ISLAMABAD: The water situation in FATA is better than other parts of the country, but water conservation and management needs improvement, chief of the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) said on Monday.
Citing the first-ever study on water resources in FATA that was carried out the council, he said that this was the first such research compiled by the federal government in tribal areas.
Not long ago, most tribal regions were virtually ‘no-go’ areas where local and foreign militants roamed free.
For years, the precarious security situation and presence of extremist militant groups prevented authorities from carrying out any development work in FATA.
A semblance of normalcy returned to the area in the wake of successive military operations. Authorities concerned can now focus on development work and population welfare projects.
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Although FATA’s status is still uncertain, various initiatives are under way for reviving the local economy.
The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) functions under the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Chairman of PCRWR Dr Muhammad Ashraf said that the study mainly focused on existing water resources in FATA, ground water situation, contamination level and water management.
The study was carried out after the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) requested PCRWR to carry out a detailed water resource analysis in FATA.
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“This is the first time in the country’s history that a study has been conducted on available water resources, conservation and management in FATA has been carried out … It also identified various water issues, suggesting ways for improving the situation in this regard,” he said.
The detailed report has already been handed over to the FATA secretariat, which appreciated the effort, he said.
He said that the report suggested that the water situation in FATA was better than other parts of the country, but water conservation and management needed to improve.
“I appreciate the FATA secretariat for its cooperation … It provided an enabling environment to our teams, allowing them to complete the challenging task with ease,” said Ashraf.
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