Home Global Village Dismal state of water supply is not for human consumption

Dismal state of water supply is not for human consumption

consumption

News Analysis |

The Water Commission has severely reprimanded all concerned parties over the dismal state of the water supply and the sewerage installations demanding that measures be taken immediately to remedy all the problems surrounding the pollution, hygiene and maintenance of the water supply.

Retired Justice Amir Hani Muslim has been made the new head of the Supreme Court-mandated water commission and after a thorough investigation of water supply facilities, he directed Hyderabad Development Authority (HDA) and Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) to protect their water and sewerage facilities from encroachers. He also asked Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO) to ensure uninterrupted power supply to drinking water facilities.

Clean and safe water is a fundamental right of every citizen that lives in the country. Water is one of the most basic necessities that constitute human life and the fact that the state neglects the maintenance and hygiene of our water supply across the country is horrific.

If we look at the growing economy and the advancement in the infrastructure of Pakistan which demands exorbitant funds, we cannot cite our low budget as a justifiable reason for depriving the citizens of this country of the most basic human right which is clean and safe water.

Polluted water has resulted in thousands of deaths across the country and a survey has found that two thirds of Pakistani households consume untreated water that is contaminated by bacteria and causes debilitating water borne diseases that often lead directly to death. Due to the fact that the privileged segment of the population have all resorted to bottled water, something the lower classes cannot afford, the government does not regard the horrific state of the water supply as a national issue that needs to be addressed.

Read more: Gharban Waterfall – A breathtaking cascade destroyed by neglect

It has been found that 53,000 children die in Pakistan every single year as a result of this decaying water that people are forced to drink. Other surveys carried out by the United Nations reveal the shocking fact that 40% of the diseases and deaths that occur in the country are directly related to the abysmal state of the water supply in the country. There are monumental problems within the infrastructure that cater to the provision and channeling of the water supply of the country.

The irrigation systems have not been updated or maintained to adapt to the exponential rise in the demand for water meaning Pakistan could be facing a water crisis of a catastrophic magnitude by 2025. Another strategic issue lies in the fact that there are not adequate water storage facilities in the country even if water diversion was possible through agriculture.

Social and political issue as well as an issue that leads to widespread disease and death for the lower strata of society who has no choice but to consume polluted water that should not be laden with bacteria in the first place.

The direct consumption of polluted water is a crucial point of concern and the fact that this polluted water laden with bacteria is used by our farmers to water the crops that we consume is simply disastrous to our health. Justice Muslim took a seven hour tour of the city during which he inspected various storage facilities, Wasa’s Darya Khan pumping station, the northern and western treatment plants, Phulelli canal and 30MGD filtration plant.

Several notable persons with positions of authority in the water supply system accompanied the former judge such as the chairman of Task Force Jamal Mustafa Syed, who is also secretary of irrigation, Sindh chief secretary’s focal person Dr. Saeed Qureshi, Wasa’s managing director Masood Jumani, water technologist Dr. Ahsan Sid­di­qui, Hyderabad deputy commissioner Saleem Rajput, water commission’s registrar Ghulam Mustafa Channa, Hyderabad mayor and SSP Pir Mohammad Shah.

Read more: No Water? You must be talking of Karachi; No its Islamabad…

After some blunt observations on the unjustifiable state of the water supply by the former judge, Mr Jumani informed the judge that rehabilitation of 30MGD plant would be completed by June and he admitted that the plant did not ensure supply at optimum levels and an attempt would be made to ensure that these shortcomings are addressed in the future.

In 2017, a report was submitted to the Sindh High Court which established that 77 % of the water in Sindh is not fit for human consumption. Addressing the dire state of our water supply facilities is a part of the Sustainable Development Goals laid out by the government but no attention is being given.

He was told that a proposal for a de-silting scheme was submitted but the government turned it down. He asked the MD to resubmit the schemes that were rejected and directed Hyderabad deputy commissioner to ensure security around lagoons while also banning fishing in them and asked him to submit to the commission details of the Rs. 2.6 billion the provincial and federal government departments owed to WASA.

Justice Hani was extremely disgruntled and visibly traumatized when he saw cattle carcasses in the Phuleli canal. He put forth valid questions to the relevant authority asking them to sincerely say that they would be comfortable consuming the water that is being supplied by this facility and reminding them of how many people in the country have died due to this shameful negligence to maintain our water supply.

Read more: Why Pakistan’s feudal class is not worried about the water crisis?

The Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) director general said that 155 cases of violation of environmental laws had been sent to the environmental tribunal that shocked Justice Hani instead of appeasing him because there were thousands of industrial units raising the question why only 155 cases were sent to the tribunal. The former judge also condemned the Pak Oasis initiative exhibiting great disapproval of their water supply projects.

Several notable persons with positions of authority in the water supply system accompanied the former judge such as the chairman of Task Force Jamal Mustafa Syed, who is also secretary of irrigation

In 2017, a report was submitted to the Sindh High Court which established that 77 % of the water in Sindh is not fit for human consumption. Addressing the dire state of our water supply facilities is a part of the Sustainable Development Goals laid out by the government but no attention is being given to the problem as one that is a critical social and political issue as well as an issue that leads to widespread disease and death for the lower strata of society who has no choice but to consume polluted water that should not be laden with bacteria in the first place.

Read more: Pakistan and ‘Saaf Pani’ projects: Failed projects or merely a hoax?

If we look at the growing economy and the advancement in the infrastructure of Pakistan which demands exorbitant funds, we cannot cite our low budget as a justifiable reason for depriving the citizens of this country of the most basic human right which is clean and safe water.

1 COMMENT

  1. I have a chance to comment on such issues long ago. The most difficult task is to clear Nallah/Streets/roads of each district in Pakistan. The High Tech Machinery is required to clear/clean the areas in each district, other wise, the people will suffer a lot. If the GOP have not paid attention to clear the filth many diseases appear among us. Our generations will suffer a lot..

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here