Poor sanitation threatens slum dwellers lives

Published: August 9, 2018


ISLAMABAD: After rains in the capital, conditions in the katchi abadies, (slum tenements) established in the low lying areas by design become appalling  and prone to severe health risks due to accumulated rainwater mixed with sewerage and authorities concerned have no way out to tackle the situation.

Rain and sewerage drain water has entered the houses of katchi abadies dwellers of G-7, H-10 and 1-9 and other areas making them vulnerable to the viral diseases that moonson brings with it.

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A spokesperson of the Polyclinic, Sharif Astori, warned that stagnant water could become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and epidemics like, cholera, malaria, dengue and other gastroenteritis ailments may easily break out.

He said the dwellers were also prone to be affected by skin related diseases and children carried a higher risk due to their delicate immune system.

Speaking to the media, Sittar Maseeh a resident of G-7 katchi abadi complained about Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) inability to drain out stagnant filthy water despite repeated requests by the residents. He said CDA every time comes up with the excuse of non-availability of water sucking machine.

He said his son was suffering from diarrhoea due to the current filthy water that entered into his house.

The slums’ citizens also demanded basic amenities of electricity, natural gas, clean drinking water to provide them with a standard living at par with others.

Another resident Nadeem Sarafeen from I-9 katchi abadi said, “These localities are left unregistered for over thirty years and not granted proper status considering them aliens.” The CDA has asked Islamabad Electric Supply Company to stop the supply of electricity to slum’s residents as the civic agency considered us encroachers, Nadeem said.

Nadeem informed that in his locality some 3,000 people resided in 300 homes and the only source of energy to cook and light up the homes was firewood CDA Director Sanitation Sardar Zimri said every complaint was swiftly addressed but Katchi Abadi’s controversial status was a hurdle in laying sewage lines.

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The residents of these communities were residing illegally on the land dedicated for the nullahs, he said.

Chairman Sardar Mehtab of I-9’s Union Council 41 complained the shortage of staff to resolve the public  issues. The union council was provided with only 30 workers against thirty thousand population of the area.  

Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2018.

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