Karachi: Nongovernmental organization HANDS has demand of government to ensure safe drinking water accessibility for citizens.
HANDS GM Information Communication Bilquis Rehman in a press briefing said that right to safe drinking water is the basic human right, declared in 2002 by the United Nations and this is the responsibility of the state, to provide everyone sufficient, safe, acceptable and affordable water for personal and domestic use which should be physically accessible to people.
She also said that access to potable water facilities is a great challenge for Pakistan in the current century. Surface and ground water pollution is a major environmental concern posing serious threat to human development.
The costs related to unsafe water and poor sanitation are huge and distract long term economic growth. Pakistan under Millennium Development Goal MDG 7 on environmental sustainability, have committed to halve the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.
She said as a survey only 60+ACU of urban populations had access to municipal water. Much of the water piped into homes contained bacteria or chemicals that exceeded the government’s voluntary safety standards for tap water. Only 2030+ACU estimated portion of the population have access to safe water. Almost 40 percent of the total deaths in Pakistan are due to waterborne diseases. While 32 percent of hospital beds in Pakistan are occupied by patients suffering from waterborne diseases as per WHO report.
She said the level of water contamination in Karachi can be realized from the fact that not a single sample was fit for human consumption out of 600 water samples, which were collected from taps in Korangi, North Karachi and other towns, as disclosed in Pakistan Medical Association PMA recent study.
She said that all efforts from civil society are limited because of resource constraints they can establish models for government to adopt. While prime responsibility is of the government to scale up these projects in other areas.