Pakistan

Sindh looking down the barrel of thirst, heat


Sindh’s Sukkur, Guddu and Kotri barrages are facing water shortages — a development that might affect the citizens of Karachi.

In the absence of rains in the northern areas of the country, a drinking water crisis could arise along with an agricultural one.

The Sukkur Barrage control room in-charge said water supply to several canals of Sukkur and Guddu barrages had been affected.

“Water supply to Keenjhar Lake and other tributaries of Karachi is at risk due to low water supply at Kotri Barrage.”

He warned that the crisis could exacerbate if the dry spell in the northern areas continued.

Read more: Pakistan, India reel under intense heat wave

“If the water crisis persists, crops in Sindh could be severely damaged,” he added.

Irrigation officials said the three barrages were currently facing a total water shortage of more than 40%.

To make matter worse, the meteorological department has forecasted the weather to remain drier than usual in the month of May throughout the country.

It added that the weather in in Karachi would remain hot and humid on Friday (today) with the maximum temperature ranging between 34C and 36C.

It further said daytime temperatures across the country were expected to be above normal.

Because of the hot and dry weather, the demand for water for standing crops might increase.

The rising temperatures will increase the rate of melting of snow in the northern regions, leading to a hike in dehydration pressure because of the lack of rainfall.

Under the influence of westerly wave passing from northeast Balochistan, thunderstorm with rainfall is expected in Dadu, Sukkur, Larkana, Jacobabad, Shikarpur, Qambar-Shahdadkot and Ghotki districts of Sindh on Friday afternoon or evening.

Rainfall is expected at scattered places in upper Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Chitral, Dir, Swat, Shangla, Buner, Kohistan, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Charsadda and Kohat are expected to receive rain with thunderstorm in K-P.

Rainfall is also expected in various parts of G-B.

Also read: Ministry of Climate Change issues heatwave alert to all provinces

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has suggested to Pakistan that holistic governance across sectors was required to address the growing competition for water and to manage the effects of pollution, wastewater, floods, droughts and land degradation at present and in the future.

“Appropriate policies must be put in place to promote integrated management and development,” the ADB said in a case study on the completion of the new Khanki Barrage project.

The ADB termed the new Khanki Barrage project as a ‘driver of change’, replacing an old barrage with advanced technology vastly improved water and flood control, connectivity and access to essential social services.

“Projects, such as the New Khanki Barrage that have proven to be successful, can serve as models to guide development partners in designing future irrigation projects.”


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