TALOQAN (Pajhwok): A number of residents of Qalbars area of Taloqan, the capital of northern Takhar province, say they have long been lacking access to clean drinking water and consuming contaminated water that has caused them various diseases.
Abdul Razzaq, a tribal elder, said people living in Qalbars area have been using salty water for years and as a result their children are suffering from various water-borne diseases, including diarrhea.
He added: “The clinic in our area lacks facilities, we do not have money to go to private hospitals, we ask the government to solve the water issue.”
Shams Mohammad, another resident, said that there were 10 villages in the area where more than 1,000 families lived and they consumed salty water.
He added promises had been made by the previous governments many times to resolve the issue, but the issue remained unsolved and various diseases were spreading among families.
“We are very worried, if we want to use fresh water, we have to travel thousands of meters every day and in addition to this problem, we lack sanitary facilities and electricity,” he added.
Abdul Ghaffar, a youth, said although well water existed in all the areas, in general the water was salty that created health issues.
The 26-year-old man said he did not remember when his family had access to potable water, so it meant neither the previous government nor any charitable organization had taken action to solve this problem.
According to him, water wells in their area are uncovered and from time to time a lot of garbage mix with the water which causes various diseases.
Dr Azizullah Basij, a health expert, said water was a vital element for humans and excessive use of salty water caused diseases such as pollen stones, bladder stones, high blood pressure, etc…
The expert said although salty water is polluted, it also contains a type of poison called arsenic, which causes untimely death.
Meanwhile, Mullah Azmat Noor Mohammad, Takhar rural rehabilitation and development director, acknowledged the problems of local residents and assured efforts to resolve them.