Pakistan is among 17 countries that are currently facing water shortage, with an estimated 44 per cent of the population without access to safe drinking water and up to 90 per cent of the population even lacks such access in rural areas. With decrease of quantity, the quality of water is also deteriorating badly by municipal, industrial and agricultural wastes.
As one indication of the intensity the problem, it is estimated that about 200,000 children in Pakistan die every year of diarrheal diseases alone.
Water is essential for human beings to survive, but at the same time, water is a scarce commodity.
Access to safe drinking water supply is not only a basic need and prerequisite for a healthy life, it is also a fundamental human right.
Despite being in abundance, almost 97.41% of water on earth is saline and only the remaining 2.59% is fresh water,0.3% is in rivers and lakes, which are not only the source, but also from where most of the daily water requirements are met.
According to official sources in Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources(PCRWR),14,000 water sources were selected from 2807 villages of 1567 union councils from 80 tehsils of 24 districts of Pakistan for drinking water quality monitoring in rural ares.
The analysis reveled the presence of five main water quality problems which includes Bacteriological 64%,Total Dissolved Solids (TDS 25%)Turbidity 14%, Nitrate 9% and Flouride 7%.
Overall findings exhibited that 82% of rural water resources of 24 districts were unsafe when compared with Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority( PSQCA) standards and the remaining 18% were safe for drinking purpose.
Talking to APP, Spokesperson PCRWR said an average of 25.61 % of Pakistan’s 159 million inhabitants have access to safe and sufficient drinking water.
She further said that safe water alone can reduce diarrhea and other related diseases by up to 50%, but an estimated 62% of Pakistan’s urban population and 84% of the rural population do not treat their water.
According to an estimate, one hundred million cases of diarrheal diseases were being registered for treatment in hospitals of Pakistan in one year.
Need is to take immediate initiatives for the provision of safe drinking water to the natives of rural communities in order to prevent the onslaught of water borne diseases.
Advocacy efforts for the awareness and education of the villagers regarding the water quality testing and treatment are also required.