Need to take steps to fight cli­mate changes

The Pak Banker - - National -

IS­LAM­ABAD: Speak­ers at a work­shop on Wed­nes­day stressed the need to take en­hanced mea­sures to fight cli­mate changes.

Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment with sup­port of UNICEF, Pak­istan, has or­gan­ised the Na­tional Con­sul­ta­tive Work­shop on WASH adap­ta­tion plan for cli­mate change on Wed­nes­day. Joint Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment Saqib Aleem, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral (En­vi­ron­ment) Javed Ali Khan, Dr. Arshad M. Khan, Global Cli­mate Change Im­pact Study Cen­tre, D.G Pak. EPA, Asif Shuja Khan, Umer Khat­tab, Chief WASH Pro­gram, UNICEF and other high of­fi­cials of En­vi­ron­ment Min­istry, UNICEF and En­vi­ron­men­tal­ists par­tic­i­pated in the Work­shop.

Joint Sec­re­tary Saqib Aleem, while ad­dress­ing the Work­shop, said that Pak­istan is among those coun­tries which are most vul­ner­a­ble due to cli­mate change and global warm­ing. The fre­quency and cost of nat­u­ral dis­as­ters have risen dra­mat­i­cally in the re­gion and par­tic­u­larly in Pak­istan. Ris­ing tem­per­a­tures and re­duced pre­cip­i­ta­tion in the re­gion, par­tic­u­larly in Pak­istan, will ex­ac­er­bate wa­ter scarcity and wa­ter con- tam­i­na­tion. He said that there is an emerg­ing ev­i­dence of cli­mate change ef­fects on hu­man health due to poor WASH prac­tices, driven by wa­ter scarcity of wa­ter con­tam­i­na­tion.

Wa­ter avail­abil­ity per capita has de­creased at an alarm­ing rate from 5,300 cu­bic me­ters to 1100 cu­bic me­ters. He warned that the chal­lenge is fur­ther ag­gra­vated by ground-wa­ter pol­lu­tion and de­ple­tion, rapid ur­ban­iza­tion and growth of ur­ban slums and squat­ter set­tle­ments.

He told the par­tic­i­pants that our wa­ter re­sources are de­te­ri­o­rat­ing, both quan­ti­ta­tively and qual­i­ta­tively and con­se­quently, in­ad­e­quate wa­ter sup­ply, san­i­ta­tion and hy­giene re­sult in the high in­ci­dence of wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion re­lated dis­eases, which in turn in­crease mor­bid­ity and mor­tal­ity rates and pose a ma­jor threat to the sur­vival and devel­op­ment of Pak­istani chil­dren.

He told that it has been es­ti­mated that wa­ter, san­i­ta­tion and hy­giene re­lated dis­eases cost Pak­istan econ­omy about Rs. 112 bil­lion per year, over Rs. 300 mil­lion a day, in terms of health costs and lost earn­ing. Joint Sec­re­tary said that this na­tional work­shop is a pi­o­neer­ing ef­fort to­wards sec­toral adap­ta­tion ini­tia­tives. -Pr

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