It is estimated that only 20% of the population in Pakistan have access to safely managed drinking water, leaving the rest of the 80% deprived and unable to access the same quality of water. The reasons behind this have been found to be due to the water utility services being intermittent due to high leakage, limited supply and insufficient access to power. This is also due to the industrialization of the country, coupled with rapid urbanization and growth in population.
The primary source of contamination within Pakistan’s water is sewage, which is extensively discharged into the water supply, alongside only 5% of the country’s water was being collected and treated successfully along with industrial pollutants contaminating the water and the lack of wastewater collection systems that are imperative to removing these toxins.
The lack of access to clean water also led to up to 40% of the hospital admittance by patients suffering from preventable water related diseases such as Cholera and Hepatitis and leading to being responsible for one-third of deaths.
This has in turn increased the detrimental impact on Pakistan’s health care and economic industries, and as 27% of Pakistan’s total land is under farming and used for agriculture, clean water is imperative to the survival of the country’s population.
The impact on children has been devastating and it is reported that the leading cause of death in infants and children has been due to diarrhoea, a water-borne disease.
As a result, KORT (Kashmir Orphan Relief Trust a non-profit organisation raising orphan children at their purpose built home for orphans) have launched their ‘Clean Water Project’, specifically to counter-act the issues caused by contaminated water within certain areas of Pakistan. Known for their extensive work within Azad Kashmir in helping those in poverty and especially orphaned children, they have identified the great need for clean water in surrounding areas and have begun to provide facilities for communities to access clean drinking water.
KORT have begun constructing and erecting filtration plants within areas that have a high number of children and infants, resulting in ground water being filtered from any faecal matter and chemicals and released via taps as a clean and safe water source. They have also delegated responsibility of each plant to the community that it provides for, resulting in those who use it being educated on the necessities of clean water in Pakistan and creating an accountability for those who will benefit from it.
This in turn will inevitably and eventually prevent infant and child deaths due to water borne diseases and improve the quality of life for the children in these areas. It will also decrease the impact of contaminated water on agriculture and food production in areas where filtration plants are used.
KORT have in so far used funds from reliable sources within the UK and globally, with each filtration plant costing around £5,200 and are in the process of generating even more funds under their ‘Clean Water Project’ which has become increasingly prominent as a fund-raising charity.
It is evident that Pakistan is in great need to secure clean water for the survival of its nation and the children and infants that rely on this basic necessity. KORT have found a viable and cost-effective solution to the unsanitary water conditions within Kashmir which will greatly improve the quality of life and health of those who have access to it and, more importantly, educate the next generation on the importance of finding solutions to overcome the problems caused by unclean water.