The mass access to clean water project called The Clean Drinking Water for All was launched in Pakistan through the Ministry of Special Initiatives with a USAID component of $17.9m. The program was to install about 6,035 water filtration plants, one in every union council across the country, to ensure access to clean drinking water to all at their doorstep. With the completion of the project, 82 million people would have access to clean drinking water. Initially, the contract was allotted to a single party to install filtration plants but later on the provinces of Punjab and NWFP decided to have their own contractors. As much as 70% of the work in Sindh and Balochistan has been reportedly completed. Unfortunately, most of the filtration plants installed in Sindh are inoperative as has been reported in local dailies. It is reported that as against agreed terms and conditions, instead of installing foreign made plants, the contractor has used locally manufactured plants, which are so inferior in quality that are rendered dysfunctional within a few days. Provision of clean drinking water is the foremost task of the government as 60 percent of our newborn children die on account of water borne diseases, the highest in the world. -ABDUL MAJEED QAZI, Hyderabad, via e-mail, May 24.