Punjab Water – Way Forward

10 Billion For water sanitation and hygiene, Wash 2014.

Punjab Pakistan on way to improving the quality of life, based on sustainable development of drinking water, sanitation and hygiene.

Hats off to the Government of Punjab for commitment and allocation of PKR 10 Billion for the development of drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

Water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) has a cross cutting effect on several aspects of our life like Health, education, Female education, poverty, food security (watch helminths in pot bellies of the children in kachiabadies).

Developing WASH helps development by sparing quality time of mother with family saved from long distance water collection and saves mother/ sister from hassle of going out / waiting till sunset for open defecation which also exposes them to harassment.

 

A. Some quick fix tips to improve drinking water in Pakistan and South Asia.

1. Order cleaning of all water tanks and bold print next cleaning date on the tank. Time three months.

2. Order every water supply system, providing water for more than 1000 consumers, to get its water tested for suitability to drink, in accordance to PSQCA standards. Share results with the consumers via print, TV and FM radio. Compliance time three months.

3. Instruct all organizations employing more than 50 people, check its water being discharged for EC, pH and total solids. And report to PAK EPA on monthly basis. Along with approximate quantity discharged. Compliance time three months.

4. Check and report valve chambers at the street corners for leakage and cleanliness. Water supply Incharge to inspect and report. Compliance time three months.

 

5. Hospital in charge to check and report about hospital waste disposal, EPA . EPA to cross check. Three months compliance time.

 

Once a month CM may like to walk in at the water supply system check and suspend the responsible officers and go to his office for routine daily jobs.

 

B. Role of consumers in improving WASH situation.

Lot of responsibility for improving this situation lies on the shoulders of the federal and the provincial governments, yet the consumers themselves can contribute a lot be taking responsibility of the under mentioned steps to improve their quality of life.

Consumer’s role depends on consciously

1. Ensuring that each adult drinks 2.-2.5 L of safe drinking water (about 10-12 Glass), children adjust accordingly. Quantity of water needs adjustment according to temperature and profession.  Players need more water

2. Saving water, not wasting. Controlling car and floor washing with clean water and irrigating of lawns.

3. Visiting and checking with the water provider, actions being taken to ensure provision of safe drinking water.

4. Check with the provider, date of cleaning of overhead and/or underground water storage tanks.

5. Consumer to insist on seeing the latest water test report with the provider

6. Ensure that domestic water storage tanks are regularly cleaned

7. In case of more than one family member suffering from water related disease, get his water Tested from a laboratory and start collecting water for drinking from a safe source.

8. Intermittent supply of water causes back suction of dirty water from leaking surroundings. Report leaking pipes and valve chambers immediately and follow it   up to repair.

9. Ensure that all family members wash their hands with soap after the use of bath room.

10. Ensure operational toilets in schools, hospitals and place of WUZOO in mosques, have soap for washing hands.

 

C. One point agenda for 2014

A brief policy level intervention, for water sanitation and hygiene (Wash) for year 2014- Pakistan, Punjab. Implemented strictly with dedication and strong follow up, these simple logical steps can immediately show improved results, improve focus of the implementers and more importantly provide a bench marking base for future improvements in wash development and hence quality of life in the Punjab. This experiment places a greater responsibility of success on our shoulders, because it has to show a path of success to rest of Pakistan and other south Asian states.

It is suggested that every manager/ in charge of a water supply system serving more than one thousand consumers be made a party to this system.

 

1. He/ she will be required to get water sample being supplied for drinking analyzed from a lab of reputation every month.

2 The analysis will be in accordance to Pakistan standards and quality control authority PSQCA, for drinking water.

 

 

3. The sample will be collected by the lab themselves.

4. The results will be shared with public every month via press and radio.

5. In case of water supplied being unfit for consumption according to Pakistan standards of quality control authority (PSQCA). Action be taken against the said manager/ in charge, minimum a fine of PKR 1 / person/ day . Followed by his/ her suspension and termination.

Public using that source will be informed about the hazard.

 

D. Last but Not the Least.(Water Treatment Plants).

Continuity of installing of water filtration plants is the most important and tricky and difficult part of this exercise. This system approved and budgeted in mid-2000, has met disaster end due to our common national handicaps of project being in the hands of those who hardly knew its basics, mismanagement, corruption etc. The seriousness of the then government about the project can be judged by the fact that a special ministry of special initiatives was created for implementation, and dissolved when it led the project to a collapse.

The Important points not to be missed are

  1. These water treatment plants if implemented properly are the only possible means of supplying safe drinking water in Pakistan.
  2. Notice we call them treatment plants not filtration plants.
  3. These plants have to be designed in accordance with the quality of raw water in the area of supply.
  4. Mostly it will be three module based on sand , Granulated Active Carbon (GAC) filter and UV lamp .
  5. The plants have to be handed over to local government for care and maintenance. Maintenance of the plants is already the responsibility of the supplier for five years. The part payments of supplier be held till then and the time the plant does not work or supply unfit water will be double added to the guarantee period.
  6. Plants in Centre Punjab (RY Khan, Multan and Muzaffergarh) for Arsenic area will be designed as a follow up, as per the contents of Arsenic in Raw water and other impurities.
  7.  Similarly separate design for contents like Nitrate, Fluoride and TDS will be done.
  8. Please remember one design does not fit all.
  9. The quality of water will be tested on 15 days basis and the results made available to consumers, posted on the plant.

10.Plants will be running sufficient time for the supply to the area.

11. This time the water will be fit for drinking all along and not FREE. It will be charged at PKR 5/ gallon and ensured that the container is clean.

12.The money thus collected will go towards its maintenance and operation.

13.The consumers will be able to see the light of operational UV lamp, if he so desires.

14.The implementer will ensure and check the wavelength and intensity of UV light of the lamps, and ensure replacement when gone weak.

 

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