Groundwater is the main drinking water source in the Punjab, which was once considered to be safe. Over the years this water is increasingly found to be contaminated with bacteriological and chemical pollutants. Water contamination in rural areas is mainly caused due to discharge of domestic sewage directly or indirectly into water bodies, open defecation, agricultural run-off during rainy season containing chemical fertilizers and pesticides and sewage from agro-based industries.
HOPE-A Health NGO in Pakistan in collaboration with Procter & Gamble Pakistan, is making clean water accessible by distributing P&G Purifier of Water to the underprivileged communities. P&G Purifier of Water is used for preparing safe drinking water. One single sachet purifies up to 10 liters of brackish water. Compared with other products available in the market, P&G Purifier of Water leaves no salty or sour after-taste.
Access to tap water is very low in Muzaffargarh and quality of drinking water remains substandard as the major sources are hand pumps and turbines supplying contaminated or brackish water to local populations.
In samples of groundwater found in Muzaffargarh District of south-western Punjab, central Pakistan, concentrations of impurities exceeded the World Health Organisation provisional guideline value. In this semi-arid region canal irrigation has lead to widespread water-logging and evaporative concentration of salts that has the potential to raise harmful components concentration in shallow groundwater.
Majority of population in Muzaffargarh is exposed to hazards of drinking unsafe and polluted water from both surface and ground water sources. Contaminated water is source of many diseases including diarrhea, typhoid, intestinal worms and hepatitis. Under the leadership of Dr. Mubina Agboatwalla-A Child Specialist in Karachi, HOPE has been working relentlessly to improve the lives of the people in Muzaffargarh by creating awareness among them about the benefits of safe drinking water.
HOPE-An NGO in Pakistan provides back-up support in the form of training, IEC material, social marketing and advocacy of P&G Purifier to the socially deprived local population. HOPE team demonstrated the process of cleaning water using P&G Purifiers of Water in Muzaffargarh. Several people were present during the orientation where they learnt the importance of drinking clean water and how to prepare it by themselves at home. Each participant was provided a purifying kit that consists of a cooler, bucket, muslin cloth, spatula and 120 sachets of P&G Purifier of Water. The aim of this activity was to benefit the local community while making clean water accessible hence reducing the morbidities especially among children. This will also provide them opportunity to improve standards of living while improving health status.