Drinking Water Issues in Pakistan
Increasing world’s population has lowered the level of ground water alarmingly, particularly in the densely populated part of the world like South Asia, China and Indonesia. The potable water is becoming a short-commodity all over the world. In some regions, even water is more costly than milk.
This problem, in Pakistan, is proliferating with a storming speed. Under-five mortality rate in Pakistan, because of ill-water conditions, is 101 per 1000 children. Diarrheal infections in Pakistan have killed 2 million under five year’s children. Unhygienic practices coupled with impure water usage cause a number of diseases. It adds more difficulties due to resultant high costing treatment for water-based illnesses and decreases the total number of workings which contributes for lowering educational activities. It indirectly affects the literacy rate also.
Fifty two nations constituting more than one half of the world’s total population will be in a severe shortage of water in the year 2005, written in the report of leadership for environment and development. Pakistan, which is an agricultural country with a net of canals and has the best irrigation system, is unable to provide access to drinkable water to 135 millions people. Pakistan’s strive to improve the living standards of its residents, has been curtailed because of water problems.
The scarcity of portable water is because of couple of reasons-natural and man-made. Natural factors like changing in the topography because of earthquakes, floods, drought and others. These macro factor uncontrollable. Nobody can blame the government or the individuals for this disastrous change except by using the channel of global warming-a result of human activities. But the second factor which is purely based on the human being’s deeds, is use of hazardous chemical, carbon and other dangerous emission by vehicles, a deforestation, overpopulation and industrial activities have contributed to a number of environmental and health hazards.
A vast area of Pakistan, especially lower-Punjab and the biggest province (in terms of area) Balochistan, are lacking potable water due to industrial wastage and agricultural remnant that impurities the rivers and the rivers and the ground water. People of these areas, sometime, are compelled to cover a distance of tens of miles for a few liters of illy-potable water.
This water issue is being politicized by almost all the political parties, N60’s and other pressure groups. They protest not to resolve the issue, but only to remain intact with media. On the other hand, the pure-protest by the people with scarce-water resource have been met with harsh responses from the local authorities.
Water related problems are the most neglected sector in Pakistan. A vast majority of Pakistani-particularly the rural-do not believe in any disease borne by water due to mixing of arsenic or other elements. And a patient who does not believe in her disease, cannot be cured because he would not attend any doctor. The people of rural areas of Sindh and Punjab are ready to drink the ground-water extracted through tube wells, nulls and motor-pumps, because are of the view that running-water is free of all impurities.
Illiteracy, coupled with the lack of political will and corruption, is equally responsible for the potable water problems. This issue has curtailed the economic growth also. Wastage of time in collecting drinkable water from remote areas, let woman away from their kids and family and keeps them out of household givings which results in a poor family. Similarly the girls and children who served their time in bringing drinkable water keeps them away from educational activities which creates illiterate generations-a major hurdle in the way of economic race.
It is an impressive for Pakistan to provide safe and quite hygienic potable water to its citizens, because it is the human capital which causes a nation to be developed or to be remained the part of “Third World”.