Rawalpindi : The setting in of monsoon, prolonged rain spell and repeated heavy rain falls have put population in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi along with those living in peripheries at a greater risk of contracting water-borne infections as the rains may cause contamination of water at sources as well as contaminate the food items particularly vegetables and fruits.
The repeated rain spells in the region of the country have increased the chances of spread of gastroenteritis particularly water-borne infections including dysentery, typhoid and cholera mainly because the rainwater may contaminate water sources at all levels.
According to many health experts, not less than 70 per cent of the population in the region is at risk of contracting water-borne diseases as they are using tap water or water from wells for drinking and these sources may become contaminated after heavy rainfall in the existing weather conditions.
The water accumulated on earth surface in result of heavy rains may also contaminate underground water reservoirs after seeping into the ground. Experts say it is time to create awareness among public that they must start using boiled water for drinking to avoid water-borne infections.
The water inundated inside and outside homes in a number of localities in town due to heavy rainfall may make conditions extremely unhygienic. It is a must for people to keep homes particularly kitchens clean to avoid infections.
Experts say that water accumulated inside homes due to heavy rainfall and flooding out of water from sewage lines must be wiped out immediately and the space must be washed with clean water as soon as possible to avoid spread of infections.
Most of the water sources including community wells become contaminated with the rainwater. According to rough estimates, not more than 30 per cent of population in the region uses filtered, chlorinated or boiled water for drinking. Also it is important that the monitoring regarding contamination of water reservoirs supplying water to the communities cannot be termed ideal.
The only solution to avoid spread or outbreak of water-borne infections in monsoon is to educate individuals that they should avoid using contaminated water for drinking.
Experts say that chlorine tablets are easily available in almost all markets at affordable price and it is time to educate people that they should use chlorine tablets to purify water or should use water for drinking after boiling.
People must wash hands before eating meal or after using toilet. Experts say that the most important thing is that the vegetables and fruits brought from markets must be washed thoroughly with clean water as they get highly contaminated due to rainfall and water inundation in markets.