Keenjhar Lake also known as Kalri Lake is situated 18 kilometers from Thatta and is Pakistan’s second largest freshwater lake providing clean water to Thatta and Karachi. It is located at a distance of 122 kilometers from the country’s main metropolis Karachi. It is the second largest fresh water lake in Pakistan and is the main source of drinking water for Thatta, Karachi and adjoining areas. Keenjhar Lake is the largest reservoir of perennially freshwater surrounded by extensive reed-beds and blooming lotus mainly found in its shallow western and northern parts.
The formation of the Lake was the result of the union of two lakes known as Sonehri and Keenjhar through the construction of a bund on their eastern side. It is estimated that the formation of this lake occurred due to Indus River changing its course necessitating construction of the bund to enhance the capacity of the fresh water stored in the lake. The increased supply of fresh water was also due to the torrents coming down from surrounding hills. The area was known as the estuary of Sakro branch of Indus River as is revealed by the remains of fossil life found in the vicinity.
The distinct nature of the lake has made it to be declared as Ramsar site and is a celebrated wildlife sanctuary. It is home to many birds as the water is safe for them and birds migrate here from Siberia to spend the winter. It also is frequented by many migratory birds such as geese, flamingos, ducks, pheasants and herons. It is also known as the breeding area of the black-crowned night heron, the cotton pygmy goose, purple swamphen and pheasant-tailed jacana. It is also known to be the habitat of 23 species of reptiles and amphibians. Keenjhar Lake is a rich repository of natural resources containing 55 species of fish, 263 types of aquatic and territorial plants, 51 kinds of birds and 98 species of large and small mammals. TW