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ISLAMABAD: The government is likely to make conservation of rainwater mandatory for new commercial and residential buildings to be applicable across the country.

This was revealed by Dr Hifza Rasheed, Director General (WQ), Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources, while addressing an event on Pakistan Country Program Strategy (2023-28) organized by WaterAid.

Senator Seemee Ezdi, Senator Sitara Ayza and other participants emphasized the need to provide clean water to the masses and hand wash facility across the country.

WaterAid Pakistan’s new Country Program Strategy 2023 -2028 aims to accelerate WASH progress in the country. It focuses on making water, sanitation and hygiene services more resilient to climate change and prioritizing WASH across the health sector to improve public health.

Dr Hifza Rashid argued that most of the time such policies are formed which are not implementable but PCRWR is devising a plan which will be a low hanging fruit.

She further said that PCRWR is formulating a plan that envisages conservation of rain water on the roof of commercial and residential buildings. She also stated that 100 recharge wells have been constructed at different places by the CDA in the city.

Both the Senators also advocated provision of clean drinking water and wash facilities in the country so that the population is protected from water-borne diseases.

A panel discussion was also arranged to discuss the role of stakeholders, academia, and civil societies in improving WASH conditions in Pakistan. The panelists included Liaqat Ali, Executive Coordinator of the Doaba Foundation; Muhammad Nawaz, Climate Integration Lead at USAID Pakistan; Dr. Muhammad Rafiq, Head of the Center for Water Informatics and Climate Resilience at IM Sciences, Peshawar; and Sehr Afsheen, Country Representative of VSO shared their views and also responded to questions asked by the audience.

Muhammad Fazal, Head of Program Strategy and Policy at WaterAid, said that discussion with a commitment to collaborative actions by all stakeholders, academia, development agencies, government ministries, and parliamentarians is needed to mainstream access to WASH for all in all policies and plans.

Arif Jabbar Khan, Country Director reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to working hand in hand with local communities, government bodies, and organizations to ensure access to clean water and sanitation for all.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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