Imran’s bid to tackle water crisis

Prime Minister asks Pakistanis to crowdfund $14 billion to build dams
It’s a far cry from those sponsored Facebook posts asking you to invest in a start-up’s new digital watch or an unbreakable phone case. But Prime Minister Imran Khan wants Pakistanis to crowdfund a whopping $14 billion for desperately needed dams, a plea capitalising on nationalist fervour but ridiculed by detractors as unrealistic. If it succeeds, it would be the largest crowdfunding effort in history — shattering the current Kickstarter record 700 times over. But while Pakistanis have responded to Mr. Khan’s plea with enthusiasm, the tally so far is just a drop in the ocean of what’s needed to alleviate the country’s chronic water crisis.
“We have only 30 days water storage capacity,” Mr. Khan warned in a televised appeal this month.
“We already have so many loans that we have problems in paying them back… We alone will have to build this dam, and we can.” If the millions of Pakistanis living overseas all contribute $1,000, then Pakistan will have the funds to build the dams, he claimed.
“I promise to you that I will safeguard your money,” he added.
Critics say Mr. Khan’s plan is little more than pie in the sky. “You can’t collect $14 billion via crowdfunding. It’s not feasible,” Khaleeq Kiani, senior economics correspondent with Pakistani dailyDawn, said.
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