As a student of BS Applied Biosciences (NUST) and a concerned citizen I urge the concerned authority to seriously counter the issue of unavailability of clean drinking water to general masses in Pakistan which is becoming a serious threat and is not given due attention so far.

Access to the safe and clean drinking water is a fundamental human right in social context. Clean water resources are depleting in the entire world but the situation in Pakistan is worst. This forces the general public to drink the low quality water contaminated with Bacteria, viruses and poisonous chemicals like sulphides, arsenic etc. Unfortunately our masses have no other option. The situation is so bad that according to statistics safe drinking water is only available to 15% people in urban and 18% people in the rural areas and above all this still does not ring a bell in the ears of concerned authorities.

Major diseases people are suffering from, because of drinking contaminated water include Hepatitis (Types: A,B,C), gastrointestinal diseases including water poisoning, diarrhoea and even some kinds of cancer. Every year thousands of Pakistanis die because of these diseases, the Question is who is to blame?

The measures which are taken are limited to the posh areas e.g filter plants are installed and are maintained regularly, and even if these measures are not taken the rich can afford buying mineral water while the general public belonging to lower and lower middle classes do not have capacity to afford this luxury. The question again arises that is it not the responsibility of our government to make sure that all people are getting safe drinking water and no one is to buy such a common commodity?

The solution to this grave issue is not that difficult if our government becomes serious about it. There are scattered local departments working on this issue without any supervision and accountability. There is a dire need to make a centralized water management body in every province that must be held responsible for assessing the needs, funding its departments and resolving all related issues regarding the provision of clean drinking water to the general public. Heavy penalties must be imposed to the concerned even if a single person dies because of not getting clean water. Town planning must incorporate creation of water reservoir and storage facility of appropriate capacity in near vicinity. Technical people must be hired and they must be handsomely paid to make sure that they do their work honestly.

I want to conclude by saying that basic human needs are to be provided by the government on priority basis. The government needs to focus on health and education related concerns of general public before diverting tax paid money to other areas.

RIDA-E-ZAINAB NAQVI,

Islamabad, November 23.