ISLAMABAD: Realising the global environmental changes, the PPP in its manifesto has equated access to safe drinking water with human rights and added for the first time a whole chapter on water and sanitation in the manifesto.

The party has acknowledged that potable drinking water was not available to 83pc of the population even after over seven decades of independence.

In its programme, the PPP says that if it forms a government: “We recognise safe drinking water and decent sanitation as basic human rights and will work towards formulating appropriate legislation and policies.”

Lack of good quality water is also associated with poor nutrition outcomes for Pakistani children.

“Unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation have been the primary cause of many waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea and malaria,” the manifesto stated.

It claimed that the provision of clean drinking water and sanitation facilities had been the top priority of the PPP which had also recognised the need to provide sewerage and garbage collecting systems even in slums.

“We believe that it is a fundamental right for citizens to be able to access fresh drinking water and improved sanitation systems, irrespective of difference in the types of settlements they live in – whether formal or informal, rural and urban.”

It added: “We will prioritise investments in water projects across the country, particularly in regions where access to clean drinking water is limited.”

The party also has a programme to ensure coordination between major infrastructure projects in water such as desalination plants in large coastal cities and support infrastructure at the city, town and community level.

Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2018