Youth of Johi-Dadu startup “Joat Movement” against Social & Climate Injustice

The overwhelming super monsoon rain flood of 2022 brought millions of people’s lives at the verge of total socioeconomic and infrastructure collapse across Pakistan, particularly in Sindh, where Johi-Dadu area was one of the adversely affected regions. People are left helpless and without hope as the massive floodwaters from the MNV drain and Hamal Lake flow out by the unlucky city of Johi. The citizens of Johi once again showed their undying commitment to defending their homes and fellow citizens by creating protective walls around the city, like they did in the wake of the 2010 terrible flood.

Even water experts, social scientists, outreached media, and individuals from other climate-affected regions were impressed and inspired by the people’s volunteerism and extreme motivation to protect fellow citizens and hometown. It is without a doubt an inspiring story of community drive, dedication, and self-reliance. The young people of Johi continued to serve as frontline soldiers in the extremely challenging and nerve-wracking battle against the wild flood water; they demonstrated that young people can overcome challenges with exceptional skills and confidence if they may trust.

Young people came together to fight for social and climate justice as a result of this difficult but inspiring effort rather than withdrawing after successfully protecting the city. Peers of young people as well as people from other parts of society began meeting to talk about and look into the possibility of bringing young people together on a suitable platform around the social well-being of the people of Johi. After a long and fruitful discussion, they all agreed to form a platform with the name “Joat movement.”

“It was the idea of our young social activist advocate Ayaz Rind, who engaged others in the thought process to bring together young people of the town around public issues because citizens have serious concerns, dissatisfaction, and trust deficit on the government departments and elected representatives on the fundamental civic issues that turned ordinary people’s lives into misery, that further deteriorated by the flood adversities, “Hafeez laghari, the Joat movement’s leader and a young activist, described the movement’s foundational process. Due to a lack of accountability, a weak opposition voice, and a lacking public grievance resolution system, the government departments appear to be unaccountable”

The democratic and adaptable organizational structure of the movement aims to promote volunteerism and inclusive participation, a different comities set to delegate responsibilities in order to guarantee consultative decision-making and implementation to mark the achievements.

The Joat movement focuses to create public awareness against disasters like flooding and pressing civic issues to decision-makers.  Currently, the Joat Movement is campaigning against the incompetency of local government services, which contributed to the worst sanitation system and numerous health and hygiene issues for flood-affected citizens of Johi-Dadu. This campaign aims to reach out a wider range of stakeholders in order to generate demand and influence decision-makers to take decisions in public interest. The movement has adopted multiple strategies to build pressure which include public awareness raising, legal side, print and electronic media.

Under the climate justice Joat Movement is also campaigning for the restoration of road communications of Johi that has been cut off by overflowed floodwater.  The Joat Movement expanded to the small towns of the arid zone known as Kachho In order to provide a viable  platform for the youth of climate-affected areas to amplify the voice for climate justice.

In Pakistan’s current sociopolitical landscape, where youth are exposed to socioeconomic and political pressures that pushed them to take negative paths, the self-initiative of the youth of the climate-affected region of flood-affected Johi appears to be more inspiring in the sense that it contributes positively to the collective wellbeing of fellow citizens and society as well.

The leaderships and members of the Joat movement seem to be quite self-assured and enthusiastic about their role. They show extraordinary vigilance in taking steps that are reasonable and logical to uphold the trust of the citizens and supporters. The Joat movement quickly recognized itself as the most vibrant and representative citizen’s voice on civic issues climate justice.