GHALANAI: A long dry spell has gripped Ghalanai, the headquarters of Mohmand Agency, and adjoining areas.
The local residents have complained that wells and others water sources have dried up in the region and thus, causing severe shortage of water.
They said private bowsers supplied water at Rs2,000 each but that, too, was of little use.
Tribesman Mohammad Waseem said bowsers fetched water from an area, which was around eight kilometers from Ghalanai, but they were unable to fulfil the region’s needs.
He also complained that the excessive power cuts and low voltage had added to the people’s misery, especially those living in Khwezai and Biazai tehsils.
Another local resident said the region was subjected to electricity suspension for 18 hours daily.
Locals say wells have dried up causing serious water shortage
He said the government had spent Rs2.25 billion on water supply schemes over the last few years but the region continued to face acute shortage of drinking water.
The resident said the dry spell had led to the drying up of wells and tubewells.
The region’s Pandiali tehsil had a small dam, which was built at a cost of Rs22.3 million in 2004. However, it was damaged away by a flash flood due to the alleged use of substandard material.
The work on the dam is under way.
Ironically, work on Yousafkhel dam has already completed, while the construction of Ganado dam near Ghalanai has been suspended since the killing of a contractor and workers in a bomb blast three years ago.
The Agency Headquarters Hospital and Civil Colony, too, in the agency headquarters are without the supply of drinking water.
Around 30,000 people of Ghalanai, Pagul Kor, Chanda, Mill, Koaz Ghandab, Barokhel and adjoining areas others areas are in distress over water crisis.
The families, which can’t afford to buy water from bowsers, fetch it into pitchers from far-flung areas for domestic use.
Raz Mohammad Khan, a resident of border area, said in many villages, the people used contaminated water for cooking food, drinking and washing purposes.
He also said animals, too, used dirty water.
The tribesman said the government should build small dams and execute solar energy-run water schemes in the area to address water shortage on permanent basis.
Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2017