One of the most affected places of land reclamation, at the hands of Pakistani military backed DHA, in Karachi, is Gizri Creek, a tidal estuary that was once part of a unique wetland ecosystem of mangrove forests around Karachi.
In 1986, this water channel covered nearly 14 square kilometres, according Pakistan’s National Institute of Oceanography. The creek has shrunk to 11 sq km. This means that the equivalent of more than 500 football fields has been taken from the waterway to enable construction work by the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), a real estate developer owned by the Pakistani military.
The neighbourhoods built by the DHA in Karachi are now the most expensive places to live in Pakistan’s largest and most expensive city. The ongoing development frenzy is not only impacting marine ecosystems and local livelihoods, but also contributes to monsoon flooding, puts the city’s residents at risk of sea level rise and is altering the distribution of sediment along this section of the Karachi coastline.
This was originally published in The Third Pole