‘85% of Balochistan without clean drinking water’

Last week, panic spread in the Pirkoh area of ​​Dera Bugti, a southeastern tehsil of Balochistan. Six people, including women and very young children, died within hours of being infected with cholera, while more than a dozen were taken to hospitals in critical condition.

According to the provincial health department, 2,856 cases and six deaths have been reported since April 17, when the first case of cholera was detected in Balochistan.

However, local health sources reject official figures, claiming that the disease has killed at least two dozen people.

Cholera is an infection caused by food or water that is contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera. People who get sick experience rapid dehydration through diarrhoea, vomiting and pain in the legs, which in severe cases can lead to dehydration, concussion and death within hours.

Senator Sarfraz Bugti, from the Dera Bugti area, recently tweeted that the cholera epidemic in Pirkoh had killed more than 20 people, including children. He also shared a video of locals protesting against the government in the scorching heat of the tehsil.

Residents of Dera Bugti say the epidemic has spread due to the unavailability of clean drinking water in the area, forcing them to drink dirty water.

Dr Muhammad Azam Bugti, District Health Officer, Dera Bugti said Geo. tv That locals and animals use the same pool of water for drinking, which has become a major cause of the epidemic. In addition, the country is experiencing rising temperatures and a lack of rainfall this year, leaving people with no alternative.

“More than 85% of the population of Balochistan lacks access to safe drinking water,” the doctor said, “at a time when billions of rupees are being allocated every year for water supply schemes in the province.”

Currently, a health emergency has been declared in the mountainous region of Pirkoh. Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qaddos Bizenjo has directed the Public Health Engineering Department to provide water to Pirkoh daily through mobile water tanks.

Besides, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has also ordered emergency relief measures.

Despite this, hospitals are full of patients who need immediate treatment.

Demonstrations were also held in Quetta and other areas of Dera Bugti this month demanding the government to provide clean drinking water on a priority and permanent basis. The protesters said that cholera cases have been reported less in their areas and the situation is more serious than what is being reported in the media.

In the long run, health experts explain, the provincial government will need to set up a research cell to study the epidemic, which is now firmly entrenched in the province, which is already suffering from water scarcity. Is.