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LAHORE: “Despite Pakistan is the 5th most populous country in the world, water scarcity is a very serious threat, which will be aggravated by 2025, leaving very limited water for use. Pakistan has witnessed a 400 percent decline in its water capita ratio from 5600 cubic meter per capita in 1947 to 1038 cubic meter per capita in recent years, and this is a matter of serious concern”.

This was revealed by Parliamentary Secretary of Ministry of National Health Services Regulation and Coordination Dr Nausheen while addressing a webinar titled “Water on the roll: Improving access to water in Pakistan” by Bayer Pakistan, to mark their H2O water wheel project.

Dr Nausheen said: “The inadequate supply of water further aggravates the situation of food and security affecting the lives and livelihood of the poor and deprived communities in Pakistan besides, Pakistan is among top ten countries with the greatest number of people living without access to safe water. Contaminated water is the main reason why Pakistan has still not been able to eradicate polio from the country while infant mortality because of diarrhea (whose source is contaminated water) is also a very big issue in Pakistan.”

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Malik Amin Aslam said on the occasion that climate change is a reality in Pakistan. On a policy level, we are focused on nature-based solutions (like tree plantation) to climate changes.

“Pakistan is certainly a water scarce country but Pakistan is not a country without water,” he said.

“We are now trying to restore our wetlands and store the water that gets wasted through our macro level project ‘Recharge Pakistan’ that is aimed at Pakistan’s water security through cost-effective ecosystem-based adaptation,” he added.

CEO and MD Bayer Pakistan Imran Ahmad Khan said that being a life-science company Bayer is carrying out targeted interventions to help underserved communities across Pakistan.

“Our aim is to make their livelihood better through easy access to water that is used for different purposes like hygiene, sanitation, farming etc,” said Imran.

It may be noted that H2O water wheels are specially designed 40 litre drum containers with handles which enable people to roll water from its source rather than carry it on their heads the traditional way; in terracotta pots. The project will benefit approximately 14,000 people directly in rural areas of Sindh and Punjab.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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