Water salinity: Issue needs awareness in Pakistan


Salinization is the condition in which the salt content of water exceeds from normal. Salinity is harmful up to extreme level as it is termed as soil cancer. This phenomenon effects the crops production and also has bad effect on soil. Normally salinity can be detected by white and black colors of the soil but for confirmation laboratory test is performed.  In salinize condition the color of the soil look like snow covered the surface.  These colors represent the amount of sodium present in it. In severe conditions soil does not allow water to absorb. The saline conditions are found in various part of the country but the most effected lands are found in Sindh, Punjab and few areas of Khyber Paktoonkhwa.

The question arises why salinity occurs?  So the answer is below reasons. When water table arises and found the surface condition dry favors the salinity. Secondly, no proper system is present in canal irrigated areas. Thirdly, Re-use of contaminated tube-well, pond and sea water also increases the chances. According to Food and Agriculture Organization Academic and science (FAO, 2006) Pakistan is ranked as 11th effected by salinity in the world. Due to salinity thousand acres fertile soil become unfertile, poor farmers are affected and become un employed, Effect the GDP of our country. The useful soil converted into deserts and become useless.

To protect the affected area we should dig tube wells in that area and draw water from that well and transfer it into main stream line. Avoid leaving the land without crop. Try to have Crop rotation and suitable crop selection.   Always observe water table. Discourage the use of chloride fertilizers if necessary use ammonium sulphates and super phosphates.

A person having land near to salinity effected area should use phosphate and sulphate fertilizers, remove the layer of salt if found and Gypsum can be used to encounter soil abnormality. Make the field’s level or plan. Give more water during irrigation than routine. Make proper and clear drainage. More water will make the salts dissolve. Grow salt tolerating plants and grasses. The saline land encourages vigorous growth of different grasses (food for pets) that’s why Dairy farming should be suggested for long lasting results in affected area. Cultivation of Cash crops i.e. Rice, Wheat, Tomato, cotton, sugar cane, leguminous plants and soya bean (oil producing plant) is also reasonable and beneficial. In Pakistan prominent research centers and universities should work on introduction of such species and germpalasm having excellent growth in affected areas.

The main issue is awareness, the masses are not aware of these issues and solutions.   The media is best medium to aware the people, beside that we should celebrate world soil day ( 5th December) , world earth day ( 22nd April) with Farmers and Land owners to aware them about the importance and safety of our soil and land.


Published in: Volume 09 Issue 03

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