Pakistan's freshwater resources are under strain and endanger. The Southern parts of Sindh, especially Karachi is facing the acute water shortage, due to salinity in groundwater sources and city is dependent upon river Indus water. The major existing issues of Karachi being an Urban City, where the population increased vertically resultantly increase the density, includes the shortage of drinking water. The drawback of this situation arises when we observe the use of potable water in gardening to maintain the environment .Due the nature of industrial and corporate center of Pakistan, Karachi is one city alone contributes 20% to the country's GDP and accounts for half of the government's revenues and same time, its port handles majority of the country's sea-borne trade. However, all this comes at a certain price. Karachi having exclusive infrastructure and green belts and the major Portion of freshwater stored for drinking purpose is consumed in greenery. The sea water of the metropolitan and other residential areas is considered to be the worst affected part of the country because of the discharge of industrial and residential waste is dumped in coastal area. In the Korangi industrial area; 2,500 industrial units including 170 tanneries dispose untreated waste into the sea. A continuous flow of water with animal dung from Bhains Colony is another source of pollution. Dumping of untreated sewerage water in water sources is causing marine pollution and effecting fish industry. There are concomitant environmental risks associated with untreated wastewater reuse, such as transport of harmful contaminants in soils, pollution of ground and surface-water and marine pollution. The resulting situation is a harbinger of many ills. It is disrupting fishing activities, paralyzing economic activities and eventually impacting the local fishing communities. Besides depriving the fishermen from their livelihood, the growing pollution levels are also destroying the marine life. Some of the marine life is contaminated with lead, which if consumed by humans through seafood, can lead to anemia, kidney failure, and brain damage. Even the mangrove forests, protecting the feeder creeks from sea erosion as well as a source of sustenance for fishermen, are threatened by this pollution.
This ever worsening situation has drawn the attention of the vice Admiral Syed Arifullah Hussaini the Commander Karachi (Comkar) and he has initiated the Constructed wetland (CW) a wastewater treatment plant in naval premises. Successful demonstration of CWs has already experienced in different countries, and same is also being initiated by a local organization Sindhica Reforms Society (SRS) in Pakistan and have different experience in developing these type of units in different areas of Pakistan Mr. Muhammad Ameen Keryo is the technical lead of CWs who provided consultancies on both the projects.
Comkar has shared the ideology of CWs with His Excellency Governor Sindh during the meeting and Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Siddqui the Commissioner Karachi proposed a treatment plant for Aziz Bhatti Park to mitigate problem of water for greening and Mr. Tariq Huda, Collector of Pakistan Customs committed the fund the project being a stakeholders of Karachi City.
So experimentally two CWs were planned by Comkar and Commissioner Karachi and Mr. Keryo was assigned this task to design and develop. One treatment unit with the capacity of 100 thousand gallons per day was developed in Aziz Bhatti Park with 100% sponsorship by Pakistan Custom and second with capacity of 150 thousand gallons per day was developed in PN Shooting Range with the financial arranged by Pak Navy.
University of Karachi and Baharia University both has conducted frequently water quality tests of these units and the treatment efficiency found outstanding. CWs abridged Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) level from 398.0mg/l to 34.0mg/l (91.4% Treatment), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)from 772.0 Mg/l to 66.0mg/l (91.4% Treatment)and Total Suspended Solids (TSS)from 231.0 mg/l to 87.5mg/l (62.1% Treatment).
The first ever CW treatment plant was starting its operation in Aziz Bhatt Park by Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, Commissioner Karachi also the then Administrator, KMC on 15 August 2015
Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Chief Minister Sindh inaugurated the CW in PN Shooting Range on 21st August 2015 & directed to install more in Karachi & other parts of Sindh. The Commissioner Karachi planned to treat 1 million Gallons per day in the first phase side by side Pak Navy also extending this programme to other sites. The Commissioner Karachi has proposed 10 units one for Each DMC & 4 in other major parks of Karachi to achieve 1 million gallon per day wastewater treatment.
Conclusion: The urbanization of city shall be linked with the support of all stakeholders of the city, to reduce the problems of the people of the city.
Constructed Wetland's succesful Case Study
Wastewater Treatment Case Study Karachi
(Water Treatment through Natural Procedures a joint initiative of His Excellency Governor of Sindh and Commander Karachi)