Karachi’s water crisis worsens

Karachi’s water crisis worsens
Photo by Qasim Nagori via Unsplash


Shanzae Saghir

Pakistan and Human Rights Researcher

Global Human Rights Defence

The heavy rainfall that ensued in Karachi and its surrounding areas caused Hub Dam, about 56 kilometres away from the city, to overflow, and caused the Hub Canal to breach, the main source of water supply for the locals living in those areas (Ameen, 2022). All repair work for the canal halted due to the rainfall, and the officials working said that less water being released was just a precaution to take so that the strength of the wall can be checked in order to contain the breach. 

This comes after acute water shortages in the area have been plaguing residents, as a 1000-litre tank of water is being sold at Rs. 1000 to 1500, an increase from the Rs. 700 it was being sold at earlier (Siddiqui, 2022). Karachi only receives about half of the water it requires, out of which the water mafia steals a third, and a third of it ends up being wasted due to dated pipelines that are never repaired. Amber Alibhai, a civil society member heading Shehri Org, says, “To be able to have drinking water, you have to be rich. If you are poor, you have to suffer through long queues at filtration plants to be able to access drinking water everyday” (Ameen, 2022). She also notes that the water mafia is supported by those in power, and the people of Karachi suffer through this. “The education of girls and women is impacted greatly by this, since public schools have little to no access to clean water, and bathrooms are unavailable for these girls to use. How can they spend the whole day without using a bathroom?” (Ameen, 2022).

Sources and further reading:

Ameen, H. (2022, August 1). Karachi water crisis: diagnosis, mafia & victims. ARY NEWS. https://arynews.tv/karachi-water-crisis-diagnosis-mafia-victims/

Siddiqui, T. (2022, July 31). Water crisis hits areas dependent on supply from Hub Canal. DAWN.COM. https://www.dawn.com/news/1702352