Over the last few years, the situation of famine and drought have created serious living problems for the community members of Tharparkar. According to an estimation, more than 57% of malnourished children in Tharparkar are suffering from stunted growth while more than thousands of children die every year due to the lack of proper household facilities.
A report by United Nations states there will be a possibility of a Humanitarian emergency in Tharparkar due to lack of drinking water. Besides this, no food assistance has been provided in Tharparkar by the Sindh government for the last six months.
The fact can’t be denied that water shortage in Tharparkar is a significant problem. This is because limited groundwater is the only source of water for people of this district. The groundwater consumed by people in Thar is saline to brackish. It has a high concentration of different salts and minerals that are dangerous for human consumption and livestock health.
Residents of Tharparkar drinking dirt in the name of water
A recent Facebook video shows the terrible quality of water people in Tharparkar are consuming. It has a young girl happily filling a bucket with not water but mud. When asked if she will use the water for washing purposes, her reply shocked everyone. She said, “We drink this water.”
آو سب دیکھیں سندھ کے لوگ کیسا پانی پی رہے ہیں اور کوئی بختاور بلاول آصفہ کو کہے کہ یہ پانی پی کر دکھائے ل۔ یہ ہے وہ ناپید ترقی جس کو آل زرداری نے چیخ چیخ کر بتایا کہ ہم نے سندھ کو بدل کر رکھ دیا جہاں کی اکثر آبادی ہیپاٹائٹس ایڈز کا شکار اور سارا سندھ کرپشن کے کینسر کا شکار۔
Gepostet von Dua Bhutto PTI am Montag, 3. Februar 2020
Few Pakistanis on Twitter also highlighted the grave water shortage crisis faced by the people of Tharparkar. They supported the issue on Wednesday using the hashtag #TharNeedsWater.
I humble request to Respected Sir @HamidMirPAK that please help us provide us water in Thar. The peoples of Tharparkar are deprived from water. Water make our body 60%.#TharNeedsWater pic.twitter.com/XG55eNkYJw
— Asad Ali Rahimoon (@iAsadRahimoon) April 22, 2020
Another individual explained the water crisis in Tharparkar with this beautiful quote.
— Qadir Bux Rahimoon (@QadirbuxRahimo3) April 21, 2020
Faisal Bajeer had this to say…
— Faisal Bajeer (@bajeerfaisal1) April 21, 2020
Unexpected heavy rainfall in Tharparkar in November 2019 destroyed crops and livestock. This resulted in the deaths of thousands of sheep and camels in the desert. People in Thar have also faced the prospect of a severe famine as they have lost livestock and agriculture.
In June 2019, Locusts entered Tharparkar. The insects had also spread to various other parts of the provinces. These Locusts are also present in Thar. They are also breeding in Umerkot and Sanghar districts. The locus attack in Thar affected nearly 80 percent of the agricultural land.
The dire need to tackle the water crisis in Thar
In Tharparkar, seasonal monsoon rains start in July and continue till October. In this period, residents of Thar need four spells of rains. However, if there is no rain until August, a potential drought is the result.
For solving the water crisis faced by the people of Thar, billions have been invested in schemes focusing on groundwater exploitation. However, these programs have not yet been successful due to the highly prohibitive costs of the schemes as well as the technical expertise required for making them functional. This is why more than 70 percent of these schemes are non-functional.
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