Mapping Lahore's Water (Ine)quality

Mapping Lahore's Water (Ine)quality

Access to clean drinking water, a right enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan, remains a luxury for about 70% of Pakistan’s population. This alarming statistic often casts a shadow of fatalism, suggesting an omnipresent and intractable problem of water quality across the nation. Our interdisciplinary presentation, however, dispels this gloom by illuminating the variances in bacterial loads, their correlation with socio-economic divides, and the  possible collective actions for remedying the situation. Employing a systematic study of over 1,200 households from Lahore's private housing societies to working-class informal communities, we offer a microcosmic view of specific contamination hotspots, enriched by bacterial profiling, ethnographic inquiry, and household surveys. Through this mixed-methods research we uncover layers of deliberate neglect contributing to the crisis and share our grassroots experience in initiating awareness, public advocacy campaigns, collective protests, and legal actions. More broadly, we offer a glimpse into how interdisciplinary research, coupled with proactive advocacy, can serve as a potent tool in addressing the complexities of societal issues like water access.

This talk is part of the Political Economy of Development Series at MHRC.


Speakers: Dr. Ameem Lutfi  (LUMS), Dr. Nousheen Zaidi  (Cancer Research Centre / University of Punjab),

Date: 24th April 2024

Time: 5:00 - 7:00 PM

Where: VC Lounge, First Floor,

Main Entrance Academic Block, LUMS.

Limited seats are available for this event.

Register using this form to guarantee a spot.

Registrations closing on Wednesday,  24th April at noon.



Dr. Ameem Lutif  (Speaker):

Dr. Ameem Lutfi is a historical anthropologist specializing in transnational mobility and military-labor markets. His current book project titled ‘Conquest Without Rule: Baloch Portfolio-Mercenaries in the Indian Ocean’ looks at state-building in the region from the perspective of a diasporic group which has maintained a strong presence in the military infrastructure of various states in the region since at least the 16th century despite not having a state of their own. Lutfi holds a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University. Prior to joining MEI, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Oriental Institute at the Czech Academy of Sciences. In 2023, he was awarded the ‘Engaged Research’ grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation. This prestigious grant recognizes projects that demonstrate a commitment to engaging with marginalized communities not just as research subjects, but as partners in a collaborative effort to 'expand anthropological knowledge, combat inequality, and help communities flourish.'.


Dr. Nousheen Zaidi  (Speaker):

Dr. Nousheen Zaidi received her doctoral degree in biochemistry from Eberhard Karls University, in 2018. After completing her Ph.D. training, she moved to New York City and started her postdoctoral research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. There she worked from 2009 to 2010. In early 2011, Dr. Zaidi joined the Drug Discovery Group, Oncology, Johnson and Johnson (J&J;), Belgium as a postdoctoral research associate. At J&J;, she worked on a project related to tumor metabolism. In late 2012, Dr. Zaidi moved to Lahore to join the faculty of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Punjab University. Her research focuses on tumor metabolism that has emerged as one of the most exciting and dynamic fields of research for academic and industrial scientists working in cancer therapeutics. Dr. Zaidi is mainly interested in studying the role of de novo lipid synthesis pathways in cancer cell development, progression, and survival. To explore the relative importance of dietary and endogenously synthesized lipids for cancer cell progression is one of her ongoing/future projects' key aims. Currently, she is also a visiting scientist at Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) (2017-2021) (Supported by Georg Forster Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers by the Humboldt Foundation, 2017- 21). In addition, she is serving as a director of Cancer Research Centre (CRC) | University of the Punjab since Dec 2019.







5:00 - 7:00 PM (PKT)

Mahbub ul Haq Research Centre at LUMS

Postal Address


Sector U, DHA

Lahore Cantt, 54792, Pakistan

Office Hours

Mon. to Fri., 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Contact Information

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