Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

40p deaths in Pakistan linked with poor water quality

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KARACHI, AUG 29 (DNA) – “Around 135,000 deaths per year are attributed to ambient air pollution, making it the leading cause of sickness and death in Pakistan. About $48 billion is the estimated economic burden of air pollution in Pakistan.

Air pollution and lack of proper waste management infrastructure are the major environmental issues in Karachi.The year 2025 has been marked as the year when Pakistan, if it doesn’t mend its ways soon, will turn from a “water-stressed” country to a “water-scarce” country. In Pakistan, it is estimated that about 30 per cent of all diseases and 40 per cent of all deaths are due to poor water quality.”

Muhammad Waseem Vohra, Convener FPCCI Central Committee on Industry Academia Collaboration on Water Resources, expressed these views at the 52nd Public Awareness Seminar on “Saving Water and Environmental Sustainability”, held at Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), University of Karachi on Wednesday. Dr Panjwani Center and Virtual Education Project Pakistan (VEPP) jointly organised the seminar.

Vohra said that the government must focus on legislation, advanced technology development and public participation to conserve the country’s water resources, and provide every Pakistani sustainable access to safe water supply.

The most water is used in irrigation of agriculture lands, stressing the particular significance of the country’s agriculture sector, which contributes about 25 per cent of the Pakistan’s GNP, he said.

He informed the seminar that it was estimated that, in Pakistan, 30 per cent of all diseases and 40 per cent of all deaths are due to poor water quality.

The poor water supply was caused by the lack of water availability, he said, and pointed out that water pollution was mainly caused by heavy utilization of water for domestic, agricultural, and industrial purposes.

He lamented that the various forms of pollution had increased in the country, as Karachi owned extensive environmental and health problems. Air pollution, lack of proper waste management infrastructure and degradation of water bodies are the major environmental issues in Karachi, he mentioned.

Therefore saving water in all areas domestic, agriculture and industrial sectors shall be followed on modern lines and should make legislations as per flaws found by experts in our society, he said.

Pakistan has major dams with storage capacity of water of 102 Million Cubic Feet, while availability is 140 Million, which shows that a considerable amount of water is being wasted or it flows into the sea, he pointed out.

 Our Agriculture is using 95 Percent of water available from Indus River system, he said, adding that this system based on Stone Age irrigation techniques, which needed to be changed with the modern system. =DNA

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