The cultivation of vegetables grown from contaminated sewerage and industrial waste water continues in Malir and other rural locations despite disagreement from public representatives demonstrated through a resolution against the practice on March 06 in Sindh Assembly, while the medical experts believe that these vegetables were not fit for human consumption.
Sources told PPI that despite meager attempts by authorities to stop the malpractice, such vegetables continues to be cultivated on certain locations with no concrete action being taken to stop it.
A resolution was also put forward in Sindh Assembly to stop the cultivation but apparently the plea of the representative of the citizens fell on deaf ears. It is the duty of the authorities to provide masses with healthy edibles so that a healthy generation can be created.
“If authorities cannot control such elements then who will?” questioned Zarmina Tasneem, a resident of Gulshan-e-Iqbal. Secretary General Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Prof Mirza Ali Azhar said that sewerage water if only includes human or animal waste is not harmful as it could used as a fertilizer, however, if the waste water emitting out of the industries is used in crop cultivation it can have serious repercussions.
He said that different chemicals which are used in industries can cause different effects on human body, saying that most common were gastrointestinal (GIT) diseases including diarrhea and other stomach related diseases. He said if toxic substances blend with the blood of the patient then it might even damage the cells of brain, kidney, and other vital parts of the body. It can have severe implications on bloods vessel of the body as well.
He said that the toxic chemicals could even halt the growth of children due to damaged brain cells. He further said that the affected person could lose the sense of understanding.
Political circles are also concerned with the situation. Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi chief Muhammad Hussain Mehenti while talking to PPI said that the bureaucracy has become so negligent that despite the exposition of the matter, they are unable to control the situation and playing with the lives of the masses.
He said that there was no efficient check and balance system in place therefore everyone was doing as per his desire. He said that the openly sold sewerage and waste water vegetables were harmful for the health of the citizens while the situation needed attention from the authorities. He appealed to the Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Health Minister Sindh Dr. Sagheer Ahmed to take strict notice of the situation.
Sindh Minister for Environment Sheikh Muhammad Afzal in a statement has said that 25 to 30% vegetables were grown from waste or sewerage water and being openly sold in the markets of the metropolis. He said that action against those indulged in the practice was indispensable.