Need to take steps to fight climate changes
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