Published On: Wed, Aug 6th, 2014

Killer effluents destroying freshwater sources

Swerage 2

By Wasi Qureshi

Tando Mohammad Khan

“Since it’s polluted, we don’t drink the canal water,” says a woman resident of Tando Mohammad Khan. “The canal has become a junkyard, which is full of insects and all kinds of germs. We are facing many problems.”

The lady is talking about the Phuleli Canal. It opens from Kotri Barrage and passes through the residential and industrial areas of Hyderabad, where not only sewerage but toxic chemicals from leather and acid factories are released. The water that reaches the banks of Tando Mohammad Khan is somehow used by the entire population of the district.

_DSC0169 “We are drinking canal water, which is spreading diseases,” says Amna. “Children often complain about abdominal pain and are also getting infected by diarrhoea. Since there is no other place to discharge the seepage, it is released into the canal. We are bound to drink this water since we don’t have any in our homes.”

“Tando Mohammad Khan Municipal Committee’s pumping station is installed at Sajawal Chowk; from where with the help of heavy motors, sewerage from areas including Gulshan Faiz and Soomra Mohalla is released into the canal,” informs Amna, adding that she contacted senior physician, Dr Luttuf Talpur to find out the impact of disposing toxic chemicals into the canal.

“The drainage water is being discharged into the Phuleli Canal, without getting treated,” says Dr Talpur. “This is spreading all kinds of waterborne diseases such as typhoid, jaundice and diarrhoea, among others.”

This scribe met Dr Javed Rajpar, Administrator Tando Mohammad Khan Municipality, in his office to find out if and when the sewerage water treatment plant for the Phuleli Canal would be installed.

“There are problems because of polluted water and we’ve asked the higher authorities for the treatment plant,” says Rajpar. “The feasibility is being formulated at the moment and we’ve also written to our ministry to install a treatment plant.”

Nearly three million people from district Badin, Hyderabad and Tando Mohammad Khan use water from the Phuleli Canal for household purposes. Yet, the administrator fails to promise a treatment plant for the canal.

It is worth mentioning that according to a UN report, almost 40,000 children in Pakistan die annually because of diarrhoea – which is majorly caused by the use of unclean water.


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