KARACHI - Despite strong protest by the coastal community activists, government functionaries are still reluctant to prioritise the fishermen problems. Truckloads carrying urban waste and dead animals from different towns dump it alongside the beaches, which makes the lives of 0.3 million inhabitants of seven villages miserable. Smoke and clouds of dust engulfed the area and poses a serious threat to the lives of the people. Earlier, traveling from the major fishermen locality Ibrahim Hydri to Rehri was an eye-catching view for the visitors to see the lush green clusters of mangroves forests, wandering camels, swimming children along the backwater sea and groups of community women helping their males to unload boats and collecting fuel. But now the beaches have almost lost behind the artificial walls built by the land grabbers. Sughra Muhammed, a community woman from Rehri, who experienced the diminishing beauty of her area, said women suffer more due to pollution because males usually stay in the open sea or on boats at the jetties. We are living at the mouth of sewerage lines, carrying poison from the rest of the City, seeing our children dying of fatal diseases. Juman Mosani, a fisherman, said these sewerage lines were causing destruction of mangroves, the natural nurseries of shrimps. Boat owners are worried because wooden boats stop working after one year and need repair frequently, which they cannot afford. Sami Memon, spokesman for Pakistan Fisher folk Forum, which led the campaign to protect mangroves standing along 129km-long Karachi coast said, We have taken the issue several times by writing letters to higher authorities, organising workshops to discuss the issues and find solutions together with the civil society, environmental institutions and relevant government, but it seems all has gone in vain. In a recent meeting organised jointly by Coordination Council, representing different organisations working in the coastal area to promote education, health, environment and resolving other issues, held in Rehri Mayan village expressed concerns over the problems. The meeting was attended by Bilal Ahmed of IRC, Javed of Amn Foundation, Khalil Ahmed Wadhelo of Hands, Dr Yousuf Aga Khan Foundation, Mubashar of Infaq Foundation, Anwer Khaskheli, chairman Community-based organisations (CBOs) network, Sami Memon, Talib Kachhi and Nawaz Dablo of PFF.