Pakistan: Shortage of water at critical stage : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

14 April 2000 Friday 08 Muharram 1421

Shortage of water at critical stage

By Our Reporter

LAHORE, April 13: Water scarcity reached a critical stage on Thursday when three reservoirs at Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma touched the lowest levels.

While the Mangla and Chashma reservoirs have reached the lowest permissible limits of 1,040 feet and 637 feet (above sea level) Tarbela reservoir has reached 1323.86 feet level, about 53 feet below the required level of 1,377 feet.

Experts say that Tarbela could not be lowered below 1,320 feet without taking the risk of the sand reaching the turbines tunnels which would force Wapda to close down its power house.

The live storage of both Mangla and Chashma reservoirs has finished while that of Tarbela was about half a million acre feet only. Run-of-the river supplies were being maintained at Mangla and Chashma at 25,300 cusecs and 36,700 cusecs, respectively. Inflow at Tarbela was 24,100 cusecs and outflow 30,000 cusecs on Thursday. This included 5,900 cusecs supplied to Sindh under the direction of the federal government to meet the demand of the province. "Had there been no Tarbela Dam how would Sindh be supplied more water than its share under the water apportionment accord," an irrigation expert remarked, adding that Sindh was being supplied water at the cost of southern Punjab.

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-- Martin Thompson (, April 14, 2000


Friday, 14 April, 2000, 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK Severe drought in southern Pakistan

Southern Pakistan is stricken by drought

By Haroon Rashid in Quetta

A severe drought has blighted agriculture in Pakistan's southern provinces of Baluchistan and Sindh, where many people now face the threat of famine.

Experts working for the international relief organisation Oxfam warned that some areas were not far from facing a disaster on the scale of the famine in Ethiopia.

Oxfam experts visited three drought-hit districts in Baluchistan and Thraparkar in Sindh.

Baluchistan is one of the hottest places on earth

They said 90% of the livestock and local agriculture were affected and, while there had been no drought-related deaths as yet, they expected a further deterioration soon.

Oxfam carried out a detailed survey of the drought-affected areas, and reported an alarming situation.

The experts found that in Sindh, nearly 60% of the population had already migrated to irrigated land.

Aid appeal

Tanya Boudreau, an Oxfam food security specialist, said a swathe stretching from southern Afghanistan to Pakistan and Gujarat in India had been badly affected by lack of rainfall.

The team is also to visit the Cholistan desert in Sindh.

Cattle-breeding - a key source of income for the local inhabitants - has been seriously hit by the dried-up pastures.

Ms Boudreau called for immediate action to prevent a disaster.

The team is to submit its report by the end of the month to the Pakistan government and donors, to launch a relief programme. .stm

-- Martin Thompson (, April 14, 2000.

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