Despite the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf led provincial government’s claims, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa faces acute shortage of water as 318 Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) Schemes across 25 districts of the province are either dysfunctional or damaged.
Documents available with The Express Tribune reveal that Karak district faces the most shortage with a total of 43 WSS schemes out-of-order and the locals are forced to bring water from far-flung springs or rivers. After Karak, a total of 32 WSS schemes are dysfunctional in Lakki Marwat district while 13 schemes are damaged each in Peshawar, Nowshehra and 22 are not working in Charsadda.
In Tank, locals are forced to consume water from ponds for washing clothes, dish washing and even for drinking purposes.
A resident of Tank Ahmad Shah said that for many years the residents were using water from the same ponds animal used for drinking.
He lamented that Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) had always been voted into power from Tank, Karak, Lakki Marwat and other southern districts but they [JUI-F] are yet to address the water issue.
The officials of the Public Health Department in respective districts blamed low electricity voltage for the damaged water schemes. They said the department concerned has time and again informed them about the water issue but it has yet to be resolved.
The issue has also been raised in the provincial assembly by Mufti Saeed Janan. Janan told the house there are various reasons for the damaged WSS schemes including overdue motors used in them.
“The tube well machinery has a lifespan of 10-15 years in every WSS scheme and it should be replaced after this period but most of the damaged schemes have machinery installed of many decades which is not properly working.”
Additionally, other schemes were damaged in various districts owing to natural disasters but have not yet been replaced.
The K-P government each year in its Annual Development Programme allocates budget to make damaged WSS schemes functional but the issue is yet to be resolved.
When contacted, Minister for Public Health Engineering Shah Farman did not respond.