KARACHI: With an aim to explore potential tourism spots in Tharparkar region, Thar Foundation has entered an agreement with the Hashoo Foundation to develop and promote ecotourism in the area.
Both the social arms of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) and Hashoo Group have identified the Gorano Reservoir, the natural ‘reservoir’ where the company is discharged the effluent underground water, as the top ecotourism destination in Thar.
The reservoir is situated in Taulka Islamkot of district Tharparker some 30 kilometers away from Islamkot Town. It is built by SECMC in the middle of huge sand dunes valley and consists of 1500 acres of land. The reservoir receives thousands of migratory birds every year and, now, different species of fishes. The company has also built a public park at the top site of the reservoir.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by both the organizations is intended to establish a cooperative relationship for the betterment of the environment across Tharparker and to form and execute jointly green programs and social development initiatives for the local community of Thar, says the agreement.
The MoU was signed during a ceremony held here at Gorano Bagh, a park developed by the Thar Foundation for local’s recreation. Naseer Memon of Thar Foundation and Ayesha Khan of Hashoo Foundation signed the agreement on behalf of their organizations. SECMC’s CEO Shamsuddin Shaikh, COO Abul Fazl Rizvi, and Manager Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Umair Aslam Butt were also present on the occasion.
Besides promoting and developing Ecotourism in Gorano, both the parties will also work together to commercialize Moringa amongst the locals, initiate skill development program in the hospitality industry.
Naseer Memon of Thar Foundation said that the area has a great potential for ecotourism where around 3 million people come every year to visit historical and natural destinations.
Though Thar has a great potential for tourism where the number of visitors can be increased manifold, yet virtually no facilities exist to cater to the growing demand.
He said that there was a need to develop proper ecotourism plans for Thar by the government fundamentally, but corporate sector should also contribute by using its expertise in the area.
Ayesha Khan of Hashoo Foundation was of the view that they will provide technical assistance and make plans for ecotourism approaches.
“We will identify specific markets (streamlining of the value chain) for commercialization of Moringa for the community, particularly women, provide guidance and training for skills development programs and also monitor the implemented plans for course correction as and when required,” Khan added. News Desk