Disease in Eluru and Water Pollution - Daily Current Affair Article

References

Recently about 550 people have been infected with a mysterious disease in the city of Eluru in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

Introduction

  • 550 people have become infected with a disease in the city of Eluru in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. It has been discovered by expert teams from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and state and other central institutes that the cause of this disease is the presence of heavy elements like nickel and lead in drinking water and milk. This fact has also been confirmed by the Chief Minister's Office of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Due to this disease people started having problems like epileptic seizures, fainting, nervousness, vomiting, and back pain.
  • According to the Chief Minister's release, more than 370 people have been cured and 120 others are undergoing treatment.

Causes of illness

  • According to scientists, the cause of this disease is heavy elements like nickel and lead present in drinking water.
  • It is possible that the disease was caused by the flow of a chemical pesticide into the water.
  • Thus the cause of this disease is water pollution.

Water Pollution

Water pollution refers to the negative changes in water quality. This means the contamination of water bodies such as lakes, rivers, oceans, and groundwater. Water pollution not only affects the plants and organisms of these water bodies but also affects the lives of humans along with terrestrial organisms.

Water pollution in India

Water pollution is one of the biggest hazards in India. As a result of water pollution, evergreen rivers like the Ganges, Yamuna, which is called the lifeline of India, have also been polluted.

The reason for water pollution in India

  • Industrial waste
  • Improper activities in agriculture
  • Reduced water quality of rivers flowing in the plains
  • Social and religious customs, such as shedding bodies in the water, bathing, throwing garbage
  • Oil spills
  • Acid rain
  • Global warming
  • Eutrophication
  • Inadequate disposal of industrial waste disposal
  • Denitrification

Effects of water pollution

  • Nuclear particles found in the aquatic elements from nuclear tests in the oceans affect marine organisms and flora, affecting the marine ecology balance.
  • Maximum water pollution is responsible for cholera, dysentery, decay, abdominal problems in humans.
  • Disorders occur in the children of pregnant women affected by consuming polluted water. In which disease becomes even the cause of death.
  • Thus water pollution is a problem for both health and ecology.
  • The magnitude of per capita disease impact in India was 40 times that of China and 12 times that of Sri Lanka due to lack of safe water and sanitation in 2016.
  • The total cases of waterborne diseases in India are around 2 crore which results in about 2000 to 3000 deaths per year.
  • According to the Global Health Observatory Data Repository of the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of deaths due to diarrhea due to insufficient water, sanitation, and hygiene in 2016 was 2,43,551.

The governments initiative to stop water pollution

  • On August 15, 2019, the Prime Minister launched the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) under which piped water will be supplied to every rural household.
  • Union Cabinet constitutes Ministry of Jal shakti. This ministry launched the Jal Shakti Abhiyan in 256 water-deficit districts across the country on 1 July 2019.
  • Atal Bhoo Jal Yojna envisages sustainable groundwater management mainly through convergence between various schemes with an emphasis on demand measures with the active participation of local communities and stakeholders.
  • An overall water management index CWMI has been developed by NITI Aayog. It measures hygiene across 9 broad areas with 28 different key performance indicators.
  • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has been launched by the government for cleanliness in all its forms.

The conclusion

Although agencies of the World Health Organization, Central Agency, and State Government are working to prevent this disease, but a permanent solution to the problem of water pollution is necessary. For this, the public as well have to play their role. For this, it is necessary to bring a mass movement for water pollution like the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

General Studies Paper 2
  • Social Justice and Health-related issues

Mains Question:-

  • Around 550 people have been infected with a mysterious disease in the town of Eluru in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. Water pollution is at its core. What do you understand about water pollution? Discuss the measures taken by the government to prevent water pollution?