KARACHI - The inhabitants of the entire coastal belt of the City are suffering from multiple diseases due to unhygienic conditions and the lack of basic medical facilities, sources revealed to The Nation on Friday. According to a survey, there are as many as 1,200 villages along coastal belt starting from Mubarak Village in Kemari Town to Lath Basti in Bin Qasim Town. Each village has a population around 2,000 to 5,000 people, who mostly live in small huts. But the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) is yet to provide electricity and basic health and education facilities to these villages. A good number of pregnant women die before reaching hospitals located in remote urban areas of the metropolis. Talking to The Nation, local people, who are mostly associated with the fishing profession, strongly criticised the governments failure in providing basic facilities to these areas. Due to our meagre earnings and low income, we can not afford to get modern health and education facilities available in the urban areas, they said. They cited the example of a woman in Mubarak Village, named Gul Bano, who was unable to get proper medical treatment for her daughter, suffering from high fever, for past one week. She brought the child to Maripur as there were no basic health facilities in Mubarak Village. A dispensary was built in the area ten years ago but the health department has not so far appointed any staff there. Resultantly, the residents of the Mubarak Village have to bring patients to Maripur, 30 km away from their locality. Majority of the residents of Mubarak Village are suffering from gastroenteritis, diarrhoea, fever, chronic cough and skin and eye diseases, said Dr. Kumar, who runs a private clinic at Maripur. He said that these people could not afford costly medical treatment due to poverty. He added that living conditions in the entire coastal belt were very miserable where people drank water from ponds and wells, which is a major cause of these fatal diseases. The coastal areas of Karachi are still devoid of potable water, and as a result, the fishermen and their families are suffering from various water borne diseases, said Kumar. A resident of Hawks Bay, Muhammad Siddique, complained that several government dispensaries in the area were running without doctors, who regularly receive their salaries. The indifferent attitude of the government sometimes makes us feel as if we are not the citizens of this country. We have been going through this pathetic situation for so long. We are counting deaths of our loved ones at home or on the way to the city hospitals. We have informed the government of our plight a number of times, but the government has never paid heed to our problems, said Khair Bibi, a resident of Mubarak Village, whose young daughter Razia died on the way to hospital. Residents of these coastal villages have appealed to President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gelani and Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah to order the provision of basic facilities to these localities.