find corpses of endangered green turtles and other cetaceans, which died because of the pollution, especially due to throwing of plastic waste into the sea,” says Mirbahar. He further adds that several species of fish have disappeared from the waters of Arabian Sea due to pouring of industrial waste.


Artificial Rain the solution to Karachi’s Heat Wave

Karachi Heat

Karachi and Sindh Governments should start pondering upon the need that Heat Wave can hit the region like 2015, in this regard all the safety measures must be taken and good anticipation is highly recommended, Artificial rainfall is also the answer to the need of heat reducing tactics. Karachi Heat

But how do you get artificial rain? Basically, a combination of chemicals is sprinkled on normal clouds— a practice called “cloud seeding”— which induces rainfall, though the same process has been used in some places to prevent hail and fog.

The practice is very common in China, where dangerously high levels of air pollution put residents at risk, which is why the government frequently uses induced rain to bring down pollution levels. and not only in china but we can take the example of UAE, which is now using this method of controlling the heat levels.

Artificial Rainfall

How the Artificial Rain works, Despite decades of cloud seeding by local agencies to try to fight drought conditions, research on its effectiveness is inconclusive.

Including snow or rain

  1. Airplane flares or grounded generators release a silver iodide aerosol into clouds cooled to less than 32 fahrenheit.
  2. Water in cloud attaches to silver iodid which has crystaline structures similar to the ice.
  3. Particles become hereby enough to fall as snow or rain.
  4. Depending on the conditions, it can take 20 to 30 minutes to produce rain.



Sea-saw: Climate change makes Karachi feel under the weather

KARACHI: Karachi is in danger! There were nearly 200 islands along Sindh’s coastal belt in 1890. Now, no more than 40 remain. The danger is due to sea erosion and possible cyclones because of the climate change, said senator Karim Ahmed Khawaja.

“We have to protect the mangroves,” he said. “Movement of water at downstream Kotri is also concerning as about a million acres of land has been eroded in Badin and Thatta. The erosion has even affected Tando Muhammad Khan and soon it will hit Hyderabad if we don’t take appropriate measures.”

Speaking at the ‘Climate Change Adaptation Conference’ on Thursday, organised by Focus Humanitarian Assistance Programme in collaboration with NED University of Engineering and Technology, Khawaja said that it is the federal government’s responsibility to look after the affairs of climate-related issues. “Rice and wheat was in abundance in Sindh in the 1920s, when workers from Middle Eastern countries used to come here. Now the province starves as nothing to eat remains. And all of this is down to climate change.”

The next speaker talked about an increase in temperature and sea level and the impact of the changes . “The rise in average temperature is up to 0.6 to one degree centigrade along the coastal belt and sea level has risen annually at an approximate average rate of 1.2 millimetres per year for the past five decades,” said Pakistan Meteorological Department deputy director Zubair Ahmed Siddiqui. “These changes have been directly affecting the weather pattern along the coastal belt.”

Karachi view from a satelite

Siddiqui warned that if the issue is not addressed then Sindh’s coast will experience the brunt of nature’s wrath. “Extreme events, such as wind storms and tropical cyclones, are occurring much more frequently now than what they used to in the past,” he said. “They are warnings of a dramatic increase in damages through catastrophes.”

Siddiqui was then followed by researcher Areba Syed, whose findings also indicated that the climate of Sindh’s coast is changing. However, she was not as dramatic as the others before her. “The temperature is decreasing in Karachi,” she claimed, having compared the temperatures of Mumbai and Dubai to Karachi’s over the past half a century. “Wind speeds in Karachi are decreasing but in Mumbai and Dubai, they are increasing.”

Meteorologist and Lead Pakistan senior advisor, Dr Qamaruz Zaman Chaudhry, stressed on a community based approach to accelerate the implementation of climate change adaptation practices in coastal areas. “The plans developed by local communities consider local contextual needs and constraints that ensure community ownership,” he said.

Demographic trends show rapid urbanisation in Karachi, with an average annual rate of urbanisation exceeding four per cent per year since 1951. Rapid growth in Karachi has exacerbated environmental challenges and the city has struggled to improve aspects of basic infrastructure: roads, water pipes and sanitation.

“The green spaces in the city are reducing due to encroachments,” said Sustainable Initiatives executive director Farhan Anwar. Talking on the impact of the rise in temperature in the city, he said that the centre of the city is affected more due to human activities and congestion.

Former federal minister Javed Jabbar said that government organisations, academic institutions and scholars need to make a collective effort to revise the overall climate change framework and policies.

“Climate change is fast becoming a serious concern for the country where a significant percentage of the population is living below the poverty line and is more vulnerable to disasters,” said Focus Humanitarian Assistance Pakistan Chairperson Khadija Jamal Shaban.

Engineer Pervez Sadiq, attempted to present both sides of the story. “Go and see what you have in Astola Island; you’ll enjoy it,” he suggested hall. “You don’t know how beautiful Karachi is.

There was a time when young boys used to dive for coins from the waters at the Native Jetty Bridge but now the water is murky and polluted.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2014.


