In search of clean drinking water

In the constituency of Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah, drinking water is a key issue

Inside small water well, on a narrow road, a young man is busy digging a ditch. Using his spade, he loosens a lump of mud and then tosses it aside. He does this again and then again, furiously, with the afternoon sun blazing on his bareback. Several hours later, water seeps from the ground. Another man standing outside the well throws him a bucket tied with a rope. The young man fills the bucket with water and then signals to have it hauled up.

Both men belong to Chhini, a tiny village around 27 kilometres from the Johi town of Dadu in Sindh. The village is located in an arid region in the lap of the Kirthar mountain range, which stretches from Jamshoro, Dadu to the Qamar-Shahdadkot district of Sindh, near the Sindh-Balochistan border.

“We desperately need water,” explains Muhammad Achar, the man digging the well, “Our existing well has dried up and even this new one would hardly provide water for the next six months.”

The village and many like it, fall within in the constituency of PS-73, from where Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah was elected as a member of the provincial assembly in 2014. (This year the Election Commission of Pakistan published a list of preliminary delimitation of constituencies. It is unclear, as of now, if these areas have been reassigned).

In July 2016, Shah, a graduate of Stanford University, was appointed the new chief minister of Sindh by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The former ageing CM, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, was under heavy criticism for bad governance and incompetence. By putting the younger Shah in office, the PPP hoped to turn that image around. After his appointment, the 55-year-old worked on many development projects in Karachi and other districts of the province. But back in his own constituency, those who voted for him have no access to clean drinking water.

Amar Guriro

Amar Guriro is a print media journalist, a blogger, photographer, multimedia producer and a professional fixer based in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.
Amar is currently associated with Independent Urdu, and he has contributed to several national and international publications, including BBC – Urdu, TheTimes (English), Himal SouthAsian, Nepal (English), Indian Marathi language paper Lokmat and also for Pakistani local and national newspapers.

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