Published Date: Mar 22, 2014
Water management, conservation stressed to avoid future conflicts
Rising water insecurities can propel conflicts in the future.
There is a need for conservation and proper management of water resources in the
country, a number of experts expressed at a seminar on ‘Water for Future:
Perspectives from Pakistan’ to mark the World Water Day 2014 here on Friday at
a local hotel.
The event was organized by leading development sectors organizations including
Oxfam, SPO, SDPI, IUCN, PARC, Indus Consortium, in partnership with Mobilink
Abid Suleri, Executive Director SDPI said that there is a need for greater
political wisdom to address policy gaps in water related policies.
He said that the media and the civil society can play a key role in sensitizing
policy-makers over crucial issues.
Speaking at the occasion, Naseer Memon, Executive Director SPO highlighted that
there is no policy framework for water management in Pakistan.
Equity and access to clean water and sanitation have become major issues for a
number of local communities in the country.
Water variability is also high in the country; certain areas have higher
availability of water resources while others continue to suffer from severe
droughts. Policy frameworks should be developed at the provincial level, and
should be consolidated into a comprehensive framework for the country, he
Zaigham Habib observed that there is a need to ensure equitable water
distribution across Pakistan. Indigenous populations and communities should be
made part of the development process, he stressed.
Shahid Ahmed from the IUCN said that unless the sewage system is not properly
managed in Pakistan, water related issues cannot be resolved.
Pakistan also lacks severely in water-borne transportation. The biogas produced
from sewage can also be used as fuel for vehicles, he said.
He pointed out that water has become an increasingly scarce resource and as
energy demand grows, conflicts over water will increase. Competition over water
resources is already on a rise among municipalities, farmers, industrial and
power suppliers, as evident in many parts of the world including Pakistan.
Qamar Zaman, Senior Advisor Climate Change LEAD Pakistan, said that climate
change is now a priority agenda globally. However, the issue is not given as
much importance in Pakistan.