THATTO: Fisherman Muhammad Yusuf’s family has been living on the island of Hajamaro, just over three miles off the coast of southern Pakistan, for generations. But the island that was once a happy home has now become a prison.
Sea level rise and frequent cyclones are eroding Yusuf’s property. Decreasing fish stocks are threatening his livelihood. And relentless health problems are killing his children.
Some 60 families like Yusuf’s live on a cluster of more than a dozen islands off Keti Bunder, a port on the Arabian Sea in Thatta district. With too little money to move to the mainland, they feel trapped.
“If we had sufficient resources to relocate, we would have moved to Thatta city some five years ago and quit fishing,” said Yusuf, 62.
Across Pakistan, families are struggling against rising sea level, droughts, floods and other climate-change related pressures. Many of them — those luckier or richer than Yusuf’s family — move to safer ground in new areas. Others are trapped where they are.
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