The provision of drinking water has become a major challenge for Pakistan. Only 36% of the population having access to safely managed drinking water in the country, while over 25 per cent of the population may be at risk from arsenic contamination of water as per World Bank’s “Pakistan Water Supply and Sanitation Sector” report 2013.Experts say that population growth and urbanization are the main reasons behind the crisis. Authorities anticipate that it is likely to suffer a shortage of 31 million acre-feet (MAF) of water by 2025. The shortfall will be devastating for a country with an agriculture-based economy.
The water crisis in Pakistan is more due to wastage of water, high leakages level, rapid population growth, deteriorating situation of dams creating limited supply of water, an outdated canal system, expensive and improper ways of irrigation. The issue has also been exacerbated by climate change, poor water management, outdated infrastructure and a lack of political will to deal with the crisis.Therefore, amidst all these issues, there is a dire need for possible solutions to overcome this crisis.
The water scarcity can adversely affect health as well as can create poverty issues. For instance, the uses of contaminated water causing water-borne diseases, moreover, less water also means sewage does not flow, and mosquitoes are other insects breed on still (stagnant) dirty water. The result is deadly malaria and other infections. On the other hand, lot of water is used to grow food and care for animals. Experts say that globally we use 70% of our water sources for agriculture and irrigation and only 10% on domestic uses.
Less water means farming and other crops that need water to grow have lower yield. It means farm animals will die and others will not do well without water. The result is constant hunger and thirst and low quality of life.
In order to protect the communities from accessibility issues and water borne diseases, it is important to provide water of good quality and near to homes to the water stressed communities. To resolve issues of the communities, Sindh Development Organization (SDO) provides support in the supply of water by building water hand pumps, in the areas where there is no electricity or there is shortage of it. In areas where electricity is available or water has to be provided to larger communities, agricultural wells have been installed to boost crops and to make water accessible for all in that area. In addition, and Solar Submersible pumps have also been installed.
Between 2016-2018, the organization have installed total 7,757 small water hand pumps, 31 agriculture tube wells,1,011 large water hand pumps, 11 deep wells and 7 solar submersible pumps. During these three years, through the water projects, SDO was able to provide water to 11,256 households, i.e. 274,585 persons approximately. This year the organization wants to reach out to 100,000 persons through its water projects.