Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences is an institution of higher education in Lasbela district of Balochistan which is well known for its innovative technology and advanced research. The Faculty of Water Sciences is one of the four leading Faculties of the Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences. It is only one of its kind degree program ever offered by any Pakistani University. However, Water Resource Management graduates and their services have been ignored in Balochistan.
LUAWMS offers 4 year, semesters based degree program of Water Sciences. The curriculum of this degree is said to have been designed by a team of well-known water experts of Pakistan. According to the LUAWMS four year curriculum of Water and Marine Sciences degree has diverse courses, focusing on civil engineering, partly agricultural engineering and environmental engineering disciplines. As well as the Water Resources Management profession has great contribution in planning, development and management of water resources.
The university claims, once the graduates earn their BS degree in Water Resources Management then they would be capable of working in different key departments. Apart from opportunities in national and international research organizations, universities, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and projects in water sector, The university names Public Health Department, Irrigation Department, WAPDA-Water Wing, Water Management Department, Environment Department, Rural Development Department where job opportunities are available for BS degree holders.
The graduated students say that since the launch of BS degree in water sciences in 2007, more than 200 students have graduated, however, none of them has been employed in any department in Balochistan. No any job allocation proposed in annual provincial or federal budgets, despite the protests by BS graduates in Water Sciences for seven years , Water Resources management has been ignored completely by Provisional officials.
The Jobless water management’s graduates have been forced to establish” Unemployed Water Management Graduates Association Balochistan’’ to strive for their rights and pressurize government to allocate jobs for them in the concerned departments and get included the Water Resource Management degree in their service rules.
Most of the politicians and bureaucrats have highlighted issue but no way out experienced. Dr Abdul Malik Baloch in his government assured the leadership of Unemployed Water Management Graduates Association Balochistan of removing their grievances, even; they recently met chief minister of Balochistan Sardar Sanullah Khan Zehri, however, no measures have been made in their favor.
The role and services of Water Resource Management Graduates cannot be ignored, when we keep in view the fact that Balochistan is facing acute shortage of water. A report last year submitted before the Senate by the Ministry of Water and Power ratifies extreme water strain in the province. The report mentions unnecessary groundwater utilization to supply to increasing population of Balochistan. According to the report groundwater is being overused in 10 out of 19 sub-basins while groundwater usage exceeds recharge by 22 percent. The government’s proposed intervention is to build recharge reservoirs, a strategy that has been in place since the 1970s, and these ‘delayed action dams’ aim at intercepting flood water at catchment areas to recharge ground water.
Currently Balochistan is in dire need of water resources management profession and services of the experts can be result oriented. Neglecting the Faculty of Water Sciences in can lead to another failure. The government should utilize services of these graduates and promote this unique degree not only in Balochistan but also in Pakistan. In order to face increasing difficulties shortage of water in Balochistan, the government and concerned authorities should create job opportunities for graduates in planning, development and management of water resources.
The Balochistan Point
Published in The Balochistan Point on March 23, 2016