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Dire need to recycle waste water in Pakistan

KARACHI:
In a country like Pakistan where millions are deprived of the basic necessity of water, there is a dire need for adopting the culture of conservation and recycling of waste water, said International Union for Conservation of Nature country representative Mahmood A Cheema.

He said this at a seminar, titled ‘Why Waste Your Wastewater’, organised by Barrett Hodgson University (BHU) on Wednesday. The event was held at the university’s Salim Habib campus on the occasion of World Water Day, which is observed across the globe on March 22.

The experts at the session discussed the challenges and opportunities in raising awareness about the issue of meeting the water needs of Pakistan through reutilisation of waste water. BHU Vice-Chancellor Dr Arif Siddiqui said the university pledges to join hands to reduce and reuse waste water in order to help achieve sustainable development goals by raising awareness, informing, engaging and inspiring the people.

Addressing the audience, Dr Hina Baig from the National Institute of Oceanography highlighted the plight of the oceans. “The sustainable management and use of water, due to its vital role in food security or supporting valuable ecosystem services, underpins the transition to a resource efficient green economy,” she said.

Academicians, environmentalists and representatives of civic bodies from both public and private sector universities and professionals from non-governmental organisations attended the event. The World Water Day was proclaimed by the United Nations in 1992 and has been celebrated since 1993.

Addressing water problems

Pakistan is among the countries that can face severe food and water crisis due to increasing demand for water resources by the agriculture, industrial and domestic sectors, said World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF-Pakistan) Director-General Hammad Naqi Khan.

In a press statement issued by WWF-Pakistan, Khan said that major cities of Pakistan are already facing an acute shortage of clean drinking water that has resulted in the over-extraction of groundwater, depleting the aquifer. The theme of World Water Day this year is ‘why waste water’.

According to the World Health Organisation, there are over 663 million people living without a safe water supply near their homes. These people spend countless hours queuing to get water and coping with the health impacts of using contaminated water.

Muhammad Moazzam Khan, WWF-Pakistan’s technical adviser for marine fisheries, said the public is unaware of the measures that can be taken to reduce generation of wastewater. Practices of washing, bathing and even shaving in almost all households are not properly managed and a huge quantity of water is wasted, he said.

The theme for World Water Day this year encourages people around the world to rally together to take pragmatic steps for water conservation and maximise the use of wastewater to tackle food security and climate change impacts.

Source: The Express Tribune

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