Wherever you live clean water is your fundamental right. State of every country is bound by its constitution to provide clean water to its citizens.
Most of the advance countries of the world are giving this fundamental right to their citizens. But unfortunately most of the countries of backward world have miserably failed to provide clean water to their population.
Either these are countries from poor regions of Asia, Africa or South America; almost all of them hardly provide sufficient water to their citizens. So how come they will provide clean water.
Main reason of no clean water
The main reason of not providing this basic right to their people is water pollution. Most of these countries don’t have stringent laws to bind factories to release their effluent after treating it.
Also civic agencies of most of these countries don’t have wastewater treatment plants to release domestic wastewater after treating it.
So eventually all industrial and civic wastewater go directly into water bodies without any treatment. The same water is supplied to citizens without any process of cleaning it before supply. So people have no choice but to drink and use polluted water to meet all their water needs.
The person who stood for this fundamental right
A person from Shikarpur and practicing law in Karachi namely Shahab Ousto stood for the people of Sindh a province of Pakistan. Its population is also being supplied polluted water by depriving them from their basic right of clean water.
He filed a constitutional petition in apex court of Pakistan – Supreme Court – with the plea that why people of Sindh are deprived of their basic right of clean water.
Inquiry Commission on Water
The Supreme Court of Pakistan constituted a one-person Commission to investigate the quality of water that was being provided to people of Sindh.
The Commission was shocked to know that no department responsible to provide clean water to people of Sindh was working well. Even most of such departments were working in papers only.
Water supply conditions in Sindh
Almost all the water treatment plants installed in various cities of Sindh were found non-functional. Civic agencies were also in deep slumber on the issue of providing clean water to people of Sindh.
All the projects that were initiated to ensure clean drinking water supply were either in doldrums or working without any results. As a result more than 50 million population of Sindh was and is drinking polluted water.
This documentary is sufficient to tell us how is state of affairs in water scenario of Sindh.
A small percentage of this population can afford to buy mineral water for drinking purpose. While more than 90 per cent of it has no choice but to use polluted water.
Because of damaged drainage system in almost every city of Sindh the underground water is also polluted. As a result people don’t have the choice of using underground water for drinking purpose.
Failed control of water pollution
The organization responsible to control water pollution in this province is Sindh Environmental Protection Agency. That was also found not performing well and most of its functions were going on in papers or in air condition rooms. It was found monitoring a few polluting factories but their count was equal to none as compare to total number of polluting industries.
Commission on water in its report declared Government of Sindh solely responsible for not providing clean drinking water to its people. It also suggested strict action against the officials of all those organization that were supposed to ensure clean water supply to people.
Government of Sindh took a few actions at the orders of Commission but not as devotedly as it should and could have done so. As a result a few big officers were replaced, a few new equipments were purchased and a few new hirings were made. But as a whole no big impact could have been made to improve the situation.
Bravo Shahab Ousto
Despite of this Shahab Ousto deserves a big applause that at least he took up a giant issue that otherwise seemed to be impossible to address. He is still struggling to improve the things for provision of clean water and Commission is (till publishing of this post) still strictly monitoring the performance of all departments responsible for the task of water supply.
Clean water; just get it
It proves if we have will we can stand to grab our any basic right if someone is depriving us from it. In case of Shahab Ousto he stood alone and rest of the people just watched him fighting for their rights or a few of them appreciated his efforts.
This is because of unawareness in most of the backward regions of the world. People don’t know why clean water is must for their health and safety. Also they don’t know clean water is their basic right.
So the need is to make people aware on every issue of environment so that people also stood up with any person like Shahab Ousto who waged legal war against all hurdles in way of clean water supply to people of Sindh.
Well-done Shahab and this post is dedicated to your efforts and courage that you made for a great cause.