February 18, 2019
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With the emergence of most direful situations, water scarcity clinches the title of being the deadliest one in Pakistan. As it can never be denied that water is the most prerequisite component of life and other facets are basically correlated to it, deducing “life cannot survive without water”. However, as per Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources warning the country may run dry by 2025 if a comprehensive set of solutions are not provided. Citing that, one of the substantial elements to this equation is the de-levelling of dams, prompting water lacking issues in adjoining areas.
According to WaterAid, Pakistan is among the 36 most water-stressed countries in the world. It is also honoured among top 10 overpopulated countries with lack of clean drinking water that constitutes about 16million population of Pakistan leading to massive amounts of water-borne disease.
One debates that construction of dams is the most essential solution to store the water wasted annually costing worth $21 billion while others argue on the notion that if water is to get extinct by 2025, how are you going to store it in dams when there would be none? And adjoining areas to Munda dam argue what would become of them if this dam is to be constructed? How will we survive? Or political figures jump in when construction if Kalabagh dam is questioned to excruciate it.
Talking about dams capacity and location, Diamer Basha dam is situated on the River Indus in Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan. Upon completion, Diamer-Bhasha Dam would the highest roller-compacted concrete (RCC) dam in the world. It will serve to produce 4,500 megawatts of electricity through environmentally clean hydropower generation, store an extra 8,500,000 acre-feet (10.5 km3) of water for Pakistan that would be used for irrigation drinking, extend the life of Tarbela Dam located downstream by 35 years and control flood damage by the River Indus downstream during high floods.
Whereas Munda dam, a multi-purpose concrete-faced rock-filled dam, situated located on the Swat River approximately 37 km north of Peshawar. after completion, the dam will generate 740 MW of hydroelectricity, irrigate 15,100 acres of land and control floods downstream, will provide numerous estimated annual benefits including Rs. 4.98 billion in annual water storage benefits, Rs. 19.6 billion in power generation benefits by generating 2.4 billion units of electricity annually and Rs. 79 million in annual flood mitigation benefits. Also, it is expected to protect Nowshera and Charsadda districts from seasonal floods by storing peak flood water in its reservoir and releasing it in dry seasons.
Unfortunately, the reasons contributing to water crisis are no proper rainfall, poor maintenance of dams’, its obsolete infrastructure and other environmental conditions.
According to the Indus River System Authority, the lack of rains in 2018 is a major reason for the severe water shortage. Agriculture-related reasons are also there. For one, our machinery and methods of agriculture have started to decay contributing to 95% of Pakistan’s water usage in agriculture. Wastage of 50% water in agricultural proceedings is due to defects in irrigation systems, including misuse, defective canals, and leaking pipes.
Contrary to that water drinking problem is also there with cleaning water access to only 12% people while the other 88% are exposed to polluted water resulting in various diseases.
Taking every point into account, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar initiated a fundraising campaign for dams. Pakistan army and other leading contributed to it making locals follow their path. To increase support, PM Imran Khan also addressed the nation and encouraged them to donate for the sake of upcoming generations.
ironically, we are quick to blame our government and concerned authorities for not paying heedfulness to our own deeds. Even though it is we, who are chopping down trees, it is us wasting water to an exploited limit and it is definitely us arguing over solutions beforehand even though the crisis is just seated at our doorsteps.
It is not like the government is not responsible for conditions we are doomed in, but now is not the time to play blame-games as it will further rust away more years of compensation. So donate now and help your nation to get out of the darkness it is eloped in.