ISLAMABAD - While the World Water Day was marked across the country on Monday, the government has failed in coming up with a plan to effectively implement the approved National Water Policy. Last year, the National Water Policy was approved with an aim to improve the quality of life of the people by reducing incidence of death and illness caused by water-borne diseases through ensuring provision of safe drinking water to the entire population at an affordable cost and in an equitable, efficient and sustainable manner. As according to independent statistics major portion of the population does not have access to clean drinking water and it is estimated that over 230,000 children die a year because of water-borne diseases, such as diarrhoea and typhoid but washing hands with soap can only reduce this figure significantly. The policy focuses on establishing drinking water supply systems and upgrading existing system for ensuring clean drinking water to the entire population. The policy clearly stated that it would be implemented and monitored in conjunction with the National Sanitation Policy The National Sanitation Policy Implementation Committee envisaged under the National Sanitation Policy would be reconstituted as the National Drinking Water and Sanitation Policy implementation Committee. However, implementation in this regard is still not in sight and like previous years still huge disparities persist with regard to drinking water coverage between urban and rural areas. Besides, owing to rapid environmental changes little water is left in reservoirs. This years World Water Day was marked with a renewed pledge to raise awareness among masses on water conservation-related issues. This year, too, the day was dedicated to the theme of water quality, reflecting its importance alongside quantity of the resource in water management. International World Water Day is observed every year on March 22 to focus on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.