Naegleria Fowleri parasite
Monitoring cell set up to check water quality
* Citizens requested to cleanse tanks
KARACHI: The Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB) has established a Monitoring Cell on emergency basis to ensure that water supply to the citizens of Karachi is as per international benchmarks and according to the WHO standards.
The basic purpose of all these operations is to keep the citizens of Karachi safe from the Naegleria Fowleri parasite. These actions are taken on the directives of Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, Local Bodies Minister Agha Siraj Durrani, Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed and Secretary Local Bodies, who are also monitoring the whole process.
The KWSB has established a Naegleria Monitoring Cell and through this collaborative initiative an exceptional monitoring process has been devised to monitor the water quality 24 hours a day.
A press briefing was arranged on Wednesday at KWSB Filtration Plant led by Secretary Local Bodies Fazalur Rehman. During the briefing, MD KWSB Misbahuddin Farid stated that KWSB had established the Monitoring Cell on the very first reports regarding Naegleria Protozoa. He said we are testing the water as per WHO standards, ensuring that the water supply does not contain any contamination or bacteria.
Farid further stated that the water supplied to Karachi was added with ample amount of chlorine according to the standard formula. The chlorination process is carried out on a specific formula because excess amount of chlorine could be dangerous to health. He said that KWSB is ensuring that 2.5 ppm chlorine is added at all six filter plants.
Answering to a question regarding awareness campaign, he said that KWSB had distributed more than one million pamphlets among the citizens, and took all necessary actions with full collaboration of Minister Health Dr Sagheer Ahmed and elected MPAs.
He said that 25 chemists were working on 6 filter plants and they test more than 150 samples daily. Furthermore, KWSB is doing all in its power to supply with clean water but the chlorine evaporates from water after a certain period. However, this chlorine cleans the water before evaporation.
Talking about difference in reports, he said that KWSB had advised health department, relevant town health officers, secretary health and EDO health to ensure better sampling process and a collaborative strategy should be devised and instead of collecting independent samples, all samples should be collected collaboratively. He said that KWSB was fully aware of its responsibilities as they were fulfilling their responsibility to keep citizens safe and provide them with a clean supply. We crosscheck our chlorination process and then further ensure it by taking samples from different points.
Later on, he briefed the journalists about the filtration process and the testing process. He took journalist to visit the chlorinators, laboratory and answered their questions during the Q&A session held right after.
MD KWSB has requested the citizens, associations and mosque committees to ensure the cleansing of their underground tanks and overhead tanks. He also requested owners and associations of hospitals, schools, colleges, shopping malls and offices to ensure the cleansing of their water tanks. He said that the mud settled in the bed of these tanks affect the efficiency of chlorine since the mud in such tanks dissolves the chlorine within half an hour.
He requested the media personnel to understand that the only authentic test report is that provided by KWSB and invited them to visit KWSB laboratories whenever they want. ppi