Drought is a rising trend globally due to global warming and vanishing water resources. According to latest estimates by United Nations, droughts may hit and affect more than three quarters of the world’s population by 2050 while according to World Meteorological Organisation last year’s report, the number and duration of droughts have risen 29% since start of this century, which really highlights need for early action to avoid disastrous results for humanity and environment.
As regards Pakistan, the country has witnessed an extended dry spell and high temperatures before the onset of pre-monsoon season and as a result faced severe water shortages.
In the area of Cholistan, animals were seen dying due to shortage of water. This is once again a reflection of how much our country is vulnerable to climate change and this should ring alarm bells in quarters concerned to take requisite steps to avert droughts that risk our food security.
Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman, the other day, stated that Pakistan would face water scarcity by 2025 if we failed to protect our rivers.
We really need to work on war footings to protect our water resources from all sorts of pollution as well as ensuring their better management and conservation.
We will have to think out of box to avert drought like situation. Apart from accelerating work on construction of mega dams in order to save precious water in monsoon season, it is important to implement projects such as one proposed by Vice Chancellor of Islamia University Bahawalpur Athar Mahboob for establishment of a special agro economic zone in Cholistan by increasing rainfall there through a meteorological system developed by scientists of the University.
Indeed successful implementation of such innovative projects in Cholistan and other regions will guarantee our food security and help avert drought like situation.
We will suggest that climate experts and academicians like Athar Mahboob sit together and chart out a way forward to deal with problems posed by climate change.
We will have to take this challenge head on to provide a secured future to our coming generations.