This Sonawari village no different from rest in Valley
Drinking contaminated water
Banyari Sharki (Sonawari), May 13: Three years back when Cholera hit this far-off village leaving men, women and children sick, doctors attributed the disease to the water sources contaminated with bacterium Vibrio cholerae in the area.
Three years down the line residents continue to live under threat of another disease breakout as they continue to drink raw water.
Haleema, 49, mother of seven, is filling a pot with water, from the Lipton-colored Jhelum.
She tells Greater Kashmir that her family is living in a danger. “In 2009 we all fell ill here. We were engulfed by a dangerous disease which endangered our lives. You see what we drink,” Haleema says.
“No one comes here to see us. We have been abandoned by government,” she says.
Enticed by dense forests, vast grasslands and dozens of muddy water canals, this village has no proper healthcare facility. “All the sick were carried to Hajin and Sumbal towns for treatment on carts as we have had no proper facility for treatment,” says a villager Bakhtawar Dar.
He says water is what “kills” them. “Water is Allah’s gift but we have to refrain from drinking it otherwise we will fall ill or it may end up killing us,” Dar says.
“Our children feel nausea drinking the water even after boiling it. They are the worst sufferers of this problem. They are school-going kids,” he says, adding that females in this village are often attacked by vomiting.
A local says children complain of rapid dehydration during summer. “In schools they drink same water and fall ill most of the times. We are caught in a serious problem,” says Muhammad Subhan.
Locals say kids between six and 12 are prone to diarrhea.
According to World Health Organization when outbreaks of cholera occur, efforts should be directed toward establishing clean water, food, and sanitation, because vaccination is not very effective in managing outbreaks.
But in this village, there is no sanitation and locals continue to drink raw water from Jhelum. “Government’s first priority should be to provide clean drinking water to us and should address the problem of sanitation which is graver here,” says another local.
Chief Engineer PHE Kashmir (Division) Ghulam Rasool Zargar said the villages would be soon surveyed. “Please mention those villages and we will take action on what they are lacking,” he told Greater Kashmir.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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