Many in dark about pure water

Kathmandu, September 8:

Notwithstanding the government’s continuing investment on sanitation awareness, a study has found that most of the people in Panchthar, Parsa, Kapilvastua and Dang do not know what safe and pure drinking water and bacterial contamination of drinking water mean.

“Around 75 per cent of the households surveyed in Panchthar, Parsa, Kapilvastua and Dang said they do not have any problem with water brought from existing sources as far as the quality of water was concerned,” the report launched today states. The surveyed people considered water without visible impurities and without smell “safe and good” enough to drink. They made no mention of ‘microbial’ or invisible matter in the water, meaning that most of the surveyed households considered water brought or drawn from their sources was ‘safe and good’ enough to drink, minus the visible impurities, according to the study report.

The study was undertaken by the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation and the UNICEF. “Only 31 per cent of the respondents said they knew about boiling as a method to make water safe and good to drink,” said Siddartha Shrestha of the UNICEF, while presenting the findings of the survey.

Although most of the respondents were aware of benefits of making water ‘safe and good’ to drink, 59 per cent of the households did nothing to improve the quality of drinking water, the study said. The report concluded: “It was evident that lack of knowledge on drinking water treatment was a major hurdle preventing the treatment of water.”