Though it doesn’t feel any hotter than previous summers (at least not Islamabad and not for me), it seems this summer will be very tough for most. Already, at least 84 people have died in the Punjab province alone. Water is a pretty serious issue, even in the relatively cooler and better equipped capital, where Rawal Lake had already dried up before the start of summer (I and Ad even drove into the dried up lake basin a few times) and where temperatures have reached as high as 42 degrees celsius.
Though clouds arrive every other day, the rains aren’t coming and instead, we get dust storms. Just yesterday, I was at my uncle’s house with my cousins, looking out of the gate, when we saw a huge one heading our way. A lot like the stuff you see in movies. We quickly closed all doors, but the fine dust managed to get everywhere once the storm arrived.
The Prime Minister has warned of a drought and since the winter was pretty dry, things could get very ugly if the rains don’t come soon. At home, we use ground water, pumped up through a pretty deep bore, yet this has become a trickle and it takes a whole day of running the pump just to get enough water for one day’s needs. It normally took about half an hour.
It seems to me that the country’s increasing population and industry is putting too much load on the water system. Trees are being cut down at an extraordinary pace, dams cause a lot of the stored water to evaporate instead of reaching the upstream places that really need it and to top it off, there is no water conservation campaign. Surprising how the prime minister has asked us to pray, but has said hardly a word about conservation. Something to be taken seriously.