KARACHI: The filthy streets full of garbage and walls are red with pan spiting; the roadside hotel owners are playing Sindhi songs with full volume, a group of women carrying pitchers are on their way to fetch water for their families. Passing through the streets, they were heading towards a huge size water tank.
These are not the scenes of any village of remote Thar Desert where water is still a dream in this modern age. But these women are residents of city's historical fishermen settlements of Ibrahim Hydri, which is scattered along the coastal belt of the Arabian Sea on the outskirts of Karachi. For women in the colony it is routine to go twice a day to fetch water for their families.
People in almost every city of the country are impressed with massive developments in Karachi city, but rarely did they hear about slum settlements, where according to official data 42 percent of city's population lives and also about the 60 major coastal villages of city, where even drinking water is still an issue.
For city's oldest fisher folk settlement of the city, Ibrahim Hyderi, acute drinking water shortage is not new, but according to the residents of the colony, since the creation of Pakistan, the settlement has been waiting to get proper drinking water supply from state-run departments.
In absence of the water, in traditional Pakistani society, always women are responsible to fetch water. Like other parts of the country, women folk of this ill-fated colony have to fetch water, besides cooking and looking after their children and other family members, they also have to.
Though, in recent years, government department installed a filter plant and a water tank to supply water through pipeline, but it is no more functional. "Government department constructed a water supply scheme, which was only for 16 neighborhoods of the colony out of the total 52, while the rest 36 neighborhoods did not get a water supply connection", said Murad Ali, a resident of Umer Paro of the colony.
According to the residents, out of the total 52 neighborhoods of the colony, Abassi Paro, Haji Lal Paro, Gali No-5, Benazir Chowk, Charan Paro, Khaskeli Paro Lasi Paro and other areas are facing acute potable water shortage. Women of these areas have to walk miles every day to get water from hand pumps and municipal taps.
Sometimes the residents have to buy water from the water tankers for which they have to pay huge amount. "We face lot of problems during off fishing season in June and July, in which fishermen have no money, so it is very hard time for us and in these months the water crisis become almost double", said Sultan Ahmed, a resident of the colony.
"In PPP's last ten years, residents of this colony were expecting that PPP government will resolve the water issue of the colony, but they did nothing and again PPP is in the power and if this time they did nothing, people will took to the streets against", said Haji Riaz Ahmed, another resident of the colony.
Published in Daily Times, September 8th 2017.