ISLAMABAD                  -              In the wake of the coronavirus-imposed lockdown across the nation, the Ministry of Climate plans to turn the deadly crisis into an opportunity to improve the overall environment of Pakistan. Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, advisor to PM on Climate Malik Amin said, “With the influence of Ministry of climate, Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved a project to plant 10 billion trees (Tsunami project) despite of the lockdown in the rest of the country”.

Apart from evergreen trees, the Prime Minister has also supported the idea of planting fruit-bearing trees as advised by the Ministry, said Malik Amin.  He added that around sixty-five thousand workers were hired across Pakistan for this special task. The workers are working on both rural as well as urban areas of the country on a daily basis and are given higher wages because of the lockdown and spiking poverty. Explaining the figures, he stated that the daily wagers are given rupees 500 to 600 per day.

As the global lockdown has visibly lowered air pollution levels, cleaned waterways and repaired the punctured ozone layer, the tsunami tree project is being re-continued with a hope to further clean the environment of Pakistan. The ambient air quality around Islamabad has been recorded to be excellent with the lowest ratio of environmental pollutants witnessed in years. 

Talking exclusively with The Nation, Ms Farzana Altaf from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that air pollution has been minimal in recent days. She stated that owing to the closure of factories and industries, the environment of our country is steadily improving.  

As stated by Malik Amin, the plantation of these trees will help daily wagers of our country to earn in a time of crisis. Additionally, Malik Amin also stated that in different parts of the country, multiple fruit trees are also been grown which will help in rejuvenating the economy. Apart from these environmental steps taken by the Climate Ministry, the government is expected to receive a total of Rs 200 billion from the World Bank to fight the pandemic.

Malik Amin revealed that a fund of rupees 9.5 billion has been given by WB to the government and an additional 10 billion is also expected to be delivered in the coming days.  While most of the fund will be used to recover from the economic crisis, a portion of the money will also be used to tackle water shortage across the nation. The remaining funds will be saved to be used in the time when the economy of Pakistan is fully recovered from coronavirus, as advised by the PM, said SAPM on climate.