Assessment of Freshwater Springs, Associated Diseases and Indigenous Perception in Ghizer, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

Shaukat Ali, Rubina `, Sadiq Hussain


Objective: To assess the quality of freshwater aquifers (springs) associated diseases, and indigenous perception in Ghizer, Gilgit-Baltistan.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted at the department of environmental science, Karakoram International University Gilgit after approval from departmental research committee. In order to get the most accurate results, 18 water samples in triplicates were collected according to our lab own set of sampling standard operating procedures (SOPs) using pre-sterilized bottles of 100 ml from June 2016 to August 2016 along with associated diseases record and structured interviews from indigenous population. For physicochemical and microbial assessment, samples were tested before five hours after collection and associated diseases and indigenous perception was analyzed using descriptive statistical techniques.

Results: Findings revealed that levels of pH, EC, phosphates, TDS, and nitrite, fall within WHO standards except nitrate, temperature and turbidity. The highest concentration (mgL-1± SE) of Hg in Barkolti and Barsat springs were (0.01±0.005) and (0.02±0.001) while Zn was (0.04±0.02) respectively. The concentration of Cu in Barkolti spring was (0.2±0.03) while in Barsat spring below the detection level. The concentration of Cd, Pb, Cr, and Fe in both springs fall within WHO permissible limits. The mean value of E. coli recorded in both Barkolti and Barsat aquifers were (1.08cfu±0.45) and (2.11cfu±0.56) respectively. The prevalence of water-associated diseases recorded in the order diarrhea,dysentery,typhoid,cholera,hepatitis and their incidence increases at high peak in summer. Irrespective of physicochemical and microbial components, indigenous population believed that the spring water has curative properties.

Conclusions: Physiochemical and microbial parameters of spring’s water fall within WHO standards except nitrate, turbidity, temperature, and E. coli, and incidence of certain associated diseases. However, indigenous population is unaware about the fact and believed that spring water very safe.


How to cite this:Ali S, Rubina, Hussain S. Assessment of Freshwater Springs, Associated Diseases and Indigenous Perception in Ghizer, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Pak J Med Sci. 2018;34(1):121-124.   doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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