Water stress ‘real danger’ for Pakistan: Sherry

ISLAMABAD – Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman on Sunday said that water stress is a very real danger for Pakistan which is causing natural disasters like melting glaciers, patchy rainfall, and silting up of the Indus River as it heads towards south.

In a series of tweets on Twitter, the Minister wrote on her official handle, “It needs immediate action to prevent crop, livestock losses. 90 % of our agriculture depends on the Indus. No switch can be pulled overnight. Start by equity”.

The Minister also mentioned a news report link saying, “The UN lists Pakistan among ‘drought-hit’ countries – And rightly points out the need for urgent financing for 23 countries facing desertification. We also need capacity to even seek such financing, which is pledged at big tent conferences but never disbursed”.

She added that the equitable distribution of water as per the 1991 accord; budgeting for rain harvesting; switching to drip irrigation instead of flood irrigation; lining of canals; lifestyle changes to conserve water; recharging the Indus; stopping seawater intrusion at delta, and planting more mangroves to ward off the adverse effects of environmental degradation. She further said last year they (previous regime of PTI) slashed the budgets of  Ministry of Climate Change , adding, “and I protested on their behalf despite being in opposition. In this time of economic fragility I don’t know what’s possible in terms of expanding budgets. But working on upscaling core priorities to adaptation, sorely needed”.

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