KARACHI: Since the monsoon rainy season has begun in the country, which causes damage to the infrastructure, increases health risks and aggravates other problems, forcing the citizens to confront the situation, WWF-Pakistan on Monday called for adopting integrated watershed management (IWM).
According to the official call of WWF-Pakistan, climate change impacts coupled with lack of effective water management and urban planning can cause environmental degradation, economic loss, political destabilization and eventually outbreak of various waterborne diseases among citizens.
To tackle the issue of widespread rains, WWF-Pakistan emphasizes promoting rainwater harvesting in rain-affected areas across the country. Hotspots must be identified for storage and reuse of water to address the issue of floods in urban and rural areas. An effective response strategy and mapping of areas where chances of inundation are high to medium should also be worked out. Early warning systems, regular cleaning of drains, and robust traffic planning can also help manage rainwater properly. WWF believes that plastic waste is playing havoc with the existing drainage system and warns that if adequate steps are not taken on time, monsoon rains can increase the miseries of citizens and cause more damages.
Commenting on the recent heavy rains in Karachi, Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General, WWF-Pakistan said that due to the impacts of climate change, Pakistan is likely to witness uneven rainfall and heatwave incidences. "To stop the wastage of rainwater, we should have effective water management systems in place. Green belts in urban areas can help capture rainwater that can enhance the water cycle. Hotspots should be identified and rainwater can be stored and reused for the industry as well as communities facing water shortage." He added that small scale rooftop rainwater harvesting techniques should be introduced such as fixing water storage tanks. On the other hand, large size floodwater ponds and reservoirs should be constructed and filled with rainwater. He also urged for a detailed analysis of the recent rainfall pattern in the city. "By adopting small and large scale interventions, we can handle the urban flooding and can reduce the shocks of high-intensity rainstorms," he added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2020