The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has sanctioned a $100 million loan to Balochistan government to overcome the water shortage in the province.
Balochistan Water Resources Development Sector Project acquires this loan to concentrate on upgrading irrigation infrastructure and water supply management in the Zhob and Mula river drainage area.
The project also adheres to increase the earnings of the farms in the province, it will cost around $125.5 million out of which ADB will give induct of $100 million while the remaining funds would be generated by the Government of Balochistan.
Agriculture accounts for almost two-thirds of Balochistan’s economic output and employs 60% of the province’s 13 million population, but frequent drought and poor water management has put the industry and those who rely on it, at risk. Poverty rates in the province are almost double the national average.
“This project will build irrigation channels and dams and introduce efficient water usage systems and practices to help farmers increase food production and make more money,” ADB Principal Water Resources Specialist Yaozhou Zhou said.
In total, about 16,592 hectares (ha) of land will be annexed and reformed for the irrigation. Among the infrastructure that will be improved or developed for the project is;
- A dam, able to handle 36 million cubic meters of water
- 276 kilometers of irrigation waterways and canals
- Facilities, so that people especially women get easy access to water for domestic usage.
Implementing modern technology is also in the plans, such as satellite and remote sensing that will help in devising a water resource information system. The system will be able to detect the areas in need of rehabilitation resources.
The water crisis in Pakistan is rising day by day, people lack drinking water in many areas and schools have no proper water supply system. Honorable Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has also initiated a fund for constructing Basha Dam that is getting contributions from Pakistanis all over the world.