Gwadar, one of the keys to the country’s prosperity, still has many major problems that need to be addressed before it becomes one of Pakistan’s most economically active cities. One of the most major issues facing Gwadar’s development currently is an acute shortage of water that threatens to hit the city in two weeks. Its main source of water, the Anarka Kaur Dam has reached the dead level, and it is hoped that the provincial authorities in Quetta’s move to divert water from other sources will lead to the crisis being averted.

The future of Pakistan’s economic development has Gwadar as one of the centrepieces, a potential hub of trade and economic activity. But that can only happen if the port city has the provision of basic needs such as water and electricity, neither of which the city seems to have currently. The PM’s last visit to Gwadar was punctuated with fewer hours devoted to loadshedding, although residents complained that many areas did not even receive electricity for over five hours a day during normal days.

Water will soon be another problem for the residents of Gwadar if the government does not take steps to rectify this. The problem though, is that diverting the supply through other sources will not be enough, considering the entire Makran belt has been affected by the lack of rainfall this season. Expensive but useful options such as desalination plants to convert sea water into drinking water, or saving on the water already available by cutting down on wastage through leaks should be taken into consideration. Gwadar will be key in stabilising Pakistan’s future both as a port and one of the most major stops on the CPEC route. But for this, it has to be made habitable, as a city as well as a port, so that any potential members of the workforce or businesses making their way to the city are not cowed by the lack of basic amenities.