LAHORE: Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) on Sunday announced a donation of Rs 1 million for construction of Diamer-Bhasha, Mohmand dams’ funds and expressed solidarity towards a noble cause raised by Prime Minister Imran Khan of raising funds for the much-needed dams.
In his statement issued here, he said it was high time to work as a nation and overcome menace of water scarcity through a national resolve to leave behind a better and prosperous country for the future generations.
He said rapid increase in population was the major contributing factor behind this phenomenon. So the country needs to construct more dams to enhance its water storage capacity to cope with the water requirements. He said a lack of storage capacity and infrastructure, 30 MAF water discharges into the sea during the flood season, causing a loss of billions of dollar annually to the country.
For a country that uses nearly 90% of its water resources for agriculture and depends on water to remain buoyant, this is ridiculous. What is more ridiculous is that we have known this for decades and have still not been able to build dams to stem the tide. He said an additional 20 million acres could be brought under irrigated agriculture if water was made available by constructing more dams.
Highlighting the current deplorable condition of water scarcity in the country, PFC chief said Pakistan is one of the 36 most water-stressed countries in the world. Pakistan is also in the top 10 of countries with the most people living without clean drinking water.
Currently, 16 million people in Pakistan have no other option than collecting unsafe water for drinking and cleaning, leading to massive amounts of water-borne disease.
He said fields are flooded with water from canals or tube wells. Other water scarce countries have moved to drip irrigation systems or sprinkler systems that use much less water. In addition, the waterways built to transport water from rivers are not lined, leading to transmission losses of up to 40 percent.
He said they would contribute more in coming days for the construction of dams as they would hold meetings with furniture makers, designers and investors in regard of setting up a joint platform for fund raising.
Mian Kashif said he is much optimistic that people would contribute generously in fund raising campaigns as Pakistanis are among the most charitable people in the world. “For Pakistan to become a more integral player in the sustainable development agenda, it needs to make efforts to institutionalise the individual tendency of giving and redirect it toward more-structured efforts,” he added.