Islamabad, March 22 (IANS) Nearly half of the 160 million people in Pakistan drink unsafe water, says a media report Tuesday on the occasion of World Water Day.
Around 72 million Pakistanis do not have access to safe drinking water, the Daily Times reported citing officials of the ministry of environment.
The water available to common people was prone to various biological, chemical and physical contaminants. Traces of human faeces have also been found in water in the mega cities, it said.
Pakistan’s water quality is ranked 80th out of 122 nations.
“This paucity of clean drinking water is more visible in rural areas where up to 90 percent inhabitants are deprived of their basic right. On the other hand, only three percent of Pakistan’s sweet water resources are used for household purposes and drinking,” an official said.
Many people who can afford to avoid unclean drinking water have turned to bottled mineral water, it said.
Water samples from rural areas of Islamabad were recently studied by the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources.
A total of 150 water supply sources were monitored for water quality, out of which 61 sources were found safe and rest was evaluated unsafe due to bacteria contamination and high values of nitrate.
Officials said the federal government was spending about Rs.20 billion annually on medication for water-borne diseases.