Alarming situation for Sindh

The Indus river known for its massive water flow has now made people worried. Continuous shortage in the Indus river has caused an alarming situation for Sindh. As lands are being dry. Areas like Thatta, Badin, and Sujawal are the last areas that fall under the Indus Delta. For years, these areas took huge amounts of water from the Indus delta and fertilized their land. These areas are considered the highest water-taking districts. But when coming to the Human development index, these districts also fall in the last category. The majority of the population of those districts are farmers, fishermen, and shepherds. For a long time, Kotri barrage faced a shortage in its flow, due to which the daily life of people belonging to these areas was affected. In the majority of schools in Sindh, there is a shortage of clean drinking water and where in some schools, if water is available it is not drinkable.

According to a report by WHO, in 2015 people had better resources of drinking water as compared to 2022. Today, 1.5 billion people are deprived of clean drinking water. Polluted water has become the cause of death for millions of people. According to the health experts, different and dangerous diseases are emerging from the polluted water such as Hepatitis A, typhoid, Polio, Daria etc.

Water is an important ingredient for living. Still, Pakistan has not tackled the water crisis. There are many factors which have resulted in the water crisis in Pakistan, such as urbanization, an unstructured system of irrigation and climate change. If this crisis is not tackled, people have to face adverse problems beyond one’s thinking.

Today, Pakistan is considered in the category of water shortage countries because the availability of water per person is less than 1000 cusecs annually. If it goes down to 500 cusecs per annum, Pakistan will fall under those countries where merely water is available. In Sindh, most districts are consuming the sewerage mixed with contaminated water according to a report of the Supreme Court-mandated water commission.

80 big cities in Pakistan are deprived of clean water. Most people in those big cities are purchasing water tankers. In that situation, the question arises if water is not available, how are these tanker mafias getting water? Although the government tried to take action against the tanker mafias still have influence and have not been eradicated.

Sindh despite having the Indus river, is still facing a water crisis. According to the water accord signed in 1991, an agreement was formed between the provinces of Pakistan over the water division. According to that agreement, Sindh will take 42% of the water from the Indus river and at that time Sindh had 30 million population. Now as per the figures of the 2017 census, Sindh’s population has doubled. Still, there is no review on the distribution of water according to the current population and urbanization.

Pakistan is an agricultural country and much of its water is used for this purpose. Sindh’s irrigation system has been getting worse for 30 years. There is a need to make it better and more effective in dry cities of Sindh.

The previous year, the Pakistan Council of Research and Water Resources stated that they collected the samples of water from 14 districts of Sindh which shows water is not drinkable. They also mentioned that the water available in Karachi is also not clean and it is dangerous to health.

Apart from it, water used in hospitals is polluted and dangerous to health. Due to the consumption of polluted water, diseases are increasing. Every year many people die because of it. Shortage and polluted water have made people worried. In many cities, pipelines of water have been linked to sewerage pipelines. In Pakistan, two big sweet water rivers meet at Sindh and Keenjhar. Despite this, low water flow in the Indus river has affected the areas on a large scale. As compared to other provinces of Pakistan, Sindh must get the due share of water in order to maintain the water flow in the Indus River. There is a need to work on ground level. It needs an hour to form a master plan for providing water for agriculture purposes and as well for drinking water in every district. Karachi is the most populated city and still there is no system of providing clean water. People have to purchase water which is also not safe and dangerous to health. To keep these situations in mind, the government has to direct the local government authorities to work on this crisis, water is the basic need of humans and it should be sorted out. This crisis has affected our agricultural sector. If the situation is the same, soon we will lose our agricultural sector and will import agricultural products.

MUJEEB-UR-RAHMAN,

Karachi.

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