File Photo: Residents of Dera Bugti are protesting against scarcity of water: Photo provided by the author

Editorial :

The scarcity of water poses a serious threat to human life in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan. Environmentalists and experts on the water issues have warned of an alarming situation with regard to water scarcity in Quetta in near future.

The water level continues to drop with every passing day in Quetta, and most parts of Balochistan. This has sent alarm bells among the indigenous people living for centuries in towns and villages. Environmentalists warn that the shortage of water is likely to force citizens of the provincial capital to migrate.

The Water and Sanitation Authority (WASA) has failed to provide drinking water to citizens of the city. Most of the WASA-run tube wells are either not functional or provide water to officials and influentials.

People pumping water from more than 1,000 deep underground

Gone are the days, when people were pumping water through tube wells 500 feet deep from underground. Currently, it is more than 1,000 feet deep.

Private tankers are meeting the demand of more than 70 percent population of the city. Tankers owners are minting money from the people right under the nose of WASA and district administration. Per tanker is available at Rs. 2,000 to 3,000.

No mechanism to check the quality of water

More importantly, none checks the quality of water. Nobody knows whether the water is contaminated or clean for drinking. Since it is a matter of human health and life, therefore, the provincial government should evolve a mechanism to check the quality of water. Set aside, the increasing rates of water tankers association.

Depleting water table in Quetta, Pishin, Killa Abdullah, Kalat, Mastung, Noshki and Chaghi have forced the growers to cut their green trees. This has made a large number of people jobless as most of the people in Balochistan are financially dependent on agriculture and livestock.

Construction of delay and check dams imperative

As suggested and advised by the environmentalists, the provincial and federal governments must construct delay and check dams on a war-footing basis to maintain the depleting water table. Supreme Court has already directed the government to ensure the completion of more than 100 dams within the next three years to overcome the water crisis in Balochistan.

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About the Author

Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.