ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the prime minister on climate change Malik Amin Aslam Khan has said that Pakistan needs an integrated flood risk management system which is economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sustainable.
The adviser was chairing a high level meeting on development of a long-term project on “integrated flood plain management” along the River Indus for diverting and storing flood water through ecological infrastructure.
Federal secretary climate change Shahrukh Nusrat, Additional secretary Khurram Ali Agha, IG Forests Syed Mehmood Nasir, representatives from Flood Commission, Ministry of Planning, EAD, Ministry of Finance and WWF were also present in the meeting.
IG Forests briefed about recommendations of the Ramsar Mission to Pakistan. The convention’s aim is the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world.
The adviser said that Pakistan is not water scarce country, but unfortunately due to lack of infrastructure and mismanagement a huge quantity of water is wasted every year. He said that Pakistan is blessed with wetlands where they can store flood waters and use it to cater to water-related needs.
Representatives from WWF gave a detailed presentation on Recharge Pakistan integrated flood risk management project. They informed that the concept paper has been shared with the Asian Development Bank (ABD), World Bank, and other international experts to receive pre-feasibility assessment feedback.
The adviser agreed with the main idea of the project seems fine but said it is necessary to conduct a detailed feasibility study by keeping in view environmental evaluation and cost benefit analysis of the proposed water storage sites.
He further said that people residing in the federal capital are also facing water scarcity issues. Therefore, the government intends to launch a pilot project of water storage in Islamabad which would be the first project in the ‘Recharge Pakistan’ drive and will further taken to the national level.