News Update

Water Monsoon: Shortage of Water Prevails in District Kambar-Shahdad kot 

Introduction
Sindh province has been coming across with acute shortage of water. The entire cropping calendar has
been disturbed in majority of districts of the province particularly in those districts that are located at
tail end of the country as well as province. Even due share as per WAA-1991 is not released;
consequently the remote areas receives no water not only for agriculture purpose but it is not available
for drinking and other domestic purposes. Sindh has been the worst affected province in Pakistan for
the last three decades. Intermittent emergencies shrouded in various incidents including cyclones,
heavy rains, and periodic floods, over ground seawater intrusion, earthquake and droughts along with
epidemics have played havoc on the life of vulnerable part of the society i.e. poorest of the poor,
mostly living in the rural areas of the province.

Water is essential element for survival of all kind of beings especially humans. There is no conception
of life on planet earth with water. The water has been a bone of contention in our country; many of
researches have been carried at individual as well as institutional level by national and international
freelance groups and international consultants with the support of government. The last one was
conducted in 1991 by the World Bank supported panel of experts; the report is known as water
apportionment accord (WAA). In 1991, an agreement to share waters of the Indus River was reached
between the four provinces of Pakistan in the form of the Water Apportionment Accord (WAA). This
accord is based on both, the existing and future water needs of the four provinces.

The Chief Ministers of all the four provinces, in a unique demonstration of mutual cooperation and
national spirit, resolved the long outstanding dispute, which had brought water development in the
country to a grinding halt. The Water Apportionment Accord was agreed upon on March 16, 1991 at
Karachi in a meeting of the Chief Minister’s of the four provinces along with veral provincial
representatives. The accord allocates the following share to provinces.

Sindh province has been experiencing acute shortage of water particularly the areas located at tail end
are the worst affected in this regard. According to concerned governmental authorities they have been
receiving less share of water from IRSA Islamabad. The urban areas and neighbouring areas access
fresh water easily; whereas the far-flung rural areas lack access to this water consequently the
cultivation in those areas has not been carried out update. Wherever it was carried out in those areas
and its neighbourhood, most of the lands look like deserted whatever had been invested resulted in dry
up. The people of majority of Sindh province incurred heavy losses and almost drought like situation
has emerged in entire province of Sindh leading to food security crises. Already people of the
province hardly meet their daily needs due to lack of livelihood opportunities that is another matter of
concern.

Background
Shahdad kot is situated in the northern-west part of Sindh province and is located at interprovincial borderline of Balochistan which is about 30 away from main city. The district is
almost 1/3 arid zone which is called Kachho and its catchments area up to Flood Protection Bund
(FPB) and the rest is canal irrigated mainly through Rice Canal, Warah Canal and Shahdad kot
Branch of North Western Canal. The area has long history of natural as well as man-made disasters
which is outlined below:

Flood (1840), Flood (1856), Flood (1874), Flood (1942), Flood (1948), Flood (1974), Hairdin Drain
(1989), Flood (1994), Heavy rainfall (1996), Drought like (1997), Heavy rainfall (1999), Shortage of
water (2000), Heavy rainfall (2003), Shortage of water (2004), Drought like situation (2006),Flood
(2007); super flood (2010), heavy rainfall (2012), shortage of water (2020), acute shortage of water
(2021) and construction of RBOD that is living development induced disaster and remains incomplete
despite of huge amount of investment although it had been assumed to be functional from 2009. The
construction of Right Bank Outfall Drain is meant to drain out sewerage water, effluents and runoff
water of other adjoining provinces including Balochistan and other parts of the country through
network of Indus Link Canal into Arabian Sea.

Hair Din enters in Sindh at Chukhi that is the tail end of Saifullah Magsi Canal. Eight rivulets.2
of plateaus and hilly terrain of Dera Bugti, Jaffarabad, Nasirabad, and Jhal Magsi empty into it. The
water is drained through incomplete structural drain away. The excess water washes away soil, stones
and buildings and uproots vegetation additionally. These communities are largely depending upon
poor and fragile resource base with less control over and entitlement of natural productive resources
like: arable land, and small-scale entrepreneurship. These non-structural dimensions of vulnerability
make them the most vulnerable.

Monsoon 2021
The monsoon 2021 was assumed to be near to normal in Pakistan during July to September due to
global weather conditions. However, the eastern and upper half of Punjab province, eastern
Balochistan and Azad Kashmir are likely to receive moderately above normal rainfall during the
entire period of monsoon. The province of Sindh is expected to receive slightly above normal rainfall
during the season. The area weighted normal rainfall during the monsoon period was forecasted to be
140.8 mm.

Overall Precipitation
Sindh received -47 % deficient rainfalls during early onset period in July 2021; however, the rainfalls
in other provinces such as Punjab was +1 %, Balochistan +22%, Gilgit Baltistan +86 %, and KPP +28
% while AJK received -4 %3. Meanwhile, the rainfall was observed to be deficient, -55.5%, severely
in the country as whole in the month of August and the month was ranked as third driest on the
record. The KPK received -34.3% deficient rainfalls, Punjab -57.7%, Sindh -89.2%, Balochistan –
48.6%, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir -12.8% & -60.5% respectively. The month experienced
large scale deficiency of rainfall during the month and was ranked among the ten driest months on
record.

However, the district Kambar-Shahdad kot received no rainfall, except minor showers on September
8th, 2021, during first week of September and is forecasted (No. PDMA Sindh/(Sitrep)/2021) to be
showered in which district Kambar-Shahdad kot is not included. No doubt, this is receding phase of
monsoon 2021.

Comparatively, the preceding monsoon-2020 was 38% above average of national total rainfall and the
year was ranked as the 4th wettest year since 1961. Country received following rainfall province wise
as under.

Different areas located in lower Sindh or northeastern part of the province received heavy rainfall and
some of the areas come across with flood like situation due to breaches.

Conclusion
Most of the areas in district Kambar-Shahdad kot are experiencing acute shortage of water, even less
access to drinking water. The ground water has been lowered down further putting more pressure on
availability for consumption. Approximately over 15,000 human populations suffer from lack of fresh
water in the district Kambar-Shahdad kot. Almost 85% agricultural lands look like deserted due to
shortage of irrigational water during Kharif season that is also indicative to have less water in
approaching another season known as Rabbi. More than 60,000 acres of land has been affected in
three talukas.

Currently, the entire province, particularly tail-end areas such as district Kambar-Shahdad kot, has
been suffering from acute shortage of water. People are still cultivating their lands although knowing
that the season of Kharif crop has almost expired yet they are obstinate enough to cultivate their lands
to seek outputs for dietary needs at household level. The farmers seem to suffer a lot in this regard.

Recommendations
1. Government must collect proper data through formal or informal surveys in all affected districts
including district Kambar-Shahdad kot
2. The affected areas and communities must be supported with provision of food support
3. The affected communities must be supported with provision of seeds for next cropping season
(Rabbi) to maintain nutrition chain
4. Lobby with concerned tier of government

Support