Stories about water

Video blog: What I saw in Badin

Two hundred people have fallen prey to the devastation that hit Badin and other areas in Sindh by more than 1,000 millimeters of rain in the last month. This is the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in Sindh. Compare this to the 70 odd millimeters of rain that has fallen in Karachi over the past few days and one begins to realize the magnitude of the catastrophe Sindh is facing. I was in Badin earlier this week with a group of volunteers called SA Relief. I witnessed, first hand, what exactly was going on. From our entrance into the Golarchi area ...

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Drowning and helpless

There are many ways in which you can feel helpless. You feel helpless when you think about college, you feel helpless when you realise that very few people around you actually remembered that Thursday was International Literacy Day. And it doesn’t help when someone tells you that 35,000 Pakistanis have been killed since 9/11. One of those times, and the most recent, involved a car, submerged in waist deep water, stuck while reversing over a ditch, with the water level inside the locked car rising exponentially, the rain thundering outside and leaking through the crack in the window, and with ...

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Lessons for Ramazan

Ramazan is a month that is big on beginnings and ends. We anticipate the birth of a new moon and then we watch the glowing crescent orb slowly dissolve as the nights pass. After our final sip of water in the morning, begins a period of anticipation, waiting for the sun to kiss the horizon, thereby signaling the end of our fast. In this holy month of worship, patience, and curbing of all desires, I’m sure we’ve all spent a sizeable chunk of time hungrily reflecting. Here’s what I’ve come up with. Naturally, some reflections seemed revolutionary, while in the ...

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I read so you don’t have to: Outrageous!

This week offered proof, once again, that our politicians wouldn’t be quite so problematic if they just never spoke. We already knew that the outrageousness of Rehman Malik’s words is matched only by the outrageousness of his ties; that Zulfiqar Mirza vomits out inflammatory speeches as if it’s a medical condition for which there’s no cure; and, that the world would be a happier place if Pervez Musharraf never spoke again. Still, you’re most likely sitting at home and refusing to go out because of the heat, so you might as well relive their cringe-worthy comments of the last week. That ...

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Life on the balcony

The number of apartments is growing with increasing population. More buildings usually means less green spaces and a greyer city. Nonetheless, living in an apartment must not keep you away from having a healthy green space. Even small spaces such as a balcony can become a rewarding and refreshing garden of your own. All you need is some planning. What do you want from your garden? Ask yourself, which type of garden you would like to walk into each day? This mostly depends on the space, sun, wind exposure and the irrigation system. But first thing is first. Weight management: Firstly, find ...

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In search of clean water

I saw a man by the name of Ali Arsalan prove the principle “all answers are basically simple” at a fair recently held in Karachi. He claimed, and I was convinced, that the task of supplying pure drinking water to millions of people of the country could be achieved by just promoting a method of water purification that uses ultraviolet rays and the sun’s heat. The method is called solar water disinfection (SODIS) and is recommended by the World Health Organization. The man came up with the idea as a solution for the supply of potable water to the flood-stricken people ...

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Earth Day: Five small steps to a billion acts of green

Today is the 41st anniversary of the Earth Day. This year’s theme is “A billion acts of green” and the goal is to generate a billion acts of environmental service and advocacy before the global Earth Summit 2012 in Rio. We can all contribute to a greener earth by doing at least one act of conservation in order to make those “billion acts of green” possible. 1. Recycle Start by recycling at home. We could encourage our kids to re-use old cans, tins and cardboard boxes to make useful things at home, like jewelry boxes and bookmarks. We can also reuse jam jars ...

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I love you, but you can’t have my password

I recently read a blog post about sharing personal e-mail accounts with your partners or spouse. The blog said about 33 per cent of women and 30 per cent of men share their online information with their partners. It also said that among unmarried couples, 10 per cent of the time, this led to a discovery of their partner’s infidelity. The figure was lower for married couples – about three per cent. The identity theft expert who gave these stats, Robert Siciliano, went on to warn that this figure was among those who had admitted to account sharing and discovering the infidelity ...

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Harvesting rainwater to solve water problems

What better news to share in the season of spring than about the human effort to preserve the divine gift of water. Rainwater is the cleanest form of water, it has no biological contamination. It is fit for human consumption and, of course, irrigation. Happy serendipity In the 1980s, the locals in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) thought of putting rainwater to use by collecting it in whatever containers they had available. Unaware of a world where rain water harvesting was being done on a large scale through various organisations, these simple folk stumbled upon a simple solution to the complex ...

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A consensus on water

I was one of some 30 journalists from all parts of Pakistan who recently spent five days together in Swat to discuss water and flood-related issues. Swat was the place where one of the most devastating floods in the country’s history originated last year so it was a befitting venue for a talk on water and flood-related issues. Almost every one of these journalists has covered and witnessed the devastation caused by the floods. The geographical areas that they covered might have been different but the miseries and their scale that the reporters based their stories upon were more or less ...

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