The Nawaz Sharif government informed the National Assembly on August 19, 2013 that over 80% of water samples collected across the country were found unsafe for drinking and asked provincial governments to take measures against the increasing contamination of water. This is not surprising then that most of the populace is constantly suffering from perpetual dysentry and diarrohea.
In a written answer to a question raised by Najaf Abbas Sial of the PML-N, federal Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid said his ministry through the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources had monitored the quality of drinking water under the National Water Quality Monitoring Programme which showed alarming results.
The minister said only 15-18% groundwater samples were found safe for drinking both in urban and rural areas.
The ministry has set up 24 water quality testing laboratories across the country, developed and commercialised water testing kits, safe water filters, water disinfection tablets and drinking water treatment sachets and imparted training to 2,660 professionals of water supply agencies.
He said of the 12,000 water supply schemes 10,000 had been surveyed, adding that awareness campaign was being carried out not only for relevant agencies but also for the general public.
Answering a supplementary question, the minister informed the house that 72% of 10,000 water schemes had been supplying unsafe drinking water. He said water samples collected from 23% schemes in urban areas and 14% in rural areas were safe.
In reply to another question, Mr Hamid said his ministry had been monitoring quality of bottled water regularly and in a recent test had found 31 brands out of 86 unsafe for drinking.