Friday, July 26, 2013

Clean drinking water, still a dream in parts of Pakistan

Daily Times (Pakistan): Girls in traditional Sindhi Ajraks carrying tins, pots and plastic cans, walk the unpaved streets filled with garbage heaps and scavenger dogs to fetch water from the muddy village pond.

Located just on the edge of Arabian Sea in the outskirts of Karachi, Dabla Paro is supposed to be one of the oldest fishermen hamlets in the city. Lined with broken boats lying outside humble huts, the village paints the picture of neglect and State apathy towards the residents.

... Despite being a historical settlement, the village has been deprived of drinking water, proper sanitation system, streetlights, health unit and even a school. ...Though there are dozens of small settlements, traditional villages of indigenous fisher folk and farmers are still living without proper water supply schemes. Apart from using the murky water from the pond for cooking and drinking purposes, the women also wash clothes in the pool every day. "In the absence of water facility in our village, life is very tough, especially for women and children," said Safia, a mother of three.

"Loose motion and diarrhoea is common in the village, especially among newborn and infants, who suffer the most due to lack of basic health facilities or state-run hospital in the area," said Shahzadi Mallah.

According to official data, out of the total 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Sindh, the most important target to reduce mortality rate of children under 5, has now become impossible to achieve. Health experts say that apart from different diseases, waterborne illnesses, especially diarrhoea, which contributes a major role in child mortality.  The mortality rate of children under 5 is as high as 100 deaths per 1,000 live births against a target of 52...

A water tanker in Karachi, shot by کراچی, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license 

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