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NBA star Kyrie Irving helps build solar water center in Sindh

Kyrie Irving's KAI Family Foundation helped the women of Thar gain access to clean drinking water by supporting and collaborating with a local organization named Paani. Women commented that it is the first time anything more than photo shoots have been done in the village.

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NBA star and player for the Brooklyn Nets Kyrie Irving has helped build a solar water center in Sindh, which will provide water to over 1000 villagers.

He did this via his NGO named K.A.I. Family Foundation worked with a local volunteer-run nonprofit named Paani.

Paani is a young NGO that has built over 1000 water systems, donated 2.7 million meals, and donated over $500,000 in medical equipment in 2020, according to their Twitter account.

On the other hand, KAIFF provides, expanded access to digital and remote learning resources; sustainable, effective, and solar-powered water solutions to rural communities across Sub-Saharan Africa, and it actively works to bring awareness to injustices against Black women.

A video by Paani regarding their mentioned project with the NBA player has gone viral.

The video is of a local villager in Sindh which can be heard as saying, “it is very hot in our Thar. At day time, our body burns due to the heat of sand and wind.”

She adds that since it is hot, people have to drink water, and it is women’s responsibility to fill it up, and there is nothing they can do about it.

She further said, “the water is dirty. There are many insects in the water but we are forced to drink it in our homes.” This is what our life she added.

The video shows the kids enjoying washing their faces as the plant is built, whose wall reads a quote from the world’s most famous boxer Muhammad Ali, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth”.

The same woman commented after the building of the new plant, “Paani and KAIFF have not given us water, but a new life”.

She said that many officials came to the village, did meetings and photoshoots, and left unlike Paani, which has given us this solar water system.

Read More: Qureshi asks Sindh to ‘not to deprive Tharparkar people of basic rights’

According to Paani, the project is providing over 1000 families with clean drinking water.

Situation in Thar

According to Pakistan Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) more than 70 per cent of Tharpakar, also known as Thar, does not have safe drinking water.

The population of 1.6 million in the district of Tharparkar has been surviving on contaminated, saline, or untreated groundwater for as long as anybody can remember.

Multiple governments have announced schemes to improve life for the Thari people but no tangible projects have materialized.

Similarly, NGOs have not made much headway. In 2018, Sindh Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah expressed frustration over the performance of the many NGOs purportedly working on nutrition in Thar and said their work has been completely “unsatisfactory” for the past many years.

On 7th July, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the people of Tharparkar faced the severe problems of clean water, food shortage, and stunted growth and called upon the Sindh government not to deprive the locals of their basic rights.

Read More: Dear Feminist Bilawal! Why no school for girls in Thar?

“Unfortunately, in the last seven decades, the governments have not been able to provide them with clean water,” he said.

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