Former Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi has questioned the authorities over their inability to resolve the water shortage facing the country’s biggest city, Karachi.
The all-rounder, in a Twitter post, lamented that the country has been around for 70 years, with Karachi being the hub of all activities, however, the problems of the city, specifically the water shortage, remain to be solved.
Governments have come into power and gone, yet the water crisis has not been solved and the residents continue to suffer, he added.
Water levels at the Hub dam, one of the two main sources of water supply to Karachi, have dropped to a dangerously low level, creating an acute shortage of water in the metropolis.
In 1950, the per capita water availability in Pakistan was over 5,000 m3. In 1990, that capacity fell, bringing the country dangerously close to the “water-stress line” and in 2005, it crossed the “water-scarcity line”.
If the present situation continues, Pakistan will approach the absolute “water-scarcity line” by 2025.
On Saturday, Karachi residents were seen forming long queues at a hydrant, which entertains between 300 and 400 requests to provide water tankers.
The main sources of water for Karachi are Keenjhar lake (Indus River) and Hub dam, from where water is pumped through three main bulk pumping stations located at Dhabeji, Gharo, and Hub.
According to former provincial minister Jam Khan Shoro, about 550MGD are supplied from the Indus and 100MGD from the Hub in normal circumstances to meet the needs of the city’s more than 17 million-strong population.
Overall, Pakistan is dependent on a single source for water — the Indus Basin, where water flows downstream from India to Pakistan. More than 90 percent of the country’s drinking water comes from groundwater, which is being recharged by the extensive irrigation network of the Indus Basin.