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98pc WSSs releasing contaminated water in Bhakkar

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slamabad—Survey conducted by Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) has revealed out of as many as 24 Water Supply Schemes (WSSs) in district Bhakkar,98 % are supplying contaminated water which contains micro-organisms, arsenic, iron and fluoride. Only 2% WSSs in Bhakkar are supplying water safe whereas, rest of the schemes are supplying water unsafe for human consumption. Mostly untreated water is being supplied to the consumers, which is causing many waterborne diseases among adults as well as kids.

PCRWR is conducting a country wide study of water supply schemes under Provision of Safe Drinking Water project. The project, launched in 2006, is now nearing completion that is billed as the most detailed and comprehensive survey of its nature in Asia. The outcome of the survey conducted in the Bhakkar district, has revealed that the WSSs of the city are providing piped water supply to an enumerated population of 0.26 million persons on 24 surveyed water supply schemes. It was found that 16 schemes were functional, whereas 8 were non-functional for one reason or the other.

As a result, nearly 87 % of the total enumerated population remains unserved by the water supply schemes. Talking to media, Chairman PCRWR Dr. Muhammad Aslam Tahir said lack of proper management, operation and maintenance of the water supply systems is one of the critical issues of the water supply schemes. At present, the common problem encountered in the schemes is a complex of various institutional, financial and technological issues, he said.

The Chairman said all the schemes are unable to meet expenses from water charges being collected from consumers, which reflect financial unsustainability of the schemes. Spokesperson PCRWR, Lubna Naheed said the survey manifests that awareness about the hazards of the unsafe drinking water and the importance of safe drinking water is totally.