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84% Pakistanis lack access to clean drinking water

A Pakistani boy fills up drinking water from a roadside water hose in a poor neighbourhood, on the outskirts of Islamabad. File photo

A Pakistani boy fills up drinking water from a roadside water hose in a poor neighbourhood, on the outskirts of Islamabad. File photo  

About 84% Pakistanis do not have access to safe drinking water, a Minister said in Islamabad.

The startling disclosure was made by Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanvir Hussain in the Senate, the upper house of parliament, on Tuesday, according to the Dawn newspaper.

Mr. Hussain said according to a study by Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), only 72% water supply schemes in the country were functional and 84% of those had supplied water that was not fit for consumption.

About 84% of the total 195 million population in Pakistan do not have access to safe drinking water.

The water from 14% of supply sources in Sindh and Punjab were found to be heavily contaminated with arsenic, well above the permissible limit of 50 parts per billion, Mr. Hussain said.

He said 279 million Pakistani rupees had been spent on the project — Provision of Safe Drinking Water — over the past four years.

As part of the project, six regional water quality laboratories, under the PCRWR, have been upgraded and 17 new water quality testing laboratories have been established at the district level.

Funds were also used on the capacity building of 3,000 professionals associated with water supply agencies, Mr. Hussain said.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 11:36:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/84-pakistanis-lack-access-to-clean-drinking-water/article17427202.ece

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