“Garbage of entire sector is thrown here in our colony. Our people keep clean whole Islamabad and there is no sanitary worker to clean our colony”
By Zakhia Irfan
Islamabad is one of the most beautiful capitals of the world, surrounded by Margalla Hills, beautiful infrastructure, transport system, wide and clean roads, gardens and parks, making it an attractive place for residents and tourists.
The streets of the city are regularly cleaned but unfortunately those who keep this city clean are living in poor conditions
Inhabitants of Christian colony G-7/1 are living in worst unhygienic conditions where garbage dumps can be seen all around. The stinking smell of garbage simply cannot be endured. There is no proper sewerage system and pipelines of sewerage are broken. In some places, the covers of manholes are missing too. Open and overflowing drains of waste water are great danger to public health and causes different diseases among the residents.
Poor sanitation system and improper management of garbage is the biggest problem for the residents of the slums in Islamabad.
“Garbage of entire sector is thrown here in our colony. Our people keep clean whole Islamabad and there is no sanitary worker to clean our colony” says Khurram Shahzad, 40, a resident of the area.
Sanitary condition of the colony is worst which leads to health problems. Highlighting his concerns, Asif Ishtaq, 39, said: “Poor sanitary system is the biggest problem for us. Drains get blocked with garbage and waste water runs all over the streets. The smell is just unbearable and causes many diseases too.”
The stagnant gutter water on streets is another nuisance. It’s flooded with dirty water on streets which makes it hard for the residents to move around.
Rain brings more misery for the people as the dirty water of streets enter the houses which is an additional trouble for the colony dwellers of G-7/1.
Access to safe drinking water which is the basic necessity of life is another difficulty faced by the people.
“Getting clean water is a huge task for us” shares Astar Yaqoob. There are no proper household water connections in the area and only one main water pipeline which is damaged too. Often the dirty water mix with drinking water making it polluted and hazardous, informs Yaqoob, 35.
Unhygienic and polluted water is the main source that carries viruses, bacteria and other pathogens which may cause series of diseases such as typhoid, diarrhea, cholera, hepatitis etc.
Though some people use bored water from wells near their homes, but most are dependent on the water from the pipeline which is contaminated and broken.
Improvement of supplies, disposal facilities and access to clean water is the right of all citizens of Pakistan, irrespective of their faith, status and work. As Article 38 of the Constitution of Pakistan states that promotion of social and economic wellbeing of people if Pakistan, irrespective of sex, cast, creed or race, should be the basic task of government.
It is very unfortunate that government is spending millions of rupees on roads and other mega projects such as Metro Bus whereas it should focus on improving the living standard of the inhabitants of slums who keep this city clean and running.
Government need to urgently address the problems faced by the inhabitants of G-7 and other similar colonies so that the Christian community can live in Pakistan without the fear of insecurity of being a minority.
As the local government system has also been emplaced in the capital for the first time in the history of Pakistan, one can only hope that the worries of people living in slums of Islamabad would also be taken care off.
Photos provided by author.
Zakhia Irfan is a journalist based in Islamabad who contributes for Islamabad Scene.