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Barren Badin’s water woes

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28.08.2021

The year 2021 is turning out to be a cruel, severe, and harsh period for Pakistan’s Badin district and is witnessing a noticeable wave of water woes. A tale of misery and woe has been confronted by more than two million people of Badin for a long time. Unlike last decade, Badin is unable to cultivate a considerable amount of various crops owing to the worst supply of water share in the region. The region which is utterly perfect to grow rice and sugarcane has become barren and is not able to manage even basic human essentials and necessities there. The vulnerability of production is at a surge in the last two years. A local landowner who owns 32 acres of farmland cannot meet his fundamentally required necessities; on the contrary, landholders in other regions with the same land can own comfortable and lavish lifestyles. According to the UNDP report, Badin is one of the poorest districts of Pakistan and has had numerous social as well as economic issues. Despite having an enormous array of lands with a high probability of getting enough crops, it can be inferred by recent statistics and woes by locals that Badin’s populace is on the brink of destruction and no one is paying attention to its grievances. Akram Canal and Phuleli Canal are considered vital sources to cultivate lands. These were supposed to provide a water portion to 175,000 acres to taluka’s farmland but unfortunately, it has severely failed the decided agenda. Four out of five taluka’s of district Badin are confronting acute water scarcity that further exaggerates the already looming situation of poverty, employment, and healthcare in the district. Likewise, there is a dearth of clean water for daily consumption too. People of Badin intakes highly mineral content water which has adversely affected common life. From daily drinking water usage to collective cultivation water share, graphs are going to low every passing year. Local farmers are mourning the injustice of upper riparian provinces, districts, and talukas. Local and small landlords accuse settlers from other provinces, retired armed personnel, and people with robust political support on their vast theft of water share. Matli is considered the most vulnerable taluka in the district as it doesn’t get a decided ratio of water from upper talukas. According to landholders from Matli, Badin district’s 90 percent water share is distributed to other talukas i.e. Badin, Tando Bago, Golarchi, and Talhar. As Matli gets a little share from other talukas same as Sindh gets a little share from upper riparian. As they accuse the authorities to control barrages and manipulate data to share less ratio to Badin. According to an estimate, owing to dwindling graphs of crops, more than 25 percent population of Badin has migrated to other districts of Sindh such as Karachi and Hyderabad. These statistics are an alarming reality to authorities which are responsible for a great number of disturbing masses. IRSA and irrigation authorities have a crucial role in maintaining the deteriorated situation in Badin. Humans as well as livestock face weakening scenario and needs a vigilant eye to be protected in upcoming times. Although no one can deny the fact that feudal powers, tribal chieftains, strong background personnel own a valuable chunk of water share, it is an obvious duty of irrigation authorities and political representatives of district Badin that owe common people’s vote and have a heavy responsibility to curb and ameliorate the threatening situation. This is an explicit responsibility of Irrigation minister Sohail Anwer Siyal that he should pay attention to the menace of water mismanagement and should do what he is supposed to do. Otherwise, lack of water share will further destroy thousands of precious land and lifestyles of common people. Experts are of the view that still we are on a point of return and an appropriate and timely taken decision can protect the lives of more than a couple of million people in the vulnerable region. Otherwise, the results in the future will shake the entire country as it is already a calculated risk to decipher the future.


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