Stakeholders, experts discuss water security issues

Quetta, November 05, 2015 (PPI-OT):On the directive of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, WADPA today organized a day-long consultative session at Quetta on water security issues in Pakistan. WAPDA Chairman Zafar Mahmood presided over the consultative session. Speaking on the occasion, he informed the participants about the purpose for organizing the session. He said that the Prime Minister has assigned WAPDA the task to consult water-sector stakeholders to finalize the Prime Minister’s initiatives on water security.

This is the fourth consultative session following the three, which were conducted in October at Lahore, Islamabad and Hyderabad, he added. Dilating upon significance of water for live, he said that the issue of water availability in the country due to rapid increase in population is getting from bad to worse with each passing day, which requires our utmost attention.

Appreciating the active participation of the Government of Balochistan, other stakeholders and water-sector experts in the consultative session, he expressed the hope that their recommendations will help develop and inter-provincial understanding to devise a national policy on water security.

On the outset of the session, WAPDA Advisor Dr. Izhar-ul-Haq briefly introduced the issues concerning water security in Pakistan. Later, stakeholders and water-sector experts made detailed deliberations on water security with special reference to water-deficient Balochistan.

Balochistan Additional Chief Secretary Naseebullah Khan Bazai discussed in detail water scarcity issues in Balochistan, challenges and targets. Irrigation Department Chief Engineer Syed Pervaiz Bukhari apprised the participants about irrigation issues of Balochistan. Dr. Iftikhar Ahmed, Chairperson Geology Department, University of Balochistan spoke of climate changes in relation to water resources in Balochistan.

Public Health Engineering Department Project Director Javaid Ahmed dilated upon water supply issues in Quetta and the province. Nilofer Jamil, Chairperson Environmental Sciences Department, Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University Quetta briefed the session about individual environmental responsibilities regarding water issues. Balochistan Agriculture Department Director General Abdul Wahab Khan made his recommendations on efficient utilization of water in command area of water resources.

Pakistan Council for Research in Water Resources Director Syed Bashir Ahmed Agha suggested ways and means for ground water recharge and issues related to it. Balochistan Agriculture Research and Development Council Senior Scientific Officer Nadeem Sadiq threw light upon utilization of flash floods and command area development.

Dr. Maqsood Ahmed from University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences, Quetta gave a rundown of the institutional and governance issue relating to ground water. Dr. Irfan Malik from University of Agriculture, water and Marine Sciences, Lasbela expressed his views about depletion of ground water. Zamindar Action Committee Balochistan Secretary General Haji Abdul Rehman explained water issues of the province.

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) provincial programme Manager Faiz Muhammad Kakar presented an overall view of water issues in Balochistan. WASA Director Technical Imran Hameed Durrani made a presentation on the issues of water supply to Quetta. While Professor Dr. Salahuddin from Balochistan University of Engineering and Technology, Khuzdar embarked upon utilization of flash floods.

It is pertinent to mention that a large number of stakeholders, water sector experts and academia from across Balochistan attended the session. The participants include Balochistan Planning and Development Additional Chief Secretary, Provincial Secretaries of various departments of the Government of Balochistan namely Irrigation, Agriculture, Public Health Engineering, Environment, and Forests, representatives from the provincial departments i.e. Wildlife, Local Government and Rural Development, Planning and Development, Social Welfare and Women Development and Urban Planning.

Besides, representatives from University of Balochistan Quetta, University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences Quetta, Balochistan University of Engineering and Technology Khuzdar, University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences Lasbela, Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University Quetta and University of Turbat, QESCO Chief Executive Officer also attended the consultative session.

For more information, contact:
Muhammad Abid Rana
Director Public Relations
Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA)
G-32, WAPDA House, Lahore
Tel: +92-42-99202633
Fax: +92-42-99203144
Cell: +92-333-4458293