Strategy necessary to deal water scarcity, global warming, environmental pollution

ISLAMABAD: Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Sartaj Aziz Sunday underlined the need for evolving an effective strategy to tackle issues like water scarcity, negative impacts of global warming and increasing environmental pollution, describing them ‘man-made disasters.’

“Over the years, the NDMA has transformed into a vibrant body as it carried out extensive reconstruction and rehabilitation work after the October 8, 2005 earthquake in affected areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, but now we need a strategy to tackle man-made disasters,” he said while addressing a ceremony held in connection with 12th anniversary of the earthquake-2005 here at F-9 Park.

Elaborating the “man-made disasters,” Aziz said the country would be facing some of the biggest challenges in future including water scarcity due to insufficient water storage capacity, negative impacts of global warming and increasing environmental pollution. “We must prepare ourselves for such challenges,” he said.

The Deputy Chairman Planning Commission acknowledged services of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in natural calamities for rescue and relief of the affected people especially in the floods 2010 and 2011 that played havoc, claiming loss of precious lives and damaging public property and crops.

Sartaj highlighted importance of constructing more water dams and increasing the country’s water storage capacity, keeping in view the looming threats of water scarcity. He also stressed the need for creating awareness among public about water conservation and its wastage.

Chairman NDMA Lt Gen Umer Hayat Khan said the authority had proposed to observe October 8 as “National Resilience Day” from next year and the government had accepted the suggestion.

He said the aim behind observing the day with national spirit was to pay homage to the tragedy victims and create awareness among masses about adopting safety measures in natural calamities and other emergency situations.

The chairman thanked international donors for extending generous financial support in reconstruction of the damaged infrastructure and rehabilitation of the affected people.