Blog Action Day- Heal the World

Driving towards the Quaid’s Mausoleum on M.A Jinnah Road, you see the white stone building engulfed in a smoke of smog and dust. That the city is polluted, like all major metropolitans around the world, comes as no surprise but recently our indifference to environmental issues has manifested itself in a number of ways. Climatic change is one of them.

October, in Karachi, is a month when heat becomes unbearable. This year, though, there is almost a chill in the evening breeze. While we may be happy that Ramadan was more pleasant than expected as the October blaze never came, it is also an alarming sign. The more frequent rains that the present government has to bear the brunt of is another one of these alarms. The city was never planned to withstand the rain that Karachi has had in the last few years. It is also expected that the winters this time will be colder than they usually are.

Environmental ills, resulting from increased strain on water supplies and sanitation facilities, also pose extreme health hazards for the growing number of people exposed to them. Gastro and Dengue are recent example of such epidemics.

Even though the process of Global Warming and Climatic change has started and it may be difficult to reverse the cycle, but we need to seriously think about what we can do to slow it down. There is something each one of us can do in individual capacities to improve the environment.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Don’t litter: This is the first lesson we teach our kids but forget ourselves as we grow up. Not only does it make the city a less beautiful place but in places like the beach, the plastic wrappers that we throw away can be harmful when they are swallowed by the fish. It is sad when fishing in Manora, the only fish people do catch are the plastic bag that they have thrown in themselves.

2. Use public transport: The importance of this cannot be overstressed. The increase in the number of personal cars on the city streets has had two disastrous effects ever since low interest rates a couple of years ago made it easy for people to lease cars. While the traffic congestion on our thoroughfares has spiraled out of control, it has also contributed to air pollution in the city. Use of public transport will greatly contribute to the reduction of emissions by automobiles.

3. Plant more trees: And make sure these trees don’t come in the way of power lines in the area. It is sad to see more and more trees being pulled down in the city because they can be harmful when they come in contact with the power lines. The trees are indispensable. If one needs to be cut, make sure you plant another. And more.

4. Lobby for Environmental laws, policies, etc: There are laws such as the Environment Protection Ordinance but as with all other laws, there is much to be desired when it comes to implementation. The residents of an area can play a role in making sure factories and other businesses operating in the area abide by these regulations.

5. Consume less: And leave a healthier Earth for our future generations. At the pace we are going today, the fast depleting natural resources which in the near future may even include fresh clean air, may run out altogether.

6. Spread awareness: Environmental concern is a grave issue that requires us to take immediate action and everyone needs to know that. From the slum resident living on the outskirts of Liyari Nadi to the industrialists in the more posh areas. There is something everyone can do and for that the consequences of environmental degradation need to be driven home.

The government too is playing its part which can be seen by the greater number of parks in Karachi now, but there is a lot more than can be done. Let’s hope combined efforts of the people and the Government can make Karachi a cleaner and safer place to live for us and the future generations.

14 Comments so far

  1. Zee (unregistered) on October 15th, 2007 @ 8:13 pm

    Environmental ills, resulting from increased strain on water supplies and sanitation facilities, also pose extreme health hazards for the growing number of people exposed to them. Gastro and Dengue are recent example of such epidemics.

    Dangue emerged in Karachi because of the influx of people from mountainouse regions of Pakistan after the earth quake. Dangue was always there up in the mountains and now we have it in Karachi and it’s not going to go that easily. It’s one mess that is going to cause a HUGE problem if we don’t do anything about it on individual level.

  2. .!. (unregistered) on October 15th, 2007 @ 8:45 pm

    long and winding road

    we havent start our journey yet!

  3. Asif Raza (unregistered) on October 15th, 2007 @ 9:30 pm

    Allah Malek hai , don’t worry people ;D

  4. Ali (unregistered) on October 16th, 2007 @ 2:55 am

    @ Asif Raza: I can’t believe you’re laughing this stuff’s damn serious, more serious than a doctor saving a person’s life (a doctor saves one person’s life at a time, clean environment saves a thousand people’s lives at a time)..what I mean by this example is to look a little more than the usual short-sightedness fairly common of ‘educated’ Karachiites.

    By the way, if someone in the neighborhood fixes up fault lines @ their own expense (if there are no regulations, why not use it for the better?), not only will trees be saved, but power cuts will also toned down.

