In what appears to be a praiseworthy move, the government provides water coolers with filters to almost all educational institutions in the federal capital. The students and the staffers of 422 educational institutions, operating under Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) in Islamabad, were facing enormous problems due to non-installation of water filtration plants, forcing around 2, 00,000 students to drink contaminated water.
According to the detail shared with Pakistan Today, the government has installed water coolers with filtration plants and whiteboards in all educational institutions in the metropolitan under its flagship ‘Prime Minister Education Reforms Program’. Under the program, the FDE has installed water coolers with filters in around 303 schools, while around 2,147 whiteboards have been provided to various institutions.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Atique ur Rehman, spokesperson Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD), said that all the educational institutions were provided with the missing facilities under the reform Programme at a cost of Rs 21.4 million.
He said that the G-6/1 school was upgraded and later on the model was replicated in all institutions. Noor Saleem, a lecture in Islamabad College for Boys, told this scribe that the staffers and students were facing great problems due to non-availability of filtered water in the institution. However, we are relieved now as the government has installed these new water coolers with filters for clean drinking water, he said.
Noor Saleem said that there was shortage of whiteboards, which were also provided and some were replaced.
According the statistics of WaterAid, an NGO working on safe drinking water and sanitation, around 39,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation in Pakistan, while over 68 million people do not have access to safe water in the country.
Another teacher at primary school in Bhara Kahu, on anonymity, told this scribe that undoubtedly almost all educational institutions have been provided with water coolers with filtration plants. He said poor quality filters are fitted here and they have not been replaced since long, which are supposed to be changed monthly owing to the gravity of filter contamination.