This sad turn of events follows closely after the recent “fly apocalypse” in Karachi. Concerned citizens raised their voices on Twitter and demanded an emergency be declared.
In a statement issued by the Sindh Police on Twitter today, they said, “Police have cordoned off the affected area of Clifton beach, section 144 has been imposed for the safety of visitors”.
However, that isn’t something that puts our minds or hearts at ease. This isn’t a solitary incident. Waste of all forms has been piling up in Karachi over decades. It’s astonishing to see that a city of over 14.91 million (2017) has no proper waste disposal system in place.
Why You Should Be Concerned About Clifton Beach
Here are three reasons why you should take action and be concerned about the medical waste that has washed ashore Clifton beach:
It poses a risk of HIV and Hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases. Pakistan is already the second-largest country in South Asia, only a few steps behind India and Nepal, in terms of the HIV epidemic. With news of recent outbreaks in Sindh, it’s surprising how very little care is taken into dumping biohazardous waste. These vials of blood and syringes aren’t dropping out of space people! Their origins should be promptly investigated. Shaniera tweeted, “I’ve found over 4 dozen open syringes in the last 10 minutes … This has gone on long enough, people’s lives are at risk”.
The aquatic life is under attack! No amount of metal straws can save the turtles in Pakistan if this has become our common practice. Medical waste disposal is still a problem in Pakistan, more so in Sindh. “11 years of PPP rule and no mechanism to destroy medical waste at hospitals in Sindh, what a disgrace. The health department hasn’t issued any guidelines to destroy the waste in a proper manner. Why don’t all government hospitals have incineration machines to destroy medical waste.”. tweeted Dr. Sanjay Gangwani. Imagine all the medical waste the aquatic wildlife (the one that’s still alive) has to wade through. Stop destroying their habitat!
Not an isolated incident. Pakistan’s federal minister for Maritime affairs, Ali Haider Zaidi, recently Tweeted about the water pollution at Kemari Boat Basin jetty. He said, “… a state of emergency must be declared in Karachi to fix this metropolis. Unless we fix this city, reviving Pakistan economically is nothing but a pipe dream”.
Here Are The Things We Need To Ask Ourselves
How long will this go on in Karachi? Instead of blaming different political parties for their malpractices and inefficiencies in making Karachi “clean & green”, we need to stop electing these people into office. ASAP!
Would this issue have been dealt with as effectively if Shaniera Akram hadn’t pestered and urged everyone (including the authorities) to take action? Clifton beach is a popular destination in Karachi, it’s quite surprising how no one apart from her thought it was something to be concerned about. That just shows how numb we’ve become to the pollution and injustices around us. We’ve normalized and internalized it so much that it doesn’t bother us anymore. The sad truth is that we’ve gotten used to living in a garbage dump.
When will we start taking ownership of our city? How much longer will Karachi be the bastard child of Pakistan? According to the federal board of revenue yearbook 2017-18, Karachi’s contribution is at 41% of the total tax generated from domestic sources in Pakistan. That’s more revenue generated than all of Punjab! Being the business capital of the country, measures need to be taken to reduce pollution and improve the standard of living for Karachiites.
Until we raise our voices and make them heard, Karachi ka Allah hi hafiz hai!