By the coast: Gwadar residents grapple with water scarcity

QUETTA: The people of Gwadar get air thrown out of the faucet instead of water in their households as the two main sources of water supply to the coastal city are not of help since quite some time now.
Although living by the coast, residents of Gwadar and its environs have to depend on water tankers brought in from other areas since a. Akra Kaur Dam that would supply water has run dry and b. the only desalination plant for Gwadar city and its suburbs that makes seawater useable has been non-functional.
The level of water in Akra Kaur Dam — the sole source of clean water supply to Gwadar — started lowering three to four months back as there was no precipitation.
Since last year it rained comparatively less in October and November, the water level in Akra Kaur Dam could not be increased.
Another issue is of storage of the dam.
Even during those few months, the plant was not desalinating water as per its capacity of two million gallons – not more than 0.3 million gallons of water could be worked on, as per Public Health Engineering Department Balochistan.
At present, over 100 tankers are supplying water to Gwadar, but there is a need of 500.
PHE Executive Engineer Shakeel Ahmed said efforts were under way to make the desalination plant functional.
Locals are also counting on the promises made by Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri.
Nevertheless, the government cannot ignore the important of basic facilities in Gwadar more so because the port city is a strategic location of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

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