Climate March

Why We March – 3 pm July 16th Frere Hall

Climate March Karachi: March for Malir River (Urdu)
Climate March Karachi: March for Malir River (Sindhi)

The world is in the throes of a climate crisis which scientists believe is largely driven by human activity. Deforestation, burning of fossil fuel, contamination of our waters with toxic sewage and industrial waste and rapid and ill-planned urbanisation at the cost of destruction of our ecosystem has led to people in the global south being particularly hard hit.

Life in Pakistan becomes increasingly difficult every year as summer temperatures soar to unbearable highs and raging floods sweep through our land. 

CAC Climate Action Karachi Darya Lab

Inevitably, the consequences of this crisis are disproportionately borne by the least privileged in our country. Swathes of farming land has often been forcibly taken over by the Sindh government and given to large scale developers for instance in areas such as Kathore and Malir. This approach not only deprives the local farmers of their land, communities and livelihoods but also leads to food shortages as farmland is cleared for housing and other projects, consequently driving up the prices of food. It hits the common person the most and furthers nutritional deprivation amongst the poorest. We demand that there be an end to all forms of violence against the farmers and an end to projects such as Bahria Town which only benefit the elite at the expense of destroying  homes of the locals, their ecosystem, wildlife and farmland. The government of Sindh has a mandate to protect the rights of all people and it must ensure that its actions do not lead to suffering of the poor farmers and communities living in rural Karachi.

Due to recurrent floods, landless farmers lose crops and find themselves sinking deeper into debt. City workers toil in the sweltering heat, going home to cramped living spaces that they can’t afford to cool.

Pakistan’s response to the climate crisis is lagging, unable to keep up with the rapidly evolving situation. In fact, we continue to witness the implementation of policies and projects that are counterintuitive to climate action.

At Climate March 2023, we will march for climate justice. Climate change cannot be divorced from social justice. The ongoing crisis deepens the systemic inequality in our country. We must recognise that anti-poor development policies in the city have witnessed bulldozing of homes of workers, destruction of their gas, water and energy supplies rendering their living conditions unsafe and uninhabitable. 

Energy poverty leaves our people helpless in the face of this crisis. With electric bills soaring sky-high, the most vulnerable communities are unable to cool their homes in the summer, exposing them to the risk of a heat stroke. In the winter, empty gas lines render heaters and stoves useless. We call upon an end to use of fossil fuels and investment in clean energy alternatives by the government to prevent further rise in temperatures and degradation of our environment.

Developmental projects rob people of their homes, farmland and kill biodiversity in our cities. Sewage seeps into the sea, contaminating waters and killing the marine life. These contribute to food scarcity, disturb our ecosystem and lead to an increase in air and water borne diseases.

Floods lay waste to livestock and crop, leaving farmers without income or food as the country continues to pursue policies that protect the privileged and penalise the vulnerable. We call upon the state and government of Pakistan to declare a climate emergency, put an end to deforestation practices and invest in disaster management and relief. It is pertinent to ensure that a pro-active policy is made and adequate arrangements for food, secure shelter, sanitation and appropriate facilities exist for pregnant women, elderly and people with disabilities. We further demand that our rivers, streams and land resources be cleaned and protected from toxins, industrial sewage and all forms of pollution and  the poisoning of our waters is put to an end immediately. Any violations need to be criminalized. 

Join us on 16th July as we demand justice for those amongst us who are most vulnerable to the climate crisis. Let’s work together towards a greener future! 

Below are videos about Karachi’s Climate March held in 2019:

Inside Karachi’s Climate March 2019

To keep updated on the venue for Climate March 2023, follow Pakistan Maholliati Tahaffuz Movement on Twitter. 

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