12 Important Pros and Cons of Cloud Seeding and Artificial Rainfall

People around the world, especially farmers, see rain as an essential water source. Without it, some regions have to deal with droughts that cause crops to die and have other harmful effects. Thanks to a revolutionary technology, called cloud seeding, such a problem is remedied. However, being fairly early on in its development stages, the technique has become a subject in debates. The full impact of cloud seeding is still not fully known, but it is helpful to what its pros and cons are so far.

List of Pros of Cloud SeedingCloud Seeding

1. It creates rain.
One big benefit of cloud seeding is being able to create rain in regions that are most affected by droughts, lessening the impact of the harsh climate. By using the technique, farms can yield more crops due to the fact that farmers will be able to grow plants in areas that might not have supported them in the past. This means cloud seeding can get rid of famine in the future.

2. It makes all areas more hospitable.
There are dry regions of the world that are not habitable or even unsuitable for a visit due to drought. However, cloud seeding can allow for increased rainfall in these areas, making them more hospitable. This might even attract more tourists and help the places’ overall economy as a result.

3. It could regulate the weather.
Many of the best areas to grow crops face severe weather, which can bring about damage to the produce. Through cloud seeding, the atmosphere’s water vapor will be more regulated, which will prevent damaging hail and severe storms to occur.

4. It would allow for economic improvement.
If farmers can grow and sell more crops, then the overall economy of a region would be greatly improved. Aside from agriculture, it is stated above that tourism would be boosted by cloud seeding. Dry, arid places that are previously considered as inhospitable would be transformed into desirable vacation spots, bringing in a flood of foreign currency into the economy, which then circulates among the local residents improving their living conditions. Given that it would prevent famine and boost tourism, cloud seeding may well bring economic improvements to developing countries.

5. It can provide relief to those drought-stricken areas.
Cloud seeding promotes the formation of raindrop, which is essential for drought-stricken regions or places that are suffering from water scarcity. A lot of countries that are experiencing severe drought can definitely utilize this technology to solve their problems.

6. It can reduce crop damage because of precipitation.
This technology has been effectively used to suppress undesirable forms of precipitation, such as hail, that can cause damage to crops and urban areas. It works by modifying or altering storm clouds that would otherwise produce hail and other frozen forms of precipitation.

List of Cons of Cloud SeedingArtificial Rainfall

1. It uses potentially harmful chemicals.
It is important to know that cloud seeding does involve the use of chemicals into the air, which means that it can potentially harm the environment, especially plants and animals. However, the complete effect of cloud seeding on the environment as a whole is not fully known yet. Though silver iodine is not currently known to be harmful to our health today, but it might change in the future as more research is done and completed.

2. It is not really proven to be effective.
After some evaluation of its effectiveness, cloud seeding is found not to be foolproof as of the moment. The technique is mostly used on clouds that already show early signs of rainfall, so it is not known if it is actually the cause of rain. Plus, the high cost of doing it is not even believed to be justifying its effectiveness.

3. It may affect the weather in a negative way.
Though it is believed to regulate the weather, cloud seeding is feared to ultimately change climatic patterns that exist on Earth. This means that places that would normally receive moisture may start to experience drought due to the artificial process of adding compounds to the atmosphere to trigger rainfall.

4. It can pose a negative risk for living organisms.
Since cloud seeding’s process requires the placement of chemicals into the air, it would obviously have undesirable concerns for plants and animals below. How the chemicals are used in this technology will affect the organisms that will be hit by its artificial rainfall, which is exactly considered its most direct concern.

Plus, the use of silver iodine is not yet recognized whether it can lead to any severe negative effects or not on the health of plants and animals, but a lot of organizations have been continuously doing some extensive research about its long-term effects.

5. It requires huge amounts of investments.
Aside from the health of plants and animals, the cost of cloud seeding is another big concern, as it could be really costly to deliver chemicals to the sky and have them released into the air.

6. It can lead to flooding and undesirable weather problems.
Once the silver iodine and other chemicals are released into the atmosphere, there is no controlling of what type of weather would form. It is likely that there will be too much rain, which can cause the problem of flooding. This would be very difficult for regions experiencing chronic water shortage, as they probably have no system in place to deal with damage to be caused by flooding. Hail is another risk that can cause a great deal of damage to property in urban areas in a short period of time. In rural communities, hail can flatten crops, causing probable food shortages. Some people even fear that, rather than solving water-shortage problems, cloud seeding would just make them worse.


Trying to cure drought is an ongoing battle, and the latest technology used for this is cloud seeding. Determining if the technique is good or bad might not be as easy as you might assume, but it can be made easier by weighing both its pros and cons.


Haramosh Mountain

Haramosh Peak

Haramosh Peak is the highest peak in Haramosh. Its height is 7409m. It can easily be seen from Gilgit, Pakistan. It is covered with snow throughout the year. Sassi is located at its base on one side and Kutwal is at another. The Skardu route is passing through Hanuchal and Sassi. The shape of this peak is as like as the shape of alphabet.