SHAHDADKOT: I would like to draw the attention of the authorities concerned towards the environmental degradation of Hamal Lake and adjoining areas due to the effluent coming from Balochistan. Hamal Lake is situated in a natural depression which was originally free from contamination and pollution. But due to mismanagement of water resources in the surrounding region, the lake has, over the years, become polluted. Effluent from Kot Magsi, Shahdadkot and Miro Khan comes directly into the lake as does waste water from parts of District Usta Mohammad in Balochistan. The effluent of Usta Mohammad area in Balochistan is carried by a drain which passes via Shahdadkot and eventually falls into the lake. Effluent from Kot Magsi, also in Balochistan, falls directly into Hamal Lake via Sarroh Dhandh after passing through the city of Qambar in Sindh.
The local people have no alternative except to use the water of the lake both for drinking as well as domestic purposes. In the past, when it was not contaminated, the lake would support hundreds of local fisherman who would use its waters to look for fish to sustain their livelihoods, but all that has changed now. The Sindh government needs to immediately ensure that the flow of effluent from Balochistan is stopped. Furthermore, the water quality of the lake and the other water bodies in the surrounding region should be regularly monitored.
Imran Aziz Tunio
Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2014.