Prolonged power outages in Mingora have resulted in an acute water shortage in the region.
Around 90% of the areas depend on water from tube wells run by the municipal corporation. But with more than 20 hours of load-shedding, the machines can no longer operate, leaving locals not only with no water for their household needs but also parched throats.
To overcome this shortage, residents of Mingora and its suburbs traverse long distances to obtain water from far-flung areas.
“I go out early in the morning to work in a vegetable market where I spend the whole day. In the evening, when I am exhausted, I have to carry water from the bypass area,” complained a hawker, Abzer Khan.
Women and children are not exempted from this toil either. Women say carrying the load on their heads is painful and cumbersome as they also have to tend to household chores.
“We don’t have a single moment of rest. We start our day with domestic chores, then at noon and in the evening we fill water from a distant spring,” said a woman in Malookabad. She urged the government must arrange generators to run the tube wells.
For the children, the physically draining exercise may have long-term implications. “I carry water for three hours daily after coming home from school. I have no time to do my homework or study,” said Shafiullah, a 9th grade student in Barama area of Mingora.
According to an official of the Municipal Corporation Mingora, they can do nothing to address the issue as it is related to a matter that is not in their hands – load shedding.
Newly-elected MPA Fazal Hakeem promises to take emergency measures to solve the problem. “People have elected us to resolve their issues. Water supply is our priority and we will soon tackle it.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 27th, 2013.
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