LAHORE - On a United Nations initiative to celebrate clean water and bring attention to those who don’t have enough of it, the World Water Day was observed in various cities of the country on Sunday.  

Various segments of the society arranged walks and seminars to create awareness among the people for efficient use of water.

In Lahore, Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan arranged a photo exhibition and awareness campaigns with the theme: “Safe water, Safe life”. The purpose of these activities was to create awareness and understanding about the issue. Alkhidmat Foundation’s photo exhibition was arranged at Alhamra Art Gallery. The exhibition was inaugurated by Dr Saeed Elahi – chairman Pakistan Red Crescent Society.

The photographs in the exhibition conveyed the message of water-conversation and identified issues caused by the consumption of contaminated water. After the inauguration of photo exhibition, a walk was arranged from Alhamra Art Gallery to Punjab Assembly.

It was said that almost 6.3 million people in Pakistan don’t have access to clean drinking water. Due to ignorance and lack of awareness among the masses, contaminated water causes fatal diseases like Diarrhoea, Cholera, Thyroid, Jaundice, and Worms. According to the latest statistics, almost 250,000 children under the age of five die annually due to contaminated water consumption. Moreover, four out of every five diseases are caused by contaminated water consumption. According to the World Health Organization, contaminated water diseases cost Pakistan’s economy a hefty Rs.1.3 billion.

Considering the gravity of the issue, Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan conducts awareness campaigns and works on clean water provision projects. Currently, the Foundation is providing clean drinking water to approximately 957,000 Pakistanis on daily basis through 28 large water filtration plants, 672 smaller water filtration plants, 1,141 water-wells, 2,766 hand-pumps, 33 sub-pumps, and 23 water-supply schemes. 4832 water-projects are underway, it was stated.

Punjab Irrigation Department, on World Water Day, stated that the department was promoting efficient and integrated use of water in the province so that the farming community could get its due share of water without any difficulty.

Punjab Irrigation Minister and Chairman PIDA, Mian Yawar Zaman met Muhammad Salman Khan, Chairman Sindh Tass Water Council on the day.

The Minister said that World Water Day reminded us about the scarcity of the greatest boon of Almighty Allah and its importance had been increasing day by day. He expressed the satisfaction that Pakistan was a proud custodian of world’s largest contiguous irrigation infrastructure adding that different schemes were underway for repair and maintenance of this colossal infrastructure.

He said that Punjab Irrigation & Drainage Authority (PIDA) is proving very useful in serving the farmers.