As Pakistan hurtles towards the close of the first two decades of the 21st century — proudly showing off its new and improved Big Boy WMDs, its numerous shiny shopping plazas that spring up almost daily across urban centres, not to mention imported luxury car showrooms — it appears to have forgotten the basics.
London-based non-profit organisation Water Aid’s recent report — The Water Gap: The State of the World’s Water 2018 — ranks Pakistan nine out of 10 in term of lowest access levels to potable water close to home.
Moreover, it finds that almost 22 million have no access to clean drinking water either inside or near their homes.
This is not to say that no progress has been made.
The country is also home to one of the most inefficient irrigation systems in the world.
Meaning that arsenic levels in groundwater are alarmingly high.
WHO recommends that safe drinking water should contain no more than 10 micrograms per litre.
Thus the issue of shrinking water tables can no longer remain on the backburner.
Thus the incoming government must take Water Aid’s warning seriously, at both the local and regional level.
In other words, the longer the country continues on the current path whereby it splashes cash on maintaining the world’s fastest-growing nuclear stockpile, say, the direr the future will be for this already resource-fragile nation.