Central role of water in providing food, livelihoods, health, education and basic water and sanitation amenities is well realized by the world but in 21st century still Thar Desert is facing water scarcity & quality and that is found main root cause of migration, malnutrition and vulnerability to other socioeconomic problems.
Disciplinary angles of water in Thar Desert are;
Availability: sources, quantity and duration of water availability and problems in getting.
Quality: How much safe is the source of water, contaminations and water born problems, their intensity and chronic affects are major aspects.
Because of that in Thar water is not quenching thirst of inhabitants but clutching routine life in health and socio-economic related problems and limited choices for Thari souls. Let us have a look on the problems, their intensity and dimensions:
Digging the deep wells is not a single problem, but dragging out underground water related other problems are: three persons of each household spend three to five hours daily to fetch water for human consumption and watering the pet animals. In case of depth more than 50 feet people use donkey, bull or camel for pulling the water bucket. Incase of unavailability of animals and other support, women and children have to pull the rope by hands. Due to difficult practice of water collecting women use less water (bath, washing, cleanliness etc)
Another major cause of sorrows of Thari souls is quality of water, and especially underground water; saline up to 10 thousand ppm and contaminated by flouride. Due to water brne chronic diseases inhabitants fell prey to dangerous effects, scientifically this has been proved that 80% underground water in Thar is not fit for human consumption as per World Health Organizations’s standards.
Umarkot, Chhachhro and Mithi Sub-districts have been observed most adversely affected with groundwater quality deterioration in terms of fluoride ion contamination High fluoride ion concentrations found in all affected areas is the main cause of dental and skeletal fluorosis among local population.
AWARE Team strongly believe that water is important factor relating to the Thar’s development and that should be on top priority, so authorties should schedule the priorities not to prioritise their schedule