Noori Tales: Stories from the Indus Delta

Noori Jam Tamachi is a legendary figure in Thatta, Pakistan. The traditional tale describes her as a fisherwoman from Keenjhar Lake who married a local prince. Famed for her intelligence and admired for her kindness, Noori (“shining light” in Urdu) is buried in the middle of the lake, where there is now a shrine. Her enduring spirit can be seen as a beacon for the children who live in the region. 

In a collaboration with WaterAid I travelled to the Thatta region in southeastern Pakistan to document the effects of climate change and water scarcity on the lives of schoolchildren living in the Indus River Delta. Pakistan is highly vulnerable to climate change due to its geography, high dependence on agriculture and limited water resources. Flooding, salinisation of groundwater and high temperatures are all on the increase, with potentially devastating consequences.

This was a journey through the canals and inlets of the Indus River Delta, as they flow from one of Pakistan’s largest and most beautiful lakes, the Keenjhar – the source of drinking water for Karachi’s 16.6 million inhabitants – through to the schools and communities in the region.

This collaboration resulted in an outside exhibition that was on display in Kungsträdgården, Stockholm, Sweden 15 August – 4 September 2016 

Keenjhar Lake in Thatta is a reservoir that serves the city of Karachi's 16.6 million inhabitant

Keenjhar Lake in Thatta is a reservoir that serves the city of Karachi's 16.6 million inhabitant

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A woman in the water-poor village of Noor Muhammad Thaheem uses sand to wipe her dishes.

A woman in the water-poor village of Noor Muhammad Thaheem uses sand to wipe her dishes.