Environmental experts and activists said here on Thursday that about 85 per cent of the people in Pakistan did not have access to clean drinking water while 45 per cent of the population did not care for proper sanitation, which cost about Rs112 billion for the government to spend on the disease burden caused by polluted water and improper sanitation system.

Cleanliness termed must to reduce disease burden

They were speaking at a press conference in Swat Press Club, which was organised by the Environmental Protection Society (EPS), Swat. Project manager Haseeb Khan, hygiene promoter Adnan and monitoring officer Maryam Bibi spoke on the issue. They said that Pakistan was one of the top 10 countries in the world facing severe water shortages.“According to the WHO, Unicef and UNDP, 70 per cent of waste was not collected in the country while 30 per cent of the collected waste was not disposed of in a proper place,” they said and quoted a global survey that Pakistan alone spent Rs88 billion annually on tackling diarrhoea.

They said that in order to save the huge amount spent on waterborne disease burden there was a need to raise awareness among people of cleanliness and related issues. “If the common people ensure cleanliness of their houses, wash their hands with soap and keep their neighbourhoods, streets and surroundings clean, the issue can be reduced up to 50 per cent without any government intervention,” they said. They said people should build proper washrooms and safety tanks in their homes to protect the health of their children and family members.

They said that in areas like Swat the use of clean water, installation of basic sanitation and creating awareness of use of soap were essential to get positive results. They said that under a four-year plan implemented by the EPS in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee the project team carried out an awareness campaign on proper use of clean water, sanitation and basic amenities in 25 villages, health centres, and schools.

Source: This news is originally published by dawn

By Web Team

Technology Times Web team handles all matters relevant to website posting and management.