Gadani is one of the world’s largest sites for “ship-breaking,” — the dismantling of cargo and tanker ships – most of the materials are then sold for scrap metal. The town, situated about 50 kilometers northwest of Karachi, experienced the heyday of ship-breaking from 1969 to 1983. However, in 2001, the Pakistani government reduced the duty on scrap for ship-breaking from 15 to 10 percent, which spurred a resurgence in the industry. Often, workers are paid around €1.50 - €3 per day, which is about the average wage in Pakistan. However, the work is dangerous and the vast majority of the workers do not have adequate clothes, protection against chemicals or other irritants, or proper medical care. In 2003, The Associated Press reported that there was no hospital in Gadani and that there was only one ambulance to take injured workers one hour away to the nearest hospital in Karachi.
I decided to contact Mr. Hamza to learn more about Gadani. Here’s our email interview:
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If you’ve read our page on Gadani, Pakistan, then you’ll know that this town on the outskirts of Karachi is one of the world’s foremost sites for ship-breaking — that is, dismantling it for scrap when it outlives its usefulness.…More →