KARACHI             -           An estimated amount of Rs30 million would be required to update the essential testing facilities available at the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) laboratories.

This was stated during a meeting chaired by provincial secretary for environment, climate change and coastal development, Khan Mohammad Mahar at the SEPA head office.

Provincial Head of World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), Dr Babar Ali, Special Secretary for Environment, Navaid A Awan, Deputy Secretary (one), Tipu Sultan, Deputy Secretary (two) Junaid Rajput, Additional Deputy General, EPA-Sindh, Waqar Hussain Phulpoto, Director, EPA - Sindh, Dr. Ashiq Langah and other senior professionals present on the occasion reviewed existing human power capacities as well as the strength of technical resources at the SEPA disposal.

Mahar, on the occasion, appreciated WWF - Sindh for extending needed support in terms of essential training of SEPA staff besides in-depth assessment of available expertise and status of relevant gadgets/equipments. It was observed with satisfaction that WWF has trained SEPA field staff from Karachi and Hyderabad and has also supported the agency in a study to assess solid and liquid waste generated by local industrial units.

 WWF - Sindh was also appreciated for undertaking an extensive exercise to assess laboratory requirements at SEPA in accordance to existent situation in terms of emerging modes of pollution, use of chemicals and so-forth.

It was emphasized that protection of environment and containment of pollution of all categories were prerequisite for sustainable development, demanding proper coordination among all concerned departments and stakeholders.

“The Sindh Government has therefore entered into an agreement with the WWF-Sindh to not only enhance SEPA capacities but also improve its deliverance of services,” said Mahar.

Advisor to the Sindh Chief Minister for Law, Environment, Climate Change and Coastal Development Barrister Murtaza Wahab was said to be strictly committed to combating the menace of pollution and help raise life quality and health standards of the citizens.

Dr. Babar shared in detail steps being taken by his organization to raise public awareness about safe atmosphere and the diverse role that could be played by people in general for their safety against pollution and environmental degradation.

He also offered to help EPA-Sindh in compilation of relevant data enabling the policy makers to come forward with an effective and efficient interventional strategies urgently needed in the province.