KARACHI – A World Bank report, released on Thursday, highlighted the deplorable condition of Pakistan’s biggest city by including it in a list of 10 worst liveable cities.
The report titled ‘Pakistan Development Update – Making growth matter’ launched in collaboration with the Sindh government, stated the varied reasons for the worst standard of liveability and also put forth solutions to diminish the issues marring the metropolis.
It stated that Karachi continued to rank among the bottom 10 cities in 2015, Global Liveability Index.
Regional conflicts, organised crime, and social and ethnic tensions arising from an incoming tide of immigrants holds the city’s security hostage, the report stated.
Despite being Pakistan’s economic and industrial hub, the city’s infrastructure and institutions were in a pathetic condition. It had become prone to natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, water scarcity and heat waves.
“Karachi faces a complex political environment, ad hoc planning, poor governance, and weak financial and institutional capacities,” the report further maintained.
The most serious and imminent problem was stated as water scarcity since the water supply available only met 55 percent of the city’s needs.
The city lacked infrastructure to treat and dispose of sewerage water. Every year 475 million gallons of sewerage water was released directly into the open sea without any treatment, posing a direct threat to health of residents.
Holding bad governance responsible for water scarcity, the report stated that the city had no formal policy for water supply and sanitation. It further noted that only 50 percent of the garbage that the city produces was sent to landfill sites.
There was no central public transport network in the city and no transport policy, it further maintained, whereas approximately 42 percent of its residents relied on public transport, yet the city had only vehicles which could facilitate only 5 percent of the population.
The city’s nutrition shortage was also brought into light and attention was also drawn on chronic malnutrition in Pakistan. It noted that the country had the third-highest stunting (low height according to age) rate in the world.