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The contamination of fresh drinking water makes it harder for people to find clean water supplies and increases the prevalence of waterborne diseases.Consequently, most of the reported health problems in Pakistan are either a direct or indirect result of polluted water.Although NGOs and government departments have taken initiatives to stop environmental degradation, Pakistan's environmental issues still remain.
This leads to further degradation of the environment and subsequently increases poverty.
This has led to what the World Bank refers to as a "vicious downward spiral of impoverishment and environmental degradation." The World Bank report in 2013 stated that Pakistan's top environmental issues include air pollution, inadequate supply of uncontaminated drinking water, noise pollution and the health deterioration of urban and rural populations due to pollution.
According to a recent study, the Sindh Environment Protection Department claims that the average level of pollution in big cities is approximately four times higher than the World Health Organisation's limits.
These emissions have detrimental effects, including "respiratory diseases, reduced visibility, loss of vegetation and an effect on the growth of plants." One of the greatest contributors to air pollution is industrial activity.
In 2018, a young entrepreneur in Karachi, Abid Omar, launched the Pakistan Air Quality Initiative to monitor air quality in Pakistan's big cities.
The project aims to increase the availability of air quality data in Pakistan and make citizens more aware of the health impacts of air pollution.The inadequate air emission treatments and lack of regulatory control over industrial activity has contributed to the deterioration of ambient air quality in major cities.In addition, the common practice of burning massive amounts of solid waste, including plastic and rubber, on street corners by the public, releases toxic gases, which are extremely harmful for residents in the area.According to the World Bank, 70% of Pakistan's population live in rural areas and are already stricken by high poverty levels.These people depend on natural resources to provide income and tend to overuse these resources.Hence in order to sustain economic growth there is a high demand on already scarce natural resources.However it is ironic that what the country depends on for its growth is also what threatens the future welfare and success of the country.On the other hand, water pollution generation is increasing largely due to the growing economy and population, and an almost complete lack of water treatment.The sources for water pollution include the overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the dumping of industrial effluent into lakes and rivers, untreated sewage being dumped into rivers and the ocean, and contaminated pipelines being used to transport water.These environmental concerns not only harm Pakistani citizens but also pose a serious threat to the country's economy.The report also stated that the increase in industrialization, urbanization and motorization will inevitably worsen this problem.