Crops cultivation through contaminated water endanger lives in Quetta

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Crops cultivation through contaminated water endanger lives in Quetta 

Quetta Voice Report

In the heart of Quetta, farmers endanger the lives of people by cultivating crops/vegetables by using contaminated water from urban drainage. However, the cultivation ratio reduced after repeated operations by the environmental protection agency (EPA).

Despite the ban, the farmers still manage to grow vegetables and various kinds of salads. “Be aware of salad in Quetta”, Dr. Sadiq Achakzai, a well-known gastroenterologist said.

On Tuesday, the Balochistan Food Authority destroyed crops cultivated through contaminated water in Jangle Bagh and Sarwar Town area. Moreover, complete eradication is still far from over.

Sabzal road, Spini road, Ghabarg, and other western outskirts are famous for the cultivation of vegetables through contaminated water. Private and public hospitals in Quetta are always jam-packed with patients with diarrhea, fever, and typhoid since the consumption of fruits or vegetables that have been exposed to dirty water also carries a great risk of developing foodborne illnesses.

“Stomach, typhoid, and hepatitis diseases are on a constant rise in Quetta”, Dr. Achakzai who checks dozens of such patients revealed.

Balochistan Govt establishes water purification plant 

At the cost of Rs30 million, the provincial government established a water treatment plant at Sabzal Road to purify the contaminated water and minimize the bacterial impact. But the growers prefer to use dirty water for cultivation as it is more cost-effective.

“We have issued notice to the Food Authority to destroy such crops”, Muhammad Jehangir Kakar, the Director-General of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said. The greywater is highly lethal and toxic as it is a collection of industrial, domestic, and hospital waste, Mr. Kakar stated.

It is strange to note that once the irrigation department had allowed for mixing of 2 cusecs of freshwater with 6 cusecs of greywater and had allowed vegetation through this formula. It is everything but not scientific and such water remains highly contaminated, the DG EPA mentioned.

Unaware of the consequences, citizens have been buying such vegetables and salads from shops located on Kasi road. “We have no choice but to purchase this”, Muhammad Aslam, a consumer said.

Like Aslam, scores of citizens have been buying such salads and vegetables cultivated through contaminated water. “This is an alarming situation”, Dr. Achakzai remarked.

In spite of repeated crackdowns by the officials, the farmers continue to grow vegetables in the outskirts of Quetta putting the lives of citizens at peril.

Crops cultivation through contaminated water endanger lives in Quetta 

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