Water Scarcity Confronting Balochistan: A Down turning Dilemma

Hafeezullah Kakar
Water is one of the most important things for the subsistence of human life. Balochistan has been entangled with water scarcity.  Dismally it has created a malaise among the population of Balochistan. The issue is lingering because it has the capacity to wreak havoc upon the province. It is a dire menace that is deemed necessary to be thwarted, hastily on time before it pulls the region to the brink of crisis.
Different areas of Balochistan have been affected by water scarcity. Even the capital city of Balochistan, Quetta, is enduring it which is an alarming bell for the city. Most of the people in Quetta are dependent on water-tankers to pacify their need for water. The water supply by Water And Sanitation Agency (WASA) is unexpectedly low than its demand. The daily demand for water is 61 million gallons per day whereas WASA can only supply 34.8 million gallons per day. The issue requires the grave attention of the government to curb it nimbly.
However, Rs354.20 million has been allocated by the provincial government to run various water projects in the province. Balochistan, in near future, is expected to face severe droughts for which a shrewd strategy must be devised so as to impede such disaster. A clear-cut policy, to save the region from droughts, has not being envisioned heretofore. Such lack of policy leaves a gaping hole in the government’s action plans. It also depicts the ignorance of both the federal and provincial governments pertaining to the issue.
Back in 2019, the minister of irrigation from Balochistan Nawabzada Tariq Magsi, while talking to a conference “Fourth Invention to Innovative Summit” held at the University of Balochistan, had told the engineers and researchers to bring innovative ideas so as to increase water productivity for agriculture, and livestock sector in Balochistan. He further added that Balochistan has great potential for agricultural production such as fruits, and vegetables.
The agriculture sector is totally hinged on the water without which agriculture development is a day-dream. More water availability means more agricultural production which would not only benefit the local people but also the country. Water scarcity also begets starvation due to the lack of agricultural products which includes vegetables, and fruits. When there is a scarcity of food also, a country becomes prone more to internal instability leading to a wrecked structure.
The postponement of a major development related to the issue by the government exposes to us that either the government has a lack of interest in the issue or a shrewd policy has remained a conundrum for the government which couldn’t plot expedient steps to fulfill the need of water in the province, properly. The population of the region would not be able to bear the brunt of failed policies pertaining to the issue.
Unraveling water scarcity in Balochistan requires a primary concern of not only the government but social media activists, journalists, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) also. It requires prioritizing of national goals to include such crucial issues one like that is aforementioned. The important goals ought to be listed as the first priority such as water scarcity without which life is not possible.
Pakistan might become a Water-stressed country if it couldn’t deal with water scarcity even in its one province. There is an urgent need for dams construction in Balochistan to store water. Or else the lack of water would create instability in the region. Owing to the lowering water table, the water might fall short and couldn’t quench the need of the people. Apart from instability, the region might see massive migration towards other provinces of Pakistan.
DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
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