WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE … BUT NOT A DROP TO DRINK (“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

(Long Article)

Samaa recently wrote https://www.samaa.tv/news/2020/08/karachi-rain-water-weather-flooding-monsoon-update-storage-shortage-drought/, with very good suggestions for capturing rain water- which reminded me of my post of last year (https://dinshawavari.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/water-water-everywhere-but-not-a-drop-to-drink/).  This is an apt time to re-summarize and add on to these thoughts-

Weather patterns have changed for Pakistan, especially Karachi.  We are seeing colder winters, hotter summers … and heavier rains!  The last I remember of these types of rains were in the 1970s.

Karachi is facing severe monsoon rains for the first time in decades.  It’s a good thing too – it cleans up the city; there is more greenery; the temperature drops; and life is so much more pleasant; and the three major reservoirs supplying water to our City get filled.

Yet, with the rains upon us there is no drinking water in sight!  Like South Africa’s current problem, Pakistan is heading for a water crisis in the coming decade.

Rain is God’s gift to Earth and we are rebuffing this free resource!

The time to act is NOW … with no POLITICS or partisanship involved, through micro & macro means.  The provincial & federal governments cannot do this on their own- we as citizens have to help out too.

  1. Let’s go back to school – literally – and immediately start teaching water saving to all nursery, kindergarten and primary school children! (Long Term Goal)
  2. Water faucets can and should be changed to modern fittings which save water.  I saw a very interesting concept at https://www.alteredcompany.com/ .  Their water aerators/nozzles give a mist giving the same cleaning effects but at a fraction of the water wastage.  Why can’t our domestic companies follow suit and make it mandatory for all faucets to be of this type?
  3. Implement recycling “domestic” water for kitchen & clothes washing and swimming pool top ups;
  4. Implement “waste” water recycling (from WC’s and urinals) for gardens and exterior washings (can be used for washing cars, external patios, etc). 
  5. Implement drip irrigation for all gardens, plants & farms –Middle Eastern countries are proof that such systems work – and theoretically it should be even easier for us to do! 
  6. All watering for gardens & plants should be done at/after sunset;
  7. Domestic staff HAVE to be taught to conserve water (for that matter all our utilities);
  8. Individual water catchment systems need to be created – each building in our cities can easily have their own rainwater harvesting system – it doesn’t have to be expensive.  In our part of the world, Tamil Nadu leads the way!  Brazil, Singapore, Hawaii & Australia are other successful examples.  The cost and process of making a catchment system is not prohibitive or unreasonable.  It can even work effectively with a simple tarpaulin (refer http://www.oas.org/usde/publications/unit/oea59e/ch10.htm as an example).  (Here’s another source- https://outdoortroop.com/how-to-capture-and-store-enough-rainwater-for-your-cabin/).

On the macro side, our federal & provincial governments –

  1. Have to put aside “-1 sum” politics (in this case “-1” referring to provinces) in favour of the citizens of Pakistan.
  2. Like Hawaii, we need to create water catchment areas for rainwater in each province – NO RAIN WATER SHOULD BE WASTED.
  3. Mini DAMS is a must – starting from the north of Pakistan’s main rivers down south to the Arabian Sea – so that our fresh water does not drain into the sea and is instead used productively.  Politicians (not us citizens!) have concerns that water from such dams would not be used equitably – but if Pakistan & India’s Indus Water Treaty of 1960 can withstand the “test of time”, I’m sure our own provinces can also reach comprehensive, equitable & binding agreements.

Not a drop of fresh water in Pakistan should be allowed to flow into the Arabian Sea and instead equitably diverted East & West to all provinces as it flows southwards!

  • The current government’s tree-plantation drive is a correct first step – “growing trees take water from the soil and release it into the atmosphere. Tree leaves also act as interceptors, catching falling rain, which then evaporates causing rain precipitation elsewhere — a process known as evapo-transpiration […] strategically planting trees can bring rain to regions that need it most.” (https://forestsnews.cifor.org/10316/make-it-rain-planting-forests-to-help-drought-stricken-regions?fnl=en). 
  • Desalinization plants – this is a macro project and while some smaller units have been set up in Karachi, they are not being used.  Besides rainwater, ocean water is an absolutely FREE resource- why are we not using it?  We take loans to pay off other loans … and loans for building our arms … why can’t we take loans & grants for providing drinking water to our population?

There is a great need for our governments (plural!) collectively to lead the way in collecting & storing rainwater; promoting households & commercial buildings to create water catchments & reuse rainwater; and teach & implement water saving techniques to the population!

THE WATER IS FREE people … we just need to optimally capture this very very scarce resource and utilize it correctly in & for our Country.

WISHFUL THINKING !

August 25, 2020

(Image credit- https://images.app.goo.gl/c2bfJH1KqMB7kEWw9)

More than ever, (https://dinshawavari.com/2019/06/14/what-does-a-government-do-for-us-%f0%9f%a4%94/ & https://dinshawavari.com/2020/03/26/where-are-we-heading/), I despair as to where the world is heading …

… Self destruction – whether economic, nuclear, physical !

… Conflict & strife being at one of the highest points that I can remember in my conscious life.

It basically comes down to “governments” and national policies-

Why are nations encouraging conflict with other nations?

               Shouldn’t they be looking at the welfare of their own citizens FIRST!?

Why are nations increasing arms spend?

