Assessment of safety of drinking water in tank district: an empirical study of water-borne diseases in rural Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Ashfaq Ahmad Shah1, Muhammad Ammad Khan1, Nazish Kanwal2, Robert Bernstein3
1- Department of Development Studies, College of Humanities and Development,
China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
2- Department of Agricultural Economics and Management, College of Economics and Management, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
3- Departments of Global Health, Emory University and University of South Florida, USA
Access to safe drinking water is one of the basic human rights and essential for healthy life. The present study investigates the availability of safe drinking water and the effects of water-borne diseases on the health of the people of Tank District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. Data were collected from the field survey and secondary sources. Households meetings, focused group discussions and interviews with doctors were recorded in the field. Meanwhile, water samples were also collected from different sources to examine the prevalence of water-borne diseases in the study area. It was found that the use of unsafe drinking water and lack of basic sanitation were the main causes of diseases like hepatitis, cholera, typhoid, dysentery and diarrhea in the study area. However, the results also confirmed the presence of Giardia, Crypto, T. Gondi, Fasciola, B. Coli and Entamoeba in the water samples. The study concluded that due to acute shortage of water, people were oppressed to use unsafe drinking water. In order to reduce the health risk, it is necessary to immediately stop the use of unsafe drinking water from contaminated sources and government should supply treated/clean water with supply lines far away from solid waste and sewage sites. Moreover, health education and awareness can motivate people to improve and maintain their health, prevent disease and reduce risky behaviors.
Keywords: Factorial design, pollutants, stations, pH, B.O.D, dissolved oxygen.
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