GWADAR: Due to lack of rain and the resultant drought-like situation, this port city has again been hit by a severe water crisis, according to its residents.
🔷 The Akara dam, which supplies water to Gwadar city and its surrounding areas, has once again dried up. As a result, the people of the city — especially its women who have to fetch water from distant areas — have been facing serious problems.
“We have not been supplied water for over a week now,” said one of the residents.
“The port city is facing acute water shortage as the main source of supply — the Akara Kaur (river) dam — has dried up and we cannot supply drinking water from there to the city and its adjoining areas,” said Shakeel Ahmed Baloch, who works as executive engineer for the provincial Public Health Department.
He, however, added that arrangements were being made to supply water to the city from other sources.
The construction work on the Akara Kaur dam commenced in 1991 at a cost of Rs560 million and was completed in 1995.
At that time the dam was spread over 17,000 acres, but by now its area has been reduced to 6,000 acres. The population of the city and its surrounding areas, which in the mid-90s was around 83,000, has by now shot up to 283,000.
According to experts, the dam currently cannot meet water requirements of the people here for three main reasons: ✔the construction work on Gwadar port is still under way and it consumes a lot of water; ✔lack of rain due to climate change; and ✔increase in the population of Gwadar.
The port city faced a similar crisis i➡ 2012, which continued for about 175 days. The crisis eased after rains in the catchment areas of the dam.
➡Another water crisis hit Gwadar in December of 2015 which continued until March of 2016. In all the people had to endure the crisis for over 80 days.
A water shortage in the city began in ➡December 2016 and ended in January this year (after continuing for 40 days). To overcome this crisis, authorities supplied water to the people through tankers at a cost of Rs1 billion.
A similar plan has been prepared to overcome the ongoing crisis. Water would be supplied to affected people in Gwadar through 500 water tankers, according to a district administration official.
Water would be supplied to people living in Jiwani and Pasni, which have also been hit by a shortage, through 150 and 200 water tankers, respectively.
Water would be supplied to Gwadar district from the Sawad and Mirani dams.
The Mirani dam is located at a distance of 280 kilometres from Gwadar and for supplying 5,000 gallons of water to the port city a tanker would be paid Rs17,000.
Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2017