  5. Taz (unregistered) on October 16th, 2007 @ 3:47 am

    There are so many channels on air these days. It does means that a lot of people are now media people. The recent article about cleaning Karachi and helping its environment got me thinking. Why doesn’t any channel start a drive. For example, a drive to plant more plants around the city. We all know plants make a lot of difference to the environment. Mostly Tv channels are trying to copy the Indian soap operas so why not do something else. Involve the people in something effective unlike promoting society evils such revenge taking techniques, jealously and backbiting. Media has lot of power so why not use it in doing something creative for a change.

  6. Mufakkir (unregistered) on October 16th, 2007 @ 10:02 am

    I already do 1, 2, 5 & 6. Makes a small diff, but still……..

  7. pa(kiss)tani (unregistered) on October 16th, 2007 @ 10:09 am

    here what ppl say about Algore’s prize winning,

    about inconvenient truth,

    ……film was riddled with nine scientific errors as he considered whether it should be shown to British school children.

    LINK: html

    Nine scientific inacuracies in oscar winning Inconvenient truth, 1-details/Judge+attacks+nine+errors+in+Al+Gore%27s +%27alarmist%27+climate+change+film/

  8. pa(kiss)tani (unregistered) on October 16th, 2007 @ 10:31 am
  9. Raskolnikof (unregistered) on October 16th, 2007 @ 3:38 pm

    There is something each one of us can do in individual capacities to improve the environment.

    Here are some suggestions:
    2. Use public transport:

    Using public transport in Karachi? Are you out of your mind? Trust me, you would never want to sit in one of those ugly and congested min-buses [an understatement]. Not to forget the punjabi/pathan weirdo standing next to you. *rolls eyes*

    There have been times when I have walked for an hour or two instead of taking a bus. UTS is no better. Rickshaw is a big NO/NO for the noise and air pollution. When are we going to have a proper Public TS in Karachi? *sigh*

    Start using your feet! Most of us get our autos out for anything over 50 meters. Help your own body and the environment: WALK!

  10. Raskolnikof (unregistered) on October 16th, 2007 @ 4:02 pm


    What has Gore’s Nobel prize got to do with us trying to clean our city? Global warming may or may not be a myth/pseudoscience. The truth is that we are living in a city which suffers from all kinds of pollution, and we all must do whatever we can to clean the city for us and the future generations.

  11. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on October 16th, 2007 @ 4:13 pm


    you makes sense, but only for debating and drawing room discussion.

    1,3,5,6 is practiced by many of us,

    REST ! is too much to WASTE time., lobbying means some how politicizing the issue.

    I use my pair of feet then taking a public transport.

    On Jummatul wida i made huge mistake taking a rickshaw from my work to memon masjid, on way i asked the driver why so much noise and smoke, he said, if we silence the engine there will be more fuel consumption and less of pickup means Less of trips. – on way back I did a blunder taking a mini bus – the weirdo standing next to my seat was a big beard Molvi scratching his balls with right hand and combing his beard with left, rest his thigh on the side of seat i was sitting and i was alarmed that it could be my shoulder any moment.

    I stepped out half way before he could have sitted next to me, and rest of 1.5 km i walked to work.

    SO enough said then done….

  12. ShahidnUSA (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 1:13 am

    Within last 10 years I visited Karachi twice and both times I avoided traveling on M. A. Jinnah road. Because I was told not to travel on that street due to the heavy black smoke of buses and rickshaws.I feel for the people who have to deal with that harmful smoke on daily basis.
    Here is my suggestion:
    I think that they should only allow CNG cars and promote cycle rickshaws and bicycles.
    Its not a very long road if I remember correctly.
    I know its easier said than done :)

  13. Straight Talker (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 2:33 am

    Educate/Teach/Tutor people and thats what Pakistani bloggers should be doing instead of writing these useless articles. Majority of your audience on this page are those who often “visit” Karachi, some once in 5 years and some more often. They don’t need your suggestions. Makes sense? Now please don’t try to teach blogging 101 and instead do something constructive.

  14. ShahidnUSA (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 6:11 am

    The point of it all
    Sometimes people tell me that they are very concerned about the environment but that they don’t feel their efforts can make the slightest difference. I like to tell a mushy story my friend told me about a little girl on the beach.

    Thousands of starfish have been washed up by a rip tide. They are dying in the sun. One by one, the little girl picks them up, carries them to the water and drops them in.

    A man comes along and says, “What’s the point? There are so many you can’t even make a difference”

    The girl says, “Tell that to the one I just put back in the water.”


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