Text and Photos by Amar Guriro
About 150,000 residents of Khipro Town and 10,000 residents of other small towns and union council in Khipro taluka are forced to consume polluted water due to the outdated water supply systems and the minor canals supplying water to the system. Khipro taluka is an administrative subdivision of Sanghar District and is the largest taluka of Pakistan in terms of area, as geographically it touches major cities like Sanghar, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot, while its vastly scattered Achhro Thar or ‘White Desert’ area touches the Indian border. During a visit to Khipro, this scribe found that despite being located on the edges of the famous Khipro Canal, the residents of this ill-fated town were not receiving clean drinking water.
A large number of the people living around Shah Bux Minor, a small inland waterway that supplies water to the town’s water supply, have no other choice but to fetch water from contaminated ponds. Due to the absence of freshwater, abdominal disease and hepatitis, especially in children and women, are common. “Around 35 percent of the total population of the taluka suffers from some sort of waterborne disease round the year,” said taluka hospital in-charge Dr Iqbal Qaimkhani. People in other towns of Khipro taluka, including Khahi, Dhilyar, Perunmal and Bhit Bhaiti, also suffer from contaminated drinking water.