Lack of clean water facilities and sanitation is a global crisis. Each country on the planet, from the richest to the poorest, face this problem. Even though the extents of the severity of the predicament vary from place to place and time to time, it nevertheless exists in all instances. Increased water pollution due to chemical discharge from factories and agricultural lands, contamination of drinking water due to undermaintained water and sewerage management systems and constant flooding in certain parts of the world have brought humans at the brink of a catastrophe that could shake the core of the world. Several life-threatening diseases are spread because of contaminated water and claim thousands of lives every year. While the situation may not be intensely aggravated in some parts of the world, countries like Pakistan face extreme challenges due to the problem. The gravity of the situation in Pakistan can be well-understood from the stats published by a United Nations report that remarked that around 40% of all deaths that occur in the country are caused by water-borne diseases. Contaminated Water Brings Life-Threatening Risk in Pakistan.
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- Karachi Floods: The Impact of Massive Rains on Regular Metro Life
- Karachi Flood: Residents Will Face Healthcare Issues Ahead
There are many reasons as to why such a huge part of the population loses its life to ailments resulting from water contamination. It is a sad reality that ever since its inception, Pakistan has to suffer at the hands of governmental disinterest in the proper maintenance and development of local infrastructure. It is because of this that the facilities today suffer at the hands of deterioration. Because the state departments could not maintain the water and sewerage pipeline systems and upgrade them as per modern needs, the underground pipes have long begun to decay. Sewerage leaks from pipes and seeps into the water channels, contaminating it with viruses of hepatitis A and E, found abundantly in faecal matter. These life-threatening ailments affect the patient’s liver, causing it to shut down and not perform its function. The human liver is one of the most vital organs with functions necessary for sustenance. Its malfunctioning means that the patient will succumb to death if the right medical attention is not provided. Every year, thousands of people lose their lives to hepatitis, something which speaks volumes about the severity of the crisis.
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Flooding is something Pakistanis are not unfamiliar with. Because the flood management system in the country is underdeveloped, or non-existent in certain parts, floods are regarded as inevitable. Residents of several cities and villages brace themselves for annual flooding. However, they cannot prepare themselves for the many diseases that come along with the floodwater. The water that individuals come into contact with is highly polluted with sewerage water along with other impurities. While several problems arise out of it, including infections, leptospirosis is perhaps the most dangerous. Caused by a class of bacteria found in rodents’ urine, this disease affects the respiratory system, liver and kidneys of the diseased. It may also cause meningitis and lead to ultimate death. One does not even have to consume the contaminated water to contract the disease- coming in external, physical contact is enough.
Diarrhoea is yet another disease that is prevalent among the citizens of the country. Caused by rotavirus that thrives in polluted water, it is very difficult to manage if immediate medical attention is not provided to the diseased. It is because of this that diarrhoeal ailments claim the second-highest number of lives, globally, of children under 5.
Since the attempts to industrialize Pakistan have taken the front seat in recent decades, and since little to no regard is given to the waste that is produced by factories, the citizens of the country have become exposed to another problem. The chemicals produced in industries are carelessly dumped into water sources/ ground, which ultimately pollutes the drinking water sources, causing innumerable diseases like cholera and typhoid. These diseases affect millions of people each year. Many thousands succumb to them if proper tertiary medical care is not immediately provided.
Contaminated water may look clean and may taste and smell exactly like pure water. However, it must be known that even a colony count between 10 to 100 makes water infected enough to harm the health and lives of the consumers. Therefore, one must be extra cautious with regards to water consumption. You should use mineral water or boiled water only to make sure that you and your family remains happy and healthy.