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Water crisis fuels fears of disease outbreak

AT-KABUL: Ministry of Public Health warns against the outbreak of “serious” diseases in the country due to the shortage of potable water and arrival of the hot season of summer.

The ministry also warns against casualties of the diseases.

Wahid Majrooh, the ministry’s spokesman, said Wednesday that lack or shortage of access to safe water makes people drink polluted water that leads them towards different serious diseases. He added that the problem was more threatening residents of the large cities.

“The root and base of most of the epidemic diseases are in the unsafe water that increases the number of patients day after day in the hospitals. The outbreak of cholera and other epidemic diseases is highly likely through the unsafe water and foodstuff if it is not controlled,” said Majrooh.

The concerns come after minister of rural rehabilitation and development, Mojib Karimi, earlier said that 17 million people (some 63 per cent of the population) have access to safe water.

He added that 53 per cent of people who do not have access to potable water are in the rural areas.

Shortage of potable water is turning to a major problem as environment experts believe that most of the underground waters in the large cities including Kabul have been polluted.

Abdul WaliModaqqeq, deputy head of the environment protection department, said: “People should pay attention to not misuse the potable underground waters. They should be aware of the importance of underground water. They should stop using potable water for irrigations because we need to use this water just for drinking.”

The recent droughts have intensified problems of getting access to safe water in the western, central and northeastern parts of Afghanistan.

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