Access to clean water, a matter of survival, is one of the looming challenges for Pakistan at present. According to a report by IMF, Pakistan is the country facing the third worst water shortage.
Almost 79 million people in Pakistan, according to a report by WaterAid, lack a proper toilet whereas 37 percent have no water disposal system. Once called the land of five rivers, the water availability of Pakistan has fallen to 1000 cubic meters from 1300 cubic meters per capita.
Moreover, acute drinking water scarcity has forced people in the country to live a miserable life as 42 percent lack very basic sanitation. It is surprising that more than 27 million Pakistanis have no access to potable water while 70 percent have homeland water that is not fit for human drinking. Behind the scene, around 25,000 children under the age of 5 years in Pakistan, according to Hassan foundation, die every year because of waterborne diseases. Diarrhea, cholera, dengue, hepatitis, and typhoid are some of the major diseases caused by contaminated water in Pakistan.
The major reason behind the serious threat of water scarcity is the excessive use of water without any proper mechanism to save it. There is a need to divide the water into parts: clean water for cooking and drinking and polluted water to be used for household needs, according to the organizer of a seminar on WWD held at Federal Urdu University.
However, in recent years, almost 201 billion rupees were allocated to the social sector including water supply and sanitation. The ‘Saaf Pani’ (clean water) project was launched to ensure sanitized water for rural areas. The current “Dams Fund” program, launched with the joint efforts of Chief Justice and PM Pakistan, is a good step forward. Nevertheless, the government has to take more effective and immediate steps to solve the water issues in the country. With this, we can expect that citizens of Pakistan will have access to clean water soon.