For many years, during my visit to native hometown in Sindh, I used to hear complaints about the status of education from the villagers and local folks. Things are changed now, education has remained a crisis there with more than 6000 ghosts teachers and schools but another human crisis has taken over the debate and that is non-availability of drinking water and sanitation in very rural and remote areas of Sindh. Climate change is rapidly changing the environmental and land culture of Sindh. Same is the case with urban areas where access to safe drinking water is a nightmare. Sindh is the second largest province of Pakistan in respect to population and under half of the population is urban dwellers. The status of water supply, sanitation and hygiene is below satisfactory level. In most of the cities piped water supply system have become older and dysfunctional due to decay and lack of maintenance. Issues faced in respect to water supply include irregular frequency, declining institutional capacities of municipalities and line departments (to manage and maintain the systems), poor quality (mixed with Arsenic and other impurities), lack of awareness to recognise water as a service with a cost factor associated with it, poor recovery of water bills, stress on the existing sources of water and swift changes in the institutional arrangements. Sindh Sanitation Strategy, prepared by the government of Sindh informs that 49 per cent of households have access to safe excreta disposal facilities. The situation analysis, done during the preparation of the strategy, highlights many issues. Unplanned development of settlements and houses therein, absence of scientifically prepared master plans, encroachments on sewers and drains, poor sitting of market places, uneven street levels, defective construction practices, absence of public toilets, absence of waste water treatment facilities, poor status of solid waste management, menace of plastic bags, rise in livestock population inside urban centres, blocking of drains due to unchecked dumping of solid waste management, political interference in the working of line departments, absence of trained and manpower and lack of monitoring of schemes are some of the core factors that impact the WASH scenario in the province. The Sindh water commission in its report recently has noted that the people all over the province are not being provided safe drinking water in accordance with the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s standards. The commission was formed in December 2016 on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, comprising Sindh High Court judge. The commission, in its report forwarded to the apex court, has underscored the dismal condition of water supply and its sanitation in the province, pointing out mismanagement, incompetence and negligence on part of authorities in ensuring the provision of safe drinking water to the people. According to commission’s report, there are 414 places in the province, where drainage water is disposed into Indus River or its canals. It further states that people all over the province were not being provided drinking water in accordance with the parameters set by the WHO. We recently celebrated our Independence Day. But can we really relish the independence when millions of our poor people in Sindh are living through the misery and humiliation of having to consume the killer-sewage-mixed water and yet the elected government of Sindh has failed to do anything to save them from the diseases and humiliations, ignoring the honourable Supreme Court’s Orders? We recently celebrated our 70th Independence Day. But can we really relish independence when millions of our poor people in Sindh are living through the misery and humiliation of having to consume sewage-mixed water? Media, civil society, intelligentsia, political forces and academia must all raise voice against this injustice, if we are to save ourselves and the poor people from the miseries and humiliations caused by the killer water and the inhuman living conditions. One core reason of the collapse of civic infrastructure is the decline of our local government and municipal systems which we support to deal with local civic issues at local level. LG system’s functionality is essential to revive the civic services system at grassroots level. Culture of public private partnership should be promoted with the facilitation of non-governmental organisation. Essentially it’s a governments responsibility and since we live in an interdependent world so we shall seek support of external stakeholders to improve systems and lives of the citizens. I have recently seen that the non-governmental organisation HANDS lead by one of Pakistan’s renowned philanthropist Dr Ghaffar Bullo is engaging communities at grassroots level in Jacobabad with the support of USAID to address water, hygiene and sanitation crisis in the district. Same models shall be applied in other districts too. Non availability of safe drinking water is the main cause of other diseases and crisis related to health and hygiene of citizens. Governments priority to address this issue shall save millions of people to get trapped into other human crisis. Implementation on the recommendations of Water commission constituted by the honourbale Chief justice of Sindh High Court can bring some immediate remedies and changes in our attitudes towards these issues. The writer is general secretary of Sindhi association of Europe, London Published in Daily Times, September 10th 2017.