‘Clean My Karachi’: Stranded Waste in Thousands Lifted Amid ‘Gutter Politics’

According to some observers, nearly 2 to 3 weeks old garbage remain stranded on the average at any given time in the city. That totals into a whopping figure of 400,000 tons = 80 pounds per Karachiite (assuming 10m city population).

DESPARDES NEWS MONITOR — Another 48-inch diameter drainage line at one of the roads behind Avari Tower was stuffed with heavy stones and boulders, said Karachi Water and Sewerage Board managing director, Asadullah Khan. “As a result, not only was the gutter choked, but came apart completely.” The entire area was inundated with gutter water as a result; It took a day for KWSB staff to remove the stones and boulders from the gutter, the report says.

The “sewer choking” incident (apparently recorded on CCTV) took place during the week “Clean My Karachi” drive was launched by the PPP-led Sindh government.


Garbage Mischief' in Karachi – Sep 2019


The provincial govt. claims to have lifted approximately 20,306 tons of garbage (by engaging 1134 workers) during the first two days of the ‘Clean My Karachi’ campaign– the drive to clean up the mega city started on September 21 and dovetails PTI/MQM cleanup drive undertaken weeks back by Federal Minister Ali Haider.

According to some observers, nearly 2 to 3 weeks old garbage remain stranded on the average at any given time in the city. That totals into a whopping figure of 400,000 tons = 80 pounds per Karachiite (assuming 10m city population).

Solid waste management and governance issues top the citizenry’s complaint list. “While the federal government and the city’s mayor are convinced that an ‘emergency’ prevails, the Sindh government thinks otherwise,” wrote Noman Ahmed, Chairman Dept. of Architecture and Planning NED University, Karachi.

According to conservative estimates, Karachi generates over 12,000 tons of waste every day– nearly 30 percent is dumped in the city’s natural drains, nullahs and creeks. The total estimated tonnage does not include that from construction work, electronics, industry and hospitals for which authentic statistics remain elusive. Adding a rough number to the total could be a huge total for a city the size of Karachi without community awareness, proper governance and support services.

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