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Global City Karachi having Threat of Contamination of Drinking Water by Climate Change

Keenjhar Lake, which is the only source of drinking water for Pakistan’s largest populated city Karachi, is missing its marvelous paste due to the environmental and climate changes in the region. Karachi city is located at the coast of Arabian Sea in the south-east end of country. It is the main sea port and financial hub of Pakistan also. Karachi is the most populous city in the country, one of the world's largest cities in terms of population and also the 10th largest urban agglomeration in the world and its population is now crossing to 20 million. Karachi also counted as the global city and also it ranked as Beta world city. Its area is four times bigger than Hong Kong. The area of Karachi was known to the ancient Greeks by many names: Krokola, the place where Alexander the Great camped to prepare a fleet for Babylonia after his campaign in the Indus Valley; 'Morontobara' (probably Manora island near Karachi harbor), from whence Alexander's admiral Nearchus set sail; and Barbarikon, a port of the Bactrian kingdom. It was later known to the Arabs as Debal from where Muhammad bin Qasim led his conquering force into South Asia in 712 AD.

The climate of this city features an arid climate, albeit a moderate version of this climate. This beta city is located on the coast and as a result has a relatively mild climate. Karachi has two main seasons; Summer & Winter, while spring and autumn are very short. Summer season persists for longest period during the year. The level of precipitation is low for most of the year. Less precipitation during summer is due to inversion layer. Karachi also receives the monsoon rains from July to September. The city enjoys a tropical climate encompassing mild winters and warm summers.

Keenjhar Lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes of Pakistan which is spread over the area of 13468 hectares. This Lake also has been declared as Ramsar site since 1976. This lake is located in Indus Eco-region, the one of the world’s 40 Eco-regions. Keenjhar Lake is filled by the K.B Feeder canal which is branched from the Indus River.  Last three decades, when the Himalayan glaciers are gradually de-melting, the Indus River also witnessed the worst situation of drought and after than the climate of Keenjhar Lake also gradually changed into contamination. Because the lake was deprived from fresh water as it needed. As a result the lake’s fresh water contaminated the other hand effluent of Chemical Industries and Thermal Power House of Jamshoro also decreased the water quility. The huge effluent from the Kotri Industrial Area and Nooriabad Industrial Area is discharging into K.B Feeder which is the only source of fresh water from Indus River for this lake.

Pakistan is now days witnessing the worst impacts of Climate Change. Recently in 2010 and 2011, the floods and climate disaster devastated the country’s socio-economy as Climate Scientists are claiming that Pakistan is at the belt of Climate Change’s worst impacts so it may be more rains and drought in future also. Floods also change the environmental health of Keenjhar Lake. The other hand, sea intrusion by climate change damaged the ground water quality in this region. It is estimated that more than 3 million acres coastal land from Karachi to Badin coastal belt is occupied by the Arabian Sea. As a result more than 2 million peoples displaced by the sea intrusion caused by the climate change.

Water experts are of the view that Pakistan to face water scarcity by 2035 because the country’s productivity per unit of water, per unit of land lowest in the world when more than  54 million Pakistanis out of a population of 165 million do not have access to safe drinking water and 76 million lack access to sanitation. Last year United Nation declared Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation the basic human right. Tragic aspect of this situation is that Pakistan’s government is not any attention towards this alarming Climate Change impacts.

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