               Shouldn’t they be spending on education & health of their own citizens instead?

What is a “government’s” purpose to come to power?

               Is it not to enhance the poor and downtrodden out of poverty instead?

How does a country’s attempt for currency & world domination/hegemony help the citizens of that nation?

               Doesn’t it instead dilute the energies & efficiencies of the government from internal enhancement?

In today’s era, how does land acquisition through war & conquest help a nation prosper?

               Doesn’t it instead divert resources from otherwise more critical LIFE purposes?

(Image credit- https://images.app.goo.gl/6RvBqpCHpaM6NmcU9)

The words in the United Nations’ charter is the ONLY KPI on which governments should be judged & held responsible for by its citizens –

“…committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights

– and not on how strong a country’s currency is or how many wars it is fighting or how influential it is in world affairs. 

Let’s end this diatribe with a quote from Ronald Reagan’s Acceptance Speech at the Republican National Convention on July 17, 1980 [please replace “Americans” with “citizens”] …

…millions of [Americans] find themselves out of work. Millions more have never even had a fair chance to learn new skills, hold a decent job, or secure for themselves and their families a share in the prosperity of this nation.  It is time to put [Americans] back to work, to make our cities and towns resound with the confident voices of men and women of all races, nationalities and faiths bringing home to their families a decent paycheck they can cash for honest money. For those without skills, we’ll find a way to help them get skills. For those without job opportunities, we’ll stimulate new opportunities, particularly in the inner cities where they live…

               …This is what worlds’ governments should SOLELY strive towards…FULL STOP!

We Are Who We Are Because Of Our Forefathers- 8

August 18, 2020

(8 of 12)

REPLY ADDRESS BY MR. DINSHAW B AVARI ON THE OCCASION TO COMMEMORATE HIS 85th BIRTHDAY on NOV 5, 1987-

Beach Luxury Hotel started construction, Partition took place, and the Sind Government once again requisitioned my Hotel. They said that as a Minority Member I will run away and they needed the building for Government Offices. This was somewhere around December 1947, and I gave them a written assurance that I will open the Hotel by our Zoroastrian New Year, 21st of March 1948. One week before the Opening, I had no furniture, cutlery, crockery or glassware.

Always, in my times of problems, God has come to my rescue. I believe in intuition and like the time when I left Quetta the night before the fatal earthquake – because of my intuition – I was once again intuitively led to read every inch of the newspaper that day.

I saw this advertisement of the British United Services Club, which was called the Bus Club. The auction was that day for the sale of the entire crockery, cutlery, glass-ware, linen and furniture. I went and gave my Tender which read as Rs. 1000/- more than the highest offer. The Committee called me and said the highest offer was Rs.8,000/- but they could not accept the type of Tender I had given on the basis of which I would pay Rs.9,000; but if I paid Rs.10,000, I would get everything. So I accepted and opened the Hotel a week later, on 21st March 1948, with the blessings and prayers of Dr. Dastur Dhalla, who was present at that time.”

(to be cont)

(previous (7th) post- https://dinshawavari.com/2020/07/31/we-are-who-we-are-because-of-our-forefathers-7/)

A Passenger’s Guide to Air Travel

August 12, 2020

….Hey!  Hold on!  I’m now a COVID expert!?  No but here are some practical tips for travelers to consider-

  • Wear the COVID N-95 or K-95 face mask on board;

(If you are really paranoid 😊, add a cloth or surgical mask over that)

  • Carry on board-
    • Wear mask continuously
      • Disposable surgical mask- (tie-on type- not behind-ear type)
      • Hand sanitizer & hand wipes
      • Hand moisturizer
      • Some paper disposable bags
  • Before initially sitting, use the hand wipes –
    • Wipe down both arm rests, seat cushion & back
      • Wipe down outside of overhead bin and latch
      • Wipe down the tray and TV if it is one of those seat-retractable ones
      • (If you are on a window seat) Wipe down side of the plane (where you would put your head to sleep) and window shutter
      • Use a fresh hand wipe to sanitize your hands and bin all the wipes into a paper bag and dispose in lavatory (see below)
      • Use moisturizer on hands
(Photo credit- IATA)
  • Going to the bathroom-
    • Carry hand wipes with you
      • Use one hand wipe to open the door, get inside and lock the door and wipe the lock and door latch
      • Use another hand wipe to wipe the lid of the disposable bin and and flushing mechanism/button
      • Wash hands with soap
      • After using the bathroom, use hand wipe or sanitizer for a final clean.
      • Moisturize hands
  • Continue wearing mask during entire trip
  • Whenever you walk around, go to the food galley, open the overhead bin, etc, on returning back to the seat, use hand sanitizer and moisturizer
  • Eating (my favorite experience on a plane! 😊)-
  • Why I’m suggesting using the tie-on type of face mask is so that you keep the top portion tied on and open the bottom two ties, allowing you to feed yourself (and drink) without removing the mask portion covering the nose
    • Use hand wipes to wipe down all cutlery (we use hand wipes to wipe down thermometers, so I presume it’s safe for cutlery too)
    • Wipe down the plastic and foil covers of the food and drink
    • EAT … DEVOUR … ENJOY! 😊
  • Enjoy the food … Enjoy the movie … Enjoy the flying experience … and most of all, Enjoy the sleep!

If you have any further suggestions, please do share.

BON VOYAGE!

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