In this day and age, we cannot help looking into the way our basic means of survival are being processed or perhaps the route through which man has been able to sell them out in the market. Nevertheless, more than getting into the endless man-made standpoints, it’s time that we look through the eyes of nature and be aware of the likelihood and all the reasons behind the curtain. One point that should hold a major consideration within our minds is that having access to basic supplies of life does not only carry the ultimate goal that of need but it also presents a precondition for a healthy life and above any and everything it is a human right. The word “vitality” translates at once into water for the human body, future of which is foretold to be in jeopardy due to all the radical climatic changes which also brings along a stack of possibilities that it will promote to the already existent world water crisis.
It goes far beyond our imagination that what a difference is it actually making all around the globe, starting off with a few devastating facts that reveal 60 percent of juvenile deaths that estimates up to almost 230,000 deaths that occur each year solely after suffering from lethal diseases like diarrhea, typhoid, gastroenteritis and cholera. According to Ban Ki-moon, the U.N Secretary-general who stressed upon this issue rhetorically, at the World Economic Forum: “Population growth will make the problem worse, so will the change in climate. As the global economy grows, so will its thirst. Many more conflicts lie just over the horizon” he warned many academic and governmental leaders surrounding him. It may come to many of us as a touch of surprise since it clearly projects the concern of such leaders sitting at a forum where much of the weighty concerns should be the impending global economic recession or perhaps the flaming issue of inflation all around the globe which indicates that the situation has not been looked through and ways to resolve this problem collaboratively are put under emphasis.
The question stands stagnant if our government is working towards providing a safer environment to our people who lack the much needed awareness which massively highlights access to nontoxic water and as a minimum making them aware of ways how to prevent themselves and their families from any maltreatment. As Anders Berntell, executive director of the Stockholm International Water Institute puts it: “The lack of safe drinking water for over 1.0 billion people worldwide and the lack of water sanitation for over 2.5 billion is an acute and devastating humanitarian crisis.”
It is believed that Chlorination of drinking water started back in the 1900s and it was readily accepted as people witnessed a rapid and obvious reduction in many serious diseases when it was instituted. But the public health is often the victim of its own successes for instance, when things go well, the public looks through the diseases that were prevented from being able to have their way and saving a life that deserves well-being and an unpolluted environment to breathe in, but instead they end up assuming that uncontaminated drinking water is the natural order of things rather than something that requires constant monitoring and maintenance. Therefore, even the history approves and teaches us about a lot of ways that we must adopt in order to provide a common man with sparkling water. Every so often, questions and predictions are erupting from almost every corner of the planet realizing time and time again that one of the major challenges faced by the water crisis is that of “Climate change” says Sunita Nurain, Director of the New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment along with which she is also the winner of the prestigious annual Stockholm Water Prize in the year 2005. While giving the matter much deserved significance and clarity she also mentioned: “It is this challenge which the world is completely failing to do anything about, and which will jeopardize the water security of large numbers of people, who already live on the margins of survival.”
Environmentalists are constantly stressing upon finding a way through which they can make a distinction between the World water crisis, which is also taking place because of all the landfill and over exploitation of the dwindling water resources consumed for agricultural and industrial purposes. Pollution is also one of the many climatic hazards that tend to aggravate the situation even more and before we run short of time, our Government has to step up and work towards improving the water services and sanitation crisis.
According to the World Bank, over 80 countries are already facing severe water shortages and contamination issues. Pakistan happens to be one of the many countries who are a part of this crisis evidently. In order to evoke immediate and effectual results in Pakistan, the purification of water collected from wells, rivers and rain is mandatory and that too on such a satisfactory level that people are no longer dubious about the safety issues. A U.N. study released on the eve of World Water Day Mar. 22 says that: “The lack of safe drinking water is not confined to the world’s poorer nations; it also threatens over 100 million Europeans. The result: nearly 40 children in Europe, mostly in Eastern Europe, die every day due to the water-related disease: diarrhea.”
The job is not only confined to safeguard our drinking water but it expands till we are able to find a solution to treat the water waste or sewage as well which is a runway to polluted water, and it requires massive, modern and a reliable infrastructure which will make it easy for the execution of further improvements and to operate the network efficiently. So far the discussions about the way out of this crisis was based on adopting long term measures but keeping in mind the current situation which is apparently slipping out of our hands, short term measures towards enhancing the water availability has to be applied. Updating, modernizing, replacing defective pumps and pipes is the only short term measure we can adopt. Therefore, finding the best way to deal with this problem is necessary.
We have to find an escape from the cold war that has been going on between our provinces over water allocation which has resulted in many protests over the years in our country and once again resulting in nothing but an upheaval. “The water resources of the country should be pooled and distributed fairly to all the provinces” says Nasreen Jalil, a senior political leader. Indeed, our leaders have to resolve this problem by thinking beyond the quarrel between the provinces and by finding a moderate solution and the aim of which should solely be the prosperity of Pakistan.
In most of our cities water shortage is not that big of a problem as compared to its distribution that lacks proper supervision. In this swift age, we have to find a way to cope up with the challenges as well because all the facts lie in the way Mother Nature is reacting now to all the harm that has been done over the past decades and as the population started increasing. We as dutiful citizens of Pakistan have the responsibility to never take what we have for granted and contribute towards the protection of our environment which would make it easy not just for us but for the people encompassing us. As for the Government’s role, the void between the limited water supply and established infrastructure should be filled in effectually and managed properly to meet the increasing demand providing people with safe and clean water to consume.