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3.1.4 Forest and Vegetation:

Badin has got two government controlled/irrigated
plantations at Buharki and Rari. The Buharki covers an area of just over 7000
ha and Rari almost 5000 ha[1].
However the plantations are poorly stocked; around 500 ha of the total area
haven’t got any trees. Large areas in the two coastal UCs of Ahmed Rajo and
Bhugra Memon lie completely bald and barren of any vegetation for salinity and
water logging. The main reasons for this state of affairs can be attributed to
sea intrusion, scarcity of fresh water, rising temperature, and frequent floods
and cyclone that inundate and wash away whatever vegetation may have started to
grow.

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The mesquite trees locally called Devi growth in the in the open forests
has also reduced for climatological reasons and poverty as people have cut these
tree to use them as fuel wood or to sell for livelihood. People in all villages
visited as a part of field work for this study dearly regretted fast
disappearance of this tree in their areas.  

The mangrove cover in the Indus delta was declared
as ‘protected forest’. However, reduction in fresh water flow from 150 MAF to
10 MAF, reduction in associated silt from fresh water, and temperature induced
rise in sea level have mainly destroyed the mangrove forest in Badin and Thatta
coastline. The lack of mangrove forest in the deltaic areas of Badin had not
only increased vulnerability to sea intrusion but has also negatively impacted
the marine life planktons, fish, prawns and crabs.

Left
Bank Outfall Drainage (LBOD)

The LBOD though doesn’t emerge as CC concerns yet
for the livelihood and ecosystem of Badin its effect has been catastrophic. As
mentioned earlier, LBOD project was aimed at draining effluent water to sea
without affecting the people and agriculture land in Badin. But the events
later demonstrated that the district has adversely affected. It’s important to
note that prior to the construction of LBOD there were no problems as drainage
water used to accumulate in natural lakes.

The Choleri Weir, which was a part of the tidal
link, collapsed soon after its completion in July 1997. Earlier the natural
direction of the surface water flow of the lower Indus plain was from north to
south leading to the Rann of Kuchh. However, the tidal link connecting the
spinal drain was aligned in the south-westward direction leading to the Samando
Creek in the Arabian Sea. The tidal link was an open channel and at times of
high tide the sea water intruded into vast areas of the Badin.

The northern embankment of the tidal link was also
exposed to the south-westerly winds which generated waves that endangered
stability of the embankment. In the absence of any protective measures, the
embankment had already given way to erosive action of waves and the water had
inundated the area that was previously protected by the embankment.

[1] Baseline Survey of
Coastal Areas of Badin and Thatta, Sindh Coastal Development Authority, Gov’t
of Sindh 2012

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