HYDERABAD: Senior Sindh Minister for Planning and Development Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani said that Manchar Lake is an economic and cultural asset of Sindh and all the stakeholders must come forward for its rehabilitation. He said that the greed and irresponsible interventions of homo sapiens have altered the environmental scenario of the Manchar Lake. “The disposal of untreated effluents and other pollutants are being dumped into the lake, which has poisoned the lake water,” he said this while speaking in the Workshop on the Assessment of Environmental Degradation of Manchar Lake, a joint research study conducted by U.S. Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water (USPCAS-W) of Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) Jamshoro and Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), Government of Pakistan, held at USPCAS-W MUET.

He said that it is an established fact that Manchar Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Asia, is renowned for its rich flora and fauna, as well as sustaining fishing and agricultural communities. In last few decades, he said, water quality deterioration has resulted in the significant reduction in fish supply and lower agricultural yield and the environmental degradation of the Lake compels the fisher folks to look elsewhere for the employment. “Degradation of the ecosystems of the Manchar Lake has been occurring for a long time but the effects have been recently felt,” he added.

He also thanked U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for establishing water research center at MUET. He assured that Sindh Government will initiate the new development schemes for the rehabilitation of the lake, whereas in last 50 years, the government has constructed and enlarged the artificial channel called Danaster Wah and linked it to the mighty river Indus to supply fresh water to the lake.

MUET Vice Chancellor Dr. Mohammad Aslam Uqaili said that role of the universities has been extended as compared to past; once the academic institutes were imparting the formal education and used to award the degrees and diplomas, whereas now the universities provide the platform for the healthy discussion and debates to reach out the community with solutions.