AT home we are consuming, wearing and drinking things which are directly or indirectly the products of agriculture. We eat meat three times a day as part of our diet, and we also eat rice, wheat, vegetables, fruits and pulses as food.
But before we eat, do we ever think about where it comes from or how these things are cultivated in the field?
No, we do not. We do not think about how our country is at critical level for the availability of pure water. There are scarce water resources, decreasing rainfalls and more wastage. There is no sustainable water for cultivation. Groundwater in Sindh is not suitable for crops. But how are farmers cultivating these crops without pure water?
These farmers are using waste water for irrigating the crops.
This is water that comes from industries, hospitals, and our homes. This water is enriched with macro and micro nutrients which are essential for soil and crops, but it can be used after it is recycled.
Unfortunately we don’t have the equipment to recycle that water.
If we use it as it is, this water contains heavy metals like cadmium, chromium, arsenic and lead. These metals are very dangerous to humans, plants and animals. They can lead to diseases such as skin cancer, diarrhoea and hepatitis, etc.
I met a farmer who was using waste water for his crops and he told me that because of water scarcity he was using ground water in his field which was also not of good quality.
Muhammad Saleem Rajpar
Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2019