The situation keeps getting harrowing and the insensitivity of the stakeholders continues – Pakistan is on the verge of facing the worst of hell arranged by water scarcity.
Oxfam Country Director Mohammed Qazilbash is of opinion that as 2018 is the election year, all the parties should make it clear in their manifesto that they recognize and are concerned about the issue of water scarcity.
In November 2017, PCRWR (Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources) delivered its gravest warning: ‘if the government does not take action, the country will run out of the water by 2025’.
HOW SEVERE ARE THE CONSEQUENCES:
More than 80% of the supplied water is considered unsafe. The waterborne diseases and scarcity are resulting in a loss of 1.44 percent of the GDP. Even with having the world’s largest glaciers, Pakistan is the 36th most water-stressed country in the world. With rapidly increasing population and controversial relationship with the neighbours over transboundary water resources – the crisis is posing a serious threat to Pakistan’s security and stability in the future.
Approximately 95% of the available water resources are used in agriculture. To avert the expected disaster, a collaborative effort is needed from citizens and needs to be equipped with effective policies.
Qazilbash said that despite the water governance bodies have been set up, they are not nearly effective in producing significant results because they have a minimal representation of women.
“43% of the labourers in the agricultural sector in Pakistan are women. They know how best to manage water and they know the actual value of water’’ – he said. Hence no policy can be implemented without their participation.
If prioritized and worked on properly, it can also serve as an engine of regional trade expansion and economy.
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