‘Politicians need to tell people to go green’

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The country’s politicians in the country need to mobilise people, NGOs and government organisations in their respective areas to tackle environmental challenges, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Sindh Women Wing Information Secretary Sharmila Farooqui said on Friday.
“Pakistan is facing tremendous environmental challenges including deforestation, air pollution, increasing temperatures and water pollution,” she said while speaking as the chief guest at a conference organised by the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) at its City Campus to mark the World Earth Day 2011.
“This situation is not only causing food shortage, but also affecting human health,” she added. She said that the persisting environment issues affecting the people of the country are water pollution from raw sewage and industrial wastes and the majority of the population does not have access to potable water. “Deforestation, soil erosion and desertification are also affecting the people,” she added.
She said that according to a WWF report, forests currently cover only 2.5 percent of Pakistani land area, which is already low but despite this the country has the highest annual deforestation rate in Asia. She said another crippling environmental challenge in Pakistan is air pollution that is caused by smoking emitting vehicles, industrial combustion, construction, demolition, forest fires, wood burning, dust flying and other sources.
“Air pollution is on the rise in big cities of the country with each passing day. It is badly affecting human health and even causes deaths in some cases,” she said. She said the global warming that is also causing rise in temperatures in Pakistan and as a result, the country is facing water shortage every year and floods after every few years, hitting its agricultural sector and causing devastation, respectively.