Water is not only an essential commodity for human consumption, but it also plays a vital role in the growth of the economy, said Governor Mohammad Zubair on Thursday.
Speaking to a three-member delegation of the Hisaar Foundation, a non-profit which works on water and food security, Governor Zubair said that there is an urgent need to create awareness about the use of water with care. The Hisaar Foundation delegation included founder Simi Kamal, and Ashraf Kapadia and Zohair Ashir from its Board of Governors.
“We must all join hands to work for improving access to water for the poor and landless by maximising water use efficiency, financing the urban and rural water economies and the water value chain, safe guarding the Indus Basin, its aquifers and its infrastructure, improving water governance and management of water institutions, building a base for science, technology and the social aspects of water,” the Sindh governor said.
He added that farmers should also be trained to use irrigation water efficiently according to the soil’s need and lessen overuse or wastage of the precious resource. Zubair stressed on the importance of bringing young people on board and training them in conserving and managing water resources.
The water sector in Pakistan needs focus and direction which will result in the enhancement of water economy and enable all the provinces and regions of Pakistan to collaborate in the implementation of national plan of action, he said.
Talking about the water needs of Karachi, the governor said that the K-IV Greater Karachi Water Supply Scheme has been initiated keeping in view the city’s growing population and its needs, and the first phase of the project will be completed this year. Its second phase would be started soon while another scheme for potable water supply has been included in Karachi Development Package, he added.
Reversing the trends of water pollution, wasteful water use and consumption, irresponsible mining of groundwater, sea-water intrusion and managing other related problems are of paramount importance, Zubair said, adding that a national water policy that the foundation has prepared would be helpful in that regard.
“The government assigns great importance to safe drinking water, sanitation, agriculture, rural and urban development,” he said. “Cooperation between provincial government, local and municipal bodies is needed to manage water under cohesive and well thought out water strategies and plans.”
Simi Kamal, the non-profit’s founder, briefed the governor about the challenges the water sector faces, their solutions and the way forward. She said that immediate action was needed to conserve precious water for our next generations and also highlighted salient features of National Water Policy drafted by her foundation.