STAFF REPORT IBD: The groundwater samples collected by the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) have revealed that only 15 per cent to 18 per cent samples were safe for drinking both in urban and rural areas of the country.

“About 90 per cent of the population in the rural areas of the country lacks access to safe drinking water,” said an official of the PCRWR while talking about a report of the Council.

According to the report, 79 per cent of the sources of functional Water Supply Schemes (WSS) in Punjab are unsafe for drinking.

Around 40 per cent of these schemes are unsafe due to microbiological contamination while about 23 per cent contain major pollutants like total dissolved solids (TDS), chloride, sodium, iron, arsenic and fluoride, which could cause diseases like diarrhoea and dysentery.

Whereas, 59 per cent of the water samples collected from rural areas in Islamabad were found unsafe for drinking and the situation was even worse in Rawalpindi, with 83 per cent of the samples collected from villages across Rawalpindi district deemed unsafe.

According to details, 150 water samples were collected and analyzed from 20 per cent villages of all the union councils of Islamabad. Of these, 40 per cent of the samples were contaminated with bacteria, 33 per cent with nitrate and 11 per cent had a high level of TDS.

The report suggested that such high levels of water contamination were a result of the unsanitary and unhygienic practices in the rural areas, particularly due to lack of education.

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