ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan has said that efficient management of the rapidly depleting freshwater resources across the world, particularly in developing countries like Pakistan is inevitable for achieving socio-economic sustainable development goals.
He stated this during a high-level international ministerial session on the sidelines of the 7th World Water Forum (7th WWF) being held in Daegu, South Korea under the theme `Water for Our Future'.
The 7th WWF is a global event organized every three years by the World Water Council (WWC) in collaboration with the authorities of the host country, with core aim of coping with growing global water challenges collectively, said a press release.
The Pakistani delegation, headed by the Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan is attending the event. The delegation also joined the world water community at the 7th WWF in welcoming the anticipated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on water & sanitation and other water-related targets in the SDGs for the next 15 years period, following the Millennium Development Goals, to be adopted in September 2015 at the United Nations General Assembly.
Quoting UNICEF data, Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan in his address highlighted that nearly 750 million people around the world lack access to safe water (Around one in nine people) and diarrhea caused by unsafe drinking water and bad sanitation causes an estimated 842,000 [avoidable] deaths every year globally (some 2,300 people per day).
A significant portion of 180 million population in Pakistan is still without adequate clean drinking water and safe sanitation facilities. However, the present government is making all-out efforts improve the grim situation of water and sanitation coverage in the country in collaboration with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, he added.
“Water issues are no more matters of a single country or region, rather these are global issue. However, tackling the issue of growing water shortage requires global solidarity and joint counter-measures," he stressed and cautioned the global water community that failing to do so will only jeopardise initiatives in diffident countries including Pakistan being taken for achieving sustainable development goals.
Tackling water challenges has become a global topic for the 21st century. Besides, water issues have been political issues in many nations including Pakistan. Therefore, it is hoped that interested parties (governments, the academic world, private organizations and interest groups) will strive to find viable solutions [at this 7th WWF] to cope with global water challenges.
During his address, the minister also drew attention of the global water community's attention towards the water crisis in Pakistan, which is aggravating rapidly due to climate change.
Highlighting the present Pakistani government's sensitivity towards water, Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan told the participants of the ministerial session, “The present government of Pakistan has prioritised water conservation as top political agenda and central to the water, food and energy security in the country."
“I will, however, urge upon the global community for technology transfer, exchange of technical know-how and launch of capacity-building among each other and joint research and development programmes for tackling common water-related issues and boosting efficiency in application of water at all levels, mainly agriculture, industry and domestic," the minister concluded.