The water stressed situation of Sindh has come to a point where MPAs have started to brawl in provincial assemblies, as their lack of understanding of the issue or how to resolve it remains evident. While the issue might, for the umpteenth time, be brushed under the carpet and disregarded as a ‘political’ one – PTI alleges MQM is only protesting to pay their ghost employees in Hyderabad – the issue is far deeper than that. There are parts of Karachi that are facing severe water shortages, and the intense heat of the summer has not yet arrived. If the Sindh government does not want a repeat of the devastating incident of the Karachi heat wave, it should take this situation more seriously.

It is no secret that for years ‘water gangs’ have controlled part of the water supply in the metropolitan of Karachi. The so-called water mafia have stolen millions of dollars worth of water and sold it on the black market. Tankers pump out huge amounts of water leaving very less water in the supply chain, forcing the residents of Karachi to resort to buying water and relying on the delivery of water by these tankers alone; often on prices that have driven sky high illegally. Water pilferage accounts for 25% of water shortage in the city and yet authorities have failed to crackdown on the perpetrators.

Besides water pilferage, the other factor behind Karachi’s water crisis is the poor maintenance of water pumping stations and extremely worn out water pipeline network. All government owned institutions are failing to do their most basic job; from water to electricity, corruption is rampant. Water is every Pakistani’s right to have and it is evident that the situation is spiraling out of control when only the affluent can afford access to safe potable water.