ANOTHER Hidden GEM of Baluchistan!

April 6, 2021

A friend invited us last weekend to the Taqwa Adventure Group at Kund Malir, Baluchistan- https://maps.app.goo.gl/z5dM4ktoApMp325w8, for “paramotoring” & “motorgliding”. 

We met Tahir Mahmood and Amin Desai, who run the paramotoring adventures, who accompanied us personally.

Before you ask … VERY SAFE 😊!

Leaving Karachi at 6.45am, we reached 3½ hours later (with stops & all)- with the same journey time frame coming back at night.

Taqwa is a simple but comfortable set up, smack on Kund Malir beach.  The pictures tell the whole story, just keep scrolling down.  We took 200 pictures so, this is just a sampling of that 😊

We were at the end of the flying season due to the winds, so now they will resume in Autumn.

They recommend early morning flying when the winds are low (or dead) because once they increase past a certain force, then it’s not possible to do this activity.

Besides this, the waters, the swimming, the colors were just … outstanding!  However, this is beg-April; as you get into Autumn & winter, naturally the waters will turn colder.

When we were up, we saw dolphins, birds etc.  Flying over Kund Malir Beach felt like I was over Italy!

The food was just amazing!

Astrophotography is one of the best from here (in some jungle a few km away).

This was followed by a quick visit to the Princess of Hope and the Sphinx rock statues.  These two are natural rock formations, over millennia.  The Sphinx actually looks like the sphinx I’ve seen in Egypt but here it was high up in the mountains.

I give full CREDIT to Tahir & Amin for this venture; but I also give credit to the Gov’t of Baluchistan for the “tourist-accessibility” to these sites. 

With the increase in domestic tourism, the negative effects of tourism will also be visible in Baluchistan; but till then … ENJOY!!!

(Thanks to Twitter for introducing me to the wonders, beauty and marvels that Pakistan has to offer us)

You can catch some of our amateur videos at (https://twitter.com/DinshawAvari/status/1378615927860760578)-

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.