The Reasoned Review

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The Pakistani Water Mafia

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Alex Rodriguez (no, not the baseball player) has a superb article in the Los Angeles Times on organized crime and water in Karachi:

The illegal operations, routinely referred to as mafias, are everywhere. There’s a land mafia that commandeers prime real estate, a sugar mafia that conspires to control sugar prices, and even a railway mafia that forges train tickets and pilfers locomotive parts.

For those on the city’s bottom rung, however, the underworld entity they revile the most is the water tanker mafia, a network of trucking firms that teams up with corrupt bureaucrats to turn water into liquid gold worth tens of millions of dollars each year.

The water tanker mafia’s prey can be found in slums like Karachi’s Gulshan-Sikanderabad neighborhood, where every morning people buy water from the tankers, lug the plastic jugs back to their homes on wooden carts, then come back three or four more times in the afternoon and evening to buy more.

A family that makes $100 a month can spend as much as a quarter of that on water, which, elsewhere in Pakistan, costs pennies and flows out of household taps.

This is the kind of reporting out of Pakistan I think we need to see a lot more of from the US press.

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Written by pavanvan

March 17, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Posted in environment

Tagged with , , , ,

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