Pakistan’s biggest freshwater lake, Manchar lake, was once filled with fresh water and rich aquatic life, supporting communities that have been living beside the lake for centuries.
Today, the lake water has become toxic due to agricultural and industrial effluents that are drained into it from Balochistan and some districts of Sindh province. This has forced the fisherfolk, who primarily belong to the Mallah or Mohana indigenous communities, and are dependent on the lake, to migrate to other places in search of food, shelter and livelihood.
Around 20,000 people from the fisherfolk Mohana community used to live on houseboats by the Manchar lake. Now, only 4000-5000 are living in the surroundings of the lake. Most of the people have migrated to different locations in Pakistan.
Reporter: Shaukat Korai
Camera: Mumtaz Jamaly
Edit: Asif Abbasi
Voice Over: Shaukat Korai
Shaukat Korai is a Karachi-based multimedia journalist. He tweets at @shaukatkorai.