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Eco-Excursion to Haleji and Keenjhar Lakes
Karachi, 20 Jan, 2016: In order to create environmental awareness among youth, Nature Care Concern (NCC) organized a one-day eco-excursion to Haleji and Keenjhar Lakes in Thatta district. A total of 56 students from Bayview High School, Karachi participated in the visit. The participants were first taken to the Haleji Lake where they took part in Bird Watch and enjoyed the serene beauty of this lake. Later, they visited Keenjhar Lake located at distance of around 15 kilometers from historical Makli hills.
Naveed Ali Soomro, Director NCC, briefed the participants about ecological significance of the lakes. He shared that Keenjhar is one of the largest man-made freshwater lakes in Pakistan, also a Ramsar site since 1976 (one of the 19 Ramsar sites in Pakistan) and a wildlife sanctuary. It is an important breeding and wintering ground for resident waterfowl and more than300 species of migratory birds, including herons, egrets, cormorants, flamingos, tufted ducks, coots, moorhens and jacanas. Around 48 fish species have also been recorded in the lake and it also hosts natural terrestrial vegetation. In past, thousands of migratory birds from central Asian countries visited these lakes and at one occasion, 140,000 water birds were recorded at this lake. But, presently, these important water bodies are facing multiple threats, major among them is discharge of untreated effluents from various industries. He was of the view these sites have great potential for ecotourism which need to be promoted. He urged that youth should play pivotal role in conservation and protection of these natural assets which are facing degradation.
The students conducted boat ride and visited Sonehri Island located in mid of the lake. Farhan, student of Class Tenth shared that he had never been to Keenjhar and Haleji lakes but they provide such an amazing view that everyone should spare some time and enjoy the beauty of nature.