Acute water shortage in coastal villages of Taluka Jati, Sujawal district, has made the life of people miserable with no hope or respite for them.
Around 300 villages, located alongside the coastal belt of the district, including Umer Boriyo, Allah Dino Malah, Shafi Dandal, Basariyo Themore, Juriyo Themore and others, are hit by an acute shortage of drinking as well as irrigation water.
The prevailing situation in tail-end areas of the district is forcing the locals to migrate to urban areas in search for water.
Almost every year, the coastal population faces a shortage of water with no effective strategy on the part of both federal and provincial governments.
Talking to Minute Mirror, the residents of calamity-hit villages said that almost every year, they face the same situation but none of the elected representatives nor the quarters concerned had ever turned up to devise an effective strategy against this protracted issue.
Allah Bachayo Dandal, a villager, told this scribe that all wells in nearby villages have dried up while reverse osmosis (RO) plants installed by the provincial government in 2013 are dysfunctional, forcing the people to fetch water from distant areas.
He accused the officials concerned of deliberately suspending water supply to the remote areas of the Taluka Jati to fulfill the need of influential landlords, who own large hectares of agricultural land and fish farms.
“The underground water has turned brackish but we are consuming it just to ensure our survival,” said Achar Themore, adding that the agricultural sector in coastal areas had also been adversely affected in the wake of water scarcity.
Social activist Adil Laghari said that irrigation officials had issued directives to local growers not to cultivate paddy as a majority of water channels, including Tengo Miner, Jati Miner, Mir Khan and Gungri, have dried up.
Talking about the survey conducted by him, he said that almost all major water channels leading to the low-lying areas of district Sujawal are running dry with most of those filled with mud.
He said that hundreds of thousands of acres of coastal land had been washed away due to the scarcity of water. “Not only quality but quantity is also an issue. The law on climate change should be followed,” he opined.
An official of the District Irrigation Department, requesting anonymity, told this scribe that the water share for Sujawal district was not enough to cater for the need of such a huge population. Quoting the information received from the Kotri Barrage control room, he said that the shortage of irrigation water had risen to 48 percent in Sindh.
A similar situation persists in rural and urban areas of Thatta district where people were struggling to get water. They alleged that the tanker mafia was minting money from the people by taking advantage of the present situation.