Drinking water around Hayatabad Industrial Estate has been largely contaminated due to toxic dumps from factories, residents say.
“The sewage produced by factories have not only contaminated water but also polluted the environment, creating severe health complications, especially for children,” said Yunus Khan, a resident of Labour Colony which is close to the industrial area. The Industrial Estate is populated with factories manufacturing tissue paper, marbles, soap and pharmaceutical products, among others.
Factories are spewing poisonous gases and intoxicating drinking water as unprotected sewerage pipes mix with water pipes, which have also rusted because of lack of maintenance.
“The colour of water has changed because of the hazardous chemicals mixed with it,” Zar Muhammad, another resident of Labour Colony said, adding that residents who can afford to do so now buy mineral water. “Even animals do not bother eating the fodder produced by the field irrigated by dirty water,” Muhammad lamented. Asim Khan, another resident said, “The government needs to channel this water out of the city.”
Beharman Khan, an official from the Public Health Engineering department, said there are 600 operational tube wells across Peshawar, adding that 400 are enough for drinking and irrigating land. “A key source of water wastage in cities is the high level of water loss from leaking water pipes and in other parts of the water distribution system.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 22nd, 2013.