Access to safe drinking water: A dilemma in Pakistan
The contamination of drinking water is a major public health issue. The quality of drinking water is poorly managed. Sources of drinking water both surface and ground water is contaminated with different kind of bacteria, toxic metals and pesticides.
Drinking contaminated water may result in stomach ailments like diarrhea, vomiting, etc. Weak digestive system can cause deficiency in immune system. Contaminated water also causes Hepatitis A and B and skin diseases.
A resident of I-9 sector Asad Abbas said," I am facing drinking water problem from many years, some steps should be taken from the authorities to control the situation. WASA and CDA should renovate all the filtration plants with proper civil work standards.They should ensure providing quality of the water as per approved National Drinking Water Quality Standards."
"Newly Elected public representation should be involved in policy making, legislation and implementation levels for better service delivery and standard quality of water." He added.
The main reason of polluted water in Rawalpindi and Islamabad are out dated sewerage system, many areas have no sewerage facility, Over 300 poultry farms surrounding the city.
A resident of Qasim market,Rwalpindi Dr.Uzma Zaeem said," The poor quality of drinking water has forced a large cross-section of citizens to buy bottled water and everyone cannot afford it.
PSQCA has revealed that some brands have comparatively high level of Arsenic that can cause various types of skin diseases, diabetes, kidney diseases, hypertension, heart diseases birth defects, black foot diseases and multiple types of cancers etc."
"The remaining brands were found unsafe due to the presence of higher levels of Sodium and Potassium. There should be proper guideline to select the brand and concerned authorities should play there role regarding checking of the brands." She demanded.
An official of Pakistan Council of Reserach in Water Resources
(PCRRWR) said,"To monitor and improve the quality of bottled water, the government of Pakistan through Ministry of Science and Technology has designated the task to PCRWR for quarterly monitoring of bottled/mineral water brands and publicize the results."
He said,"According to the monitoring report for the quarter from April to June, 2016, 114 samples of Mineral/Bottled water brands have been collected from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Muzaffarabad Faisalabad, Sialkot, Sargodha, Multan, Lahore, Bahawalpur, Karachi, Tando Jam, Quetta, and Peshawar."
PCRWR Laboratories are also there for testing samples of drinking water. Citizens can take samples of water filtration plants and get them tested from recognized laboratories to check their quality.Make sure that your friends and family have access to clean drinking water.