Sun. Apr 5th, 2020

OPED.Articles

Where Opinion Matters

The people of Thar are facing severe water the water available through the old Wells has become salty and contaminated and considered very dangerous for health requiring Immediate attention from the government authorities. The food items are scarce and that has made the life of poor Tharis miserable under the sizzling hot weather.

The Recent drinking water crisis in Thar in wake of severe drought has opened a new Pandora box of  the Sindh Government regarding their tall claims that the Situation in Thar has been under control which is tantamount to hiding the grave crisis that prompted several  Thari Sindhis to commit suicide and get rid  of these challenging situation in which they lost their hopes from all  the quarters as they did not  have the rains for the last two years that has caused such a large Scale natural calamity.

 It is really sluggish on the part of Provincial Disaster Management authority not making any contingency plan for such natural calamity that might have been an eye-opener for the Federal and Provincial Government to take immediate measure for its control.

Though, it was a welcome decision from Sindh Government had declared the emergency in Thar due to the severe drought that has created a serious scarcity of  Drinking water and Fodder for the livestock in the  Achhro Thar (white Thar) named due to white Sand in Khipro Tehseel of the District Sanghar.

The abysmal living conditions in Achhro Thar mostly located in Khipro Tehseel of  District Sanghar warrant to take serious steps so that the drought-hit areas may be given assistance in food as well as Clean drinking water may be provided to help mitigate disaster effects.

The drought has completely destroyed the water quality as it has become poisonous and causing various water-born diseases and gobbling the precious lives of the People of  Thar.  Even, in Chhachharo, the  Government’s so-called  RO plants are not functional these have further aggravated the already worst situation.

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It was debated and criticized by the Sindh Assembly members during their session that Federal Government has sent 40000 Tons of  Wheat to Afghanistan on goodwill gesture but they have forgotten their Fellow Pakistanis i.e People of  Thar to show the same  level of goodwill gesture. The members of the Assembly belonging to ruling PPP, Criticized the Federal Government’s move and demanded to announce  Thar Relief Package so that poor  Thari  People may have resources needed for their survival.

To some extent, the demand is genuine since the  People of  Achhro Thar are Pakistani first and then Sindhis within the purview of  Sindh Province, but the Federal Government cannot be held responsible for the all this mess and calamity happening due to severe climate Change and negligence.

The Provincial Government must come forward on the emergency basis and help poor Thari People including Men, Women , Children and prevent them from dying of Hunger and Thirst. The Thari people must be helped on the basis of the Humanitarian Grounds and as per the citizenry rights assured by the Constitution of Pakistan

The  UN Agencies such as Unicef, UNFPA, UNDP, WFO and WHO must come forward to help the Provincial Government of Sindh in this natural calamity. The Development Partners and Philanthropists must come forward on the same page devise a comprehensive disaster management policy that may be implemented to prepare the people of Thar against future natural disasters and strengthen their resilience.  The Blame game should be and the Federal Government must announce the immediate Relief package for the  People of  Thar and should work with Provincial Government to help improve the living conditions of the People and make Sustainable living Plans for the People of the area.

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There should not be any discussion or argument or debate that whether this disaster is  Provincial Subject or Federal Subject but the Debate should be that how to prepare these people for these natural  Disasters and build their resilience against such climate Change Happenings.

All the Chief Ministers of  Provinces must come on the single page and help each other in times of natural calamities-  be it Earth Quake, Rain Flooding or   Canal or River Water Flooding or  Drought in the desert areas of Sindh, Baluchistan and Punjab where the main source of sustenance is the  Livestock. If the Livestock starts dying of hunger and Thirst, then how will people of Thar survive in such dismal living conditions.

In this whole  saga , the role of  National Disaster Management Authority and provincial PDMAs is pivotal since their main purpose of establishment is to create awareness amongst the communities  regarding the  serious effects of drought and protect  the Lives of  People and their Properties and their livestock . The NDMA and  PDMA Sindh should immediately form a team containing the  Experts of  Disaster Management for the Damage assessment and recommend   the sustainable solutions so that in future the level of damage may be minimized.

It is criminal negligence of  NDMA and  PDMAs owing to their  inactiveness,  given the serious  drought condition where the drinking water is becoming extinct  and the  insufficient  water  taken out from the ancient wells  is  injurious to health owing to high level of contamination as according to reports of some  development Sector organizations  that the water samples  taken from the Thar Desert contain alarmingly 6000 to 7000 TTC that means  that water is  just like  slow Poison as such a high TTC may cause  severe bodily or abdominal complications leading to deaths due to such water contamination.

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The Chairman Sindh Water Commission  Chief Justice (retd) Amir Hani Muslim has already raised the eyebrows of the Government by presenting  the  water Quality report that  99%  of  The people of Sindh drink contaminated water and rather compared it with the sewage water, that is really embarrassing and the eye-opener for the people to wake up and raise their voice.

Finally, The Sindh Government must wake up from the deep slumber and immediately establish Thar Welfare Fund or Relief Fund to help our fellow Pakistani brothers who are living under severe conditions.

The Chief Justice of  Pakistan must take suo-motto notice of  drought in Achhro Thar and  pass strict orders to the Federal Government as well as  the provincial government of Sindh to help  the People of  Thar to face this natural calamity with great level of resilience since they have already fought with it all alone  but we as  Pakistanis  should not  leave  them alone in this hour of Need . Since we are one nation and should feel the pain in any organ of our Federation.

It is really pity for us that though the United  Arab Emirates is a desert area it attracts the people around the world and their main economic source is tourism.

Pakistan should develop these  Desert areas and establish Purified  Artificial Water storages, Schools ,Colleges and Modern Hospitals so that living standards of these calamity challenged people may be improved and Economic activities  may be created   such as  handicrafts  and the music industry since thari people are  very skilled in handicrafts and they have great interest  in folk music as well.