KOHAT, Nov 1: The growing contamination level in the underground and piped water has been blamed for spread of waterborne diseases in the district.
Diseases like hepatitis, kidney infection, diarrhoea and stomach ailments are on the rise in the district. The polluted water is also causing early baldness and grey hair among children and youth, according to experts.
Water that flows in the rusty pipes laid by the tehsil municipal administration and the Kohat Development Authority in the city limits gets mixed with the sewage seeping from septic tanks and broken drains. Moreover, water in storage tanks and ponds has also been declared unfit for human consumption as it is infected with bacteria.
It is pertinent to mention here that under the project of Clean Drinking Water for All, the Kohat University of Science and Technology had conducted 450 tests of pond, tap and stored water, declaring it infected. Similarly, tests done by the Korean International Corporation, National Institute of Health and WHO also declared potable water in Kohat like other cities as contaminated which is dangerous for public health.
Ironically, the Kohat administration has install only a single water filtration plant and that too in the posh cantonment area, which proved futile as people of far-off areas could not benefit from it.
Even the water in Women and Children Hospital and Kohat divisional headquarters hospital is not considered safe for drinking.
Doctors at the hospital say that they bring boiled water with them for consumption during duty hours. Similarly, water in Kohat courts is also unsuitable for drinking due to dilapidated water tanks and polluted underground water.
Dr Attaur Rehman, who lives in cantonment and runs a private clinic, says that he brings water from Bona Baba natural spring daily and advises the people to use boiled water.
Similarly, Dr Zain ul Abideen, who works in the divisional headquarters hospital, had contracted hepatitis from a patient and is now very careful in using water.
According to him, water tanks have not been cleaned for decades, pressure pumps have completed their life span and the underground water has been polluted due to seepage from aging septic tanks.