Pakistan’s most pressing governance crisis
The Supreme Court in December last year, constituted a judicial commission to investigate the authorities’ failure to provide potable drinking water and improve sanitation across the Sindh province.
After completing the hectic six-week long proceedings and inspections, the commission submitted its130-page comprehensive report to the apex court, concluding that various water and sanitation-related projects had not been completed due to corruption, mismanagement and poor monitoring systems of the provincial government.
This matter started when a senior practicing lawyer Shahab Usto, submitted videos showing the state of water, disposal of sewage and waste in Larkana, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Sukkur, Hyderabad, Kotri, Thatta, Badin, Mithi, Umerkot, Mirpurkhas and Karachi.
This was the first strong initiative and we should acknowledge it as a commendable action by a citizen of Pakistan.
According to the recent report released by the Supreme Court’s Judicial Commission on water and sanitation in Sindh, more than 75 percent people in Sindh drink unsafe water.
According to the recent report released by the Supreme Court’s Judicial Commission on water and sanitation, more than 75 percent people in Sindh drink unsafe water In addition to highlighting various dismal facts about the water and sanitation situation in Sindh, the report has declared that “water is life and access to unpolluted water is the fundamental right of every citizen”.
Despite the fact that the right to safe drinking water is declared a fundamental human right at the national and international level, a large number of people (71 percent) drink unsafe water in Sindh and continue to fight to survival against water borne diseases which include cancer.
While visiting these areas I had a talk with some of the locals, they said there was no source of clean drinking water and almost 98 percent population of their village is suffering from liver and stomach related diseases.
However, the Sindh Government allocated Rs 11.76 billion for development schemes which are meant to improve the provision of clean drinking water and sanitation in the province in the fiscal year 2017-18.
The JEC report highlighted that provincial authorities utilised 29 billion rupees on 1337 schemes of water supply and drainage during the last five years while 582 of water supply and drainage schemes out of 1337 are non-functional.