Ten cities across the world are facing ‘Day Zeroes’ or severe water shortage in the near future unless they do something—and Karachi is one of them.
“The Karachi Water and Sewerage Board barely meets 50 percent of the city’s total water requirement,” says the India-based Centre for Science and Environment. “The city’s population is growing at a rate of 5% per annum.”
It is “on the verge of an imminent water crisis,” says the report.
Karachi doesn’t get clean and potable water. Outbreaks of water-borne diseases are a regular feature.
Karachi is already in an arid or extremely dry region. It is supposed to get a 70% share from the nearby Hub dam. But if the dam dries up, Karachi doesn’t get its share. If it does not rain soon the crisis will worsen.
Karachi’s West district has been hit badly. It needs one million gallons of water a day. When protests erupted, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah was forced to order the water board to supply the neighbourhood through tankers.
Karachi’s population has always grown because of waves of migrants arriving in search of jobs or shelter. In recent years, people came to flee military operations in the north and after they were displaced by flooding in Sindh. The government has struggled to provide for the growing population but the city’s ageing network of pipelines simply doesn’t support it.
The others cities on the list of those facing a crisis are: Kabul, Beijing, Bengaluru, Mexico city, Sanaa, Nairobi, Istanbul, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires.
Story first published: 25th April 2018