ISLAMABAD - In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the entire industrial, commercial and residential waste water is being dumped untreated in River Kabul and River Swat which resulting decrease in the agriculture productivity and seriously endangering the aquatic life.

Out of total four treatment plants in Peshawar only one is partially operational and the waste water is being dumped untreated in River Kabul. The situation in River Swat is also the same and in the absence of treatment plants the waste water is being dumped in river Swat untreated.

Since 1994 there is no comprehensive study is done to evaluate the pollution status in River Swat and Kabul. However after going through various documents, public academic papers and talking to expert The Nation has found that it is estimated that in KP, approximately 100000 cubic meter of industrial effluents are daily discharged into the river Kabul. There is no data for the commercial and residential waste water.

Recently a project funded under Pak-US collaborative research by HEC has launched and will focus on major sources of pollution, evaluating magnitude of pollution in River Kabul and Swat.

For Hayatabad Industrial Estate a project of an industrial waste treatment plant was initiated during MMA government but later it was abandoned, said an official of the EPA on the condition of the anonymity.

The then chief minister Akram Khan Durrani laid the foundation of a plant for treating the chemical waste of the Hayatabad Industrial Estate which was supposed to cost Rs24.433 million but the project never materialized.

Besides there were retention ponds for the treatment of residential water in Hayatabad but it was also abandoned and now kids use it as a playground. The third one is ring road which is also not operational. The treatment plant near Warsak was functional.

It may be mentioned that chemical waste of the industrial estate has been causing health hazards and environmental pollution in River Kabul.

In KP the main water pollutant industries includes sugar mills, edible oil (ghee) factories, marble factories, textile mills, woolen mills, tanneries, paper and board mills, chemical and pharmaceutical factories, match factories and soap industries within the watershed of the Kabul and Swat Rivers.

Beside Hayatabad there are industries at Amangarh Nowshera, sugar mills in Mardan/Charssada, Gadoon industrial area, and tobacco factories at Swabi and marble industry at different locations of the province.

The entire hospitals water waste of KP is also being dumped in River Kabul and its tributaries.

The effluent of Peshawar goes downstream Akbarpura Point near Azakhela Afghan Refugee Camp and Muslim Education Complex. River Bara carries most of the industrial, municipal and agricultural waste from Peshawar to River Kabul.

Downstream Budni river, Daman-e-hindko, Peshawar, flushes through Warsak Road of Peshawar. Almost all the waste from Peshawar dumps to this tributary of River Kabul.

Regarding the River Swat the document said that downstream Swat solid waste dumping site is Sherabad, Takhtaban, (near Tablighimarkaz). It is a huge dumping site, all Swat waste is dumped here and even buried beneath the river bed. Mainly municipal waste including polyethene bags, hospital waste (medicines, syringes), personal care/cosmetic products, kitchen waste, Tetra packs etc.

The second location is downstream Swat effluent discharge, Panjigram huge outfall, Huge amount of industrial, agricultural and municipal waste flows through this large stream/drain. Takhtaband and all marble factories effluent joins this drain.

In addition, municipal waste from villages Marghuzar, Jambeel, Odigram, Kukaray, Gogdara.

A steel industry is found upstream which discharges its effluents directly to this stream. Kotay Hospital waste is also discharged directly in the upstream.

Downstream point of River Swat contains mixture of all swat waste in the River Swat. Akori Sewage Drain, AkoraKhattak, near Misri Banda, District Mardan, Dried in the Winter season. Effluents from Pak Tobacco Company flow through this stream Akramabad, Mohib Banda,Akramabad, District Nowshera, Point near Mohib Banda.

Effluent drains from Amangarh Industries falls here. Some streams which falls at this water body are drying up so effluents are getting more time to percolate down thus contaminating the ground water.Drain coming from Mangi Sharif.

Downstream Jehangira and Nowshera, Jehangira, Way to Swabi, Point at River Kabul. Brings all types of waste from Districts Swabi, Peshawar, Nowshera, Mardan, Charsadda comes downstream at this water body which ultimately dumps to River Kabul. Downstream Kalpani River, Pirsabaq bridge, District Nowshera, Downstream of Kalpani and Nowshera. Contains waste from River Swat, district Nowshera. Earlier there were around 54 fish species in the Kabul River but majority of them have now vanished due polluted water.

"Only one decade ago one fisherman used to catch 30 to 40 Kg fish daily but now in the whole day we can't catch a single fish and therefore the fishing profession is dying in those areas," said a fisherman. All the rivers in KP are joining River Indus at Khairbad, Attock which is being used for irrigation in Punjab and Sindh.