About 84 per cent of Pakistanis do not have access to safe drinking water, a minister said in Islamabad.
The startling disclosure was made by Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanvir Hussain in the Senate, the upper house of parliament, on Tuesday, according to the Dawn newspaper.
Hussain said according to a study by Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), only 72 per cent water supply schemes in the country were functional and 84 per cent of those had supplied water that was not fit for consumption.
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About 84 per cent of the total 195 million population in Pakistan do not have access to safe drinking water.
The water from 14 per cent of supply sources in Sindh and Punjab were found to be heavily contaminated with arsenic, well above the permissible limit of 50 parts per billion, Hussain said.
He said R s 279 million had been spent on the project — Provision of Safe Drinking Water — over the past four years.
As part of the project, six regional water quality laboratories, under the PCRWR, have been upgraded and 17 new water quality testing laboratories have been established at the district level.
Funds were also used on the capacity building of 3,000 professionals associated with water supply agencies, Hussain said.
The information came as Law Minister Zahid Hamid informed the Senate that commercial banks in the country had earned profits exceeding Rs 472 billion in the last three years.