Soni Mallah, residing in Mallah Para (fishermen locality) near main Chotiaryon Village, Sanghar district, is among 2100 families, who have got water facilities near their muddy abodes. Mallah Para itself comprises 150 households, who have got 8 hand pumps to have safe drinking water.
She accredits to Paani, a US-based charity organization for this support to install hand pumps to benefit the community. Otherwise, these fisherwomen used to fetch water from a long distance for domestic needs.
Recalling the past blissful days, she said they used to work with their males, going on small boats for fish catch daily Baqar Lake.
“This lake was prosperous at the time, offering more fish catch to us and we always enjoyed a better life,” she said.
Previously, these dwellers used to depend on fishing for livelihood. But now after degrading the water body these people are experiencing problems due to shrinking livelihood. Baqar Lake used to take water from the Nara Canal irrigation system, which after some time was disconnected from its natural source. In result the community people had lost their traditional source of living. Chotyarion village is a trade center of the entire Union Council, which comprises 25 small and larger villages with a total population 46500.
The people travel from sand dunes of Achhro Thar (white desert) to this larger village for trade, bringing their products for sale and returning back with essential items for their homes. Leelan Mallah, another fisherwoman of the same locality, said “we feel secure after receiving hand pumps near our homes and getting water at any time.” Leelan is the mother of two children. She heaved a sigh of relief after receiving these facilities near there to avoid any problem, as they have experienced difficulties while traveling to distant water facilities.
She said mostly women and children of this locality take responsibility to travel long distance for fetching water from the neighbouring areas. Shahid Umrani, Executive Director Fast Rural Development Program (FRDP), who is leading the implementation team, said they have selected 10 villages at initial stage to provide 50 water facilities, mostly installing hand pumps with the consensus of local communities. These people were taken on board for selecting sites for installing the hand pumps so they may share the facilities without any conflict.
He said these beneficiaries mostly belong to working communities like fishermen, farmers and herders and live peacefully. He justified that these people deserve to be benefited. He expressed the hope that this small gift may bring smiles to the faces of women, who fetch water to quench the thirst of families.