Unsafe potable water
It does not come as a surprise anymore that the state of drinking water in the country is deplorable.
A study released in August highlighted the alarmingly high levels of arsenic — way above the WHO recommended level of 10 microgammes per litre — in the country’s groundwater putting lives of over 60 million people at risk.
Add to that the mismanagement of the authorities concerned, such as the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB).
A report published on Dec 21st in this paper states that over 30 public-sector colleges are being supplied unsafe potable water.
The issue surfaced after laboratory tests of water samples collected from 136 government colleges in the metropolis were conducted by the education department.
While the chief minister of Sindh has expressed his dissatisfaction over the matter and ordered to replace water lines in Karachi, it is going to take a considerable amount of time before the system is completely overhauled along with ensuring the efficiency of the KWSB.
Karachi’s water emergency has been an ongoing issue that successive governments have been unable to solve, as theft and wastage are major reasons for the city’s water woes coupled with dumping of industrial and solid waste in fresh water sources and mixing of sewage and clean water due to poor infrastructure.
These issues only lead to further widening the divide in the country’s social structures, where government college students are left with unsafe potable water.
In the wake of these, it is important that pragmatic steps are taken to cater to the emergency in the short term as well as long term.
This could be done by providing public-sector colleges with safe potable bottled water in the short term and involve independent experts to work with the government to solve the issue in the long term with a thorough action plan.