ISLAMABAD: Eighty million people living in the twenty-one upper and lower Sindh districts do not have access to safe drinking water. Without safe water provision, the health and livelihoods of families is being severely affected. Increased concentrations of naturally occurring elements in water, such as arsenic and fluoride, are having a catastrophic impact on the health and fertility of the rich agrarian soil of the area.
The deterioration in the quality of groundwater is due to the presence of the Right Bank Outfall Drain and the Left Bank Outfall Drain, which drain out the industrial and chemical waste from Punjab, into various upper and lower Sindh districts. This state of affairs needs immediate attention to avert any major catastrophe.
Is there anyone in the corridors of power to direct the concerned departments at both the federal and provincial levels to take corrective and constructive steps to save millions of lives in Sindh? The provincial and federal governments, as well as international organisations, are appealed to launch schemes to improve the quality of groundwater in Sindh at the earliest.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2012.