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Pakistan government pledges clean water investment

President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday emphasized on adoption of state-of- the-art water conservation practices especially in the agricultural sector and treatment of the sewerage water to ensure optimum utilization of the water resources being the scarce and essential commodity for maintaining human life.

The President was addressing the inauguration ceremony of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Clean Drinking Water projects by Government of Sindh, here at the Chief Minister House.

The inaugurated projects were : 1) 20 large sea water Reverse Osmosis Desalination plants for residents of Keamari and Lyari towns of Karachi. (2) 500 Safe Drinking Water Hubs for 23 districts of Sindh under phase-I of this programme.

Pak Oasis has been given this task.

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party , Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Sindh Governor Dr. Ishratul Ebad Khan, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Shah, Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Deputy Speaker Syeda Shehla Raza , Provincial Ministers, MNAs , MPAs , PPP leaders, diplomats and senior government officials were present.

The President said that the unlike some other countries including those in the Middle East and Central Asia, Pakistan has been bestowed with sufficient water resources that needed optimum utilization and effective management.

Pointing out huge amount of water that was wasted in the agricultural sector from canal to the agricultural lands, the President emphasized that the trend needs to be urgently reversed by adoption of state of the art techniques and procedures in the agricultural sector.  ” We use 4,000 gallons per acre in one watering. Whereas, the plants do not need that much water,” he said.

He said that there was an urgent need to focus on installing sewerage water treatment plants in the country so that it could be re-used for irrigation and for making fertilizer.

” We can install small and medium sewerage treatments plants even in villages,” he said adding that Pakistan could be a big food basket of the region. The Central Asian states are facing food scare. For example, he said, Tajekistan has acute water shortage.

We can also supply all kind of food to Gulf states, he said.  Referring to geo-strategic location of the country, the President said that optimum utilization and effective management of the water resources can enable Pakistan to meet the water-requirements of the neighboring countries which are short of drinking water.

” I would encourage that this would be a big business of tomorrow,” he said.  Addressing the gathering the President said that the inauguration of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Drinking Water Programme would address one of the most serious issues of the people especially of the rural areas of the province who would now get safe and clean drinking water. Now, they would no longer depend on costly water tankers.

Their women-folk would no longer need to walk great distances to fetch water.

He said that we are following the vision of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto who wanted to empower the people without discrimination. She wanted to empower the people of Pakistan no matter where they lived, what faith they professed and how they looked like.

In line with her vision, the President said, the democratic government has taken a number of steps to provide the same facilities to the people in rural areas as are available to the people in cities and urban areas.

Spokesperson to the President while giving details of the Programme said that Phase-1 of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Drinking Water Programme will have 500 drinking water plants spread out across all of Sindh’s 23 districts.

These filtration and desalination plants will provide safe, clean drinking water daily to 1.5 million people in rural areas. Another 750 plants will be built under phase-2 of the program to be inaugurated in March 2013, This would serve another 2.25 million in rural areas in Sindh.

These plants, he said, would empower women villagers and reduce the health care costs of people, Now, the people will no longer fear getting sick from drinking impure or polluted water.

These drinking water plants would also contribute towards income saving of the villagers as they would no longer need to pay large sums to buy water from tankers.

The President commended the provincial government and all those associated with this initiative.

Earlier, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah also spoke on the occasion and thanked the President for his leadership and guidance in taking measures aimed at welfare and greater good of the people of the country.

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