What If Water Starts Killing?

By: Manzoor Ahmed Majidano

It is universally accepted that the feeling of health can only be gained by sickness. When an organ of the body is affected with an injury, the whole internal system of the body becomes restless.

Water is the most vital need for all creatures and its significance lies in the fact that a man can live forty days without food but can not live without water after two days. When this essential commodity is contaminated it results in various diseases.

Tando Allahyar district also presents such a plight where research conducted by experts in 2008 unfolded facts regarding underground water of the district.

This research was conducted by Sindh University's scientist and Project Director of High-Tech Resources Central Laboratories Professor Dr. Mohammad Yar Khuawar.

Research samples collected from hand pumps used for humans consumption revealed that five villages of the district within the distance of 3 to 6 Km were highly contaminated with Arsenic.

Meanwhile, the learned scientist had further said that water quantity based on total dissolved solids (TDS) and PH was mostly observed within acceptable limit for human consumption but the underground water of the three villages including Allah Bux Arbab, Khair Mohammad Jarwar and Haji Saleh Halepoto were found to be contaminated with Arsenic.

According to a report of World Health Organization (WHO), the maximum permissible limit in water for human consumption is 10 parts per billion (ppb), while research conducted from three villages comprising upon 62 samples proved 58 samples contaminated with Arsenic within 50-300 ppb and people of all ages including children were observed with darkening of hands and feet palm and black spots on all over the body.

Further, the heart shaking story is that the researchers confirmed the presence of Arsenic in the urine samples of the affected subjects.

It poses hygienic threats that are very harmful as according to the experts “the long term exposure to Arsenic via drinking water causes cancer of skin, lungs, urinary bladder and kidney as well as other skin changes like pigmentation and thickening Hyperkeratosis”.

Today, it is also proved that underground water of 80 percentage of Sindh has become saline and is not suitable for human consumption.

The current state of affairs demands immediate solution to this problem on the part of the government. On the other hand, delay in this regard means decay. Now, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure the provision of potable water and basic facilities of health and sanitation to the masses.

We are on the verge of the devastation because only those nations who are healthy and active can survive in the modern era of competition.

The setting up of cheap filters may bring fruitful result in this regard to remove micro organisms and Arsenic that are considered health hazards. Besides this NGOs and members of the civil society have obligation to play their due roles and create awareness among people and make them learn simple methods of water purification.

Individual efforts may bring some changes and everyone should boil water or keep water in oven for 6-hours before utilizing it and lastly, the local media must launch health programs to make people conscious of various health hazards of contaminated water and different diseases originating from it.

A nation can not progress if its young generation is not healthy and active. We must ponder over it and we are bound to expedite awareness about the very issue that resulted in a nuisance tantamount to unbearable trouble.