ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Environment had failed to provide safe drinking water to people in Pakistan, said Ziaul Islam, Director Pakistan Environmental Protection Council.
Unclean water, he told The Express Tribune, had resulted in an increase of water-borne diseases in the country. “Gastroenteritis and diarrhea are usually caused by unsafe water supply and poor sanitation. And the latter is the single largest cause of child mortality in the country,” said Islam.
According to statistics issued by United States Agency for International Development in Pakistan, about 40 per cent of the common diseases are caused by consuming contaminated water and every year about 250,000 children die because of them.
Federal Minister for Environment Hameedullah Jan Afridi, conceded in a workshop in Islamabad on Friday that clean water was not available to everyone in Pakistan. He said that 40 per cent of Pakistan’s population (about 60 to 70 million people) was without access to safe drinking water.
“The increasing trend of water contamination was being caused by lack of proper water treatment facilities, environment protection measures, unchecked discharge of domestic and industrial effluent and the use of chemical fertilizers,” he explained. He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to tackle the issue.
The workshop was jointly organized by Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science and Technology and United Nation’s Children’s Fund.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2010.
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