Poor water, sanitation cost kitty Rs 343b annually
Opening the session for discussion, Secretary Climate Change Mahmood Alam mentioned to the worrisome situation and called upon the donors to help Pakistan execute water and sanitation related projects to meet Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He said, according to a World Bank Study of 2006 annual total environmental losses were recorded at Rs 365 billion with Rs 112 billion losses due to poor water quality and sanitation facilities.
“But, these losses have now rose to Rs 343 billion that incur on curing the water borne diseases like diarrhea, hepatitis, malaria and infant mortality caused by lack of proper water and sanitation system.” Mentioning to various commitment and measures by the government, the Secretary said, the government is embarking on implementation of National and Provincial Sanitation and Drinking Water policies.
“We have been successful in undertaking UN initiative on Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water (GLAAS),” he added. Mahmood Alam said, Pakistan remains committed to enhance sectoral allocation by one percent of the overall PRSP by 2015 to meet 2013-15 resource gap of US$ 750 million and mobilize external assistance for an additional US$ 200 million annually to meet MDGs.
Regarding the commitments, he mentioned to developing National Sector Action Plan to implement policies and constituting Task Forces on up-scaling rural sanitation as well as on Wash programme for disaster preparedness and response to urban challenges in the present climatic changes scenario. He informed the representatives of the donors like World Bank, UN agencies and private sector organizations that debriefing was meant for soliciting support from the donors in follow-up of their commitments made at High Level Meeting to facilitate Pakistan achieve the MDGs on water and sanitation by 2015.