World Food Safety Day it is, but are we getting safe water? A question that raises in my mind every day after seeing thousands of deaths and people lying in hospital beds due to drinking contaminated water. Pakistan is one of the top five countries worldwide which is working upon improving access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. But despite this impressive progress, 22 million people still have no choice but to drink dirty water, and more than two in five people don’t have a decent toilet. The death rate of people is increasing day by day, creating an alarming situation for everyone. 64% is a high percentage of people who are deprived of safe drinking water. According to a study of World Wide Fund (WWF) Pakistan is a water-stressed country and is nearing the threshold of water scarcity. Access to safe drinking water in rural and urban areas is declining and the provision of potable water is a key issue that people face. More than two-thirds of households drink bacterially contaminated water and, every year, 53,000 Pakistani children die of diarrhoea after drinking it, says Unicef. Cases of typhoid, cholera, dysentery and hepatitis are rampant. According to the United Nations (UN) and Pakistani authorities, between 30 and 40 per cent of diseases and deaths nationwide are linked to poor water quality. Punjab Food Authority has banned many water companies which were using hazardous adulterants in the production of water. A lot of work needs to be done on the ground level as well. The government should take notice of this issue and provide the basic need of water to people.

Marina Pervaiz,