Contaminated water in 20 major cities (some facts)-DAWN

Spread the word

THIS is with reference to the report ‘No safe drinking water in major cities, NA told’ (Aug 10), according to which the government told the lower house of parliament that underground water had been tested in 29 cities across the country by the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), and in 20 of those cities the water quality was found to be unsafe for human consumption in at least 50 per cent of the samples collected from each of those cities.

In three cities, Shaheed Benazirabad, Mirpurkhas and Gilgit, 100pc samples of underground water were found to be unsafe. If this is not alarming, what is?

The water samples were found to be contaminated with arsenic, iron, fluoride and bacteria. The groundwater and drinking water situation in the rest of the country’s major cities is not satisfactory either. For example, water pollution in Multan is 94pc, Karachi 93pc, Badin 92pc, Bahawalpur 76pc, Sargodha 83pc, Hyderabad 80pc, Muzaffarabad 70pc and Sukkur 67pc. And this is the 21st century, mind you.

Water is one of the necessities of life. The world is working hard and budgeting to provide clean water to its people. The cities mentioned above have large populations and if these cities are the source of spreading waterborne diseases, this can only lead to a catastrophe. People are already suffering from poverty, inflation and the Covid pandemic. They can surely do without polluted water; in fact, seriously contaminated water.

The government needs to do everything possible to protect the people from the hazards of toxic water. Otherwise, it will be too late to control the epidemic that is inevitable in the current circumstances.

In addition, the government should share the PCRWR report with the provinces, and make them allocate budgetary provisions to ensure the supply of clean water to the people.