Environmental Injustice in Pakistan: Impacts of Upstream Dams on Indus Delta and its Inhabitants

Abdul Hadi

Abstract


The aim of this study is to focus on the adverse impacts of upstream dams on Indus delta and its inhabitants. The large dams and barrages, besides their global economic significance, have become the focus of strong discussion on account of their frequently severe social and environmental impacts. These negative impacts do not impinge on all people but people who are poor powerless and belong to marginalized ethnic minorities. Since the inception of Pakistan, Punjabi a dominant ethnic group in Pakistan controls armed forces and key political institution and make all decision without considering the interests of Sindh. The construction of dams raises serious environmental justice concerns, with economic benefits for upper riparian Punjab and social and environmental costs for Sindh. The construction activities on Indus River were accomplished largely without getting consensus from Sindh violating the agreement between Sindh and Punjab. Excessive water diversion by Punjab has resulted in the economic, social and ecological problems in Sindh. Deltaic communities of Sindh who draw their livelihood directly from communal access to land, water, forests, coastal mangroves, and other ecosystems are being the hardest hit by the construction of large dams. Sindhi people, especially deltaic people are subjected to environmental injustice due to their subordinate status in Pakistan.

DOI: 10.5901/ajis.2015.v4n1s2p11


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Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

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