Lack of sanitation a problem and an opportunity

Adviser on climate change says thousands in Pakistan still deprived of toilets, clean drinking water

​ Our Correspondent September 20, 2019
Representational Image (PHOTO: STOCK IMAGE)

ISLAMABAD: Sanitation is a critical issue for the country but it also represents a business opportunity for the private sector.

This was stated by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam on Thursday as he addressed the closing ceremony of a workshop relating to sanitation in the federal capital.

“We have been looking at the sanitation issue from the lens of a crisis but the correct lens is of opportunity,” he stated, adding that the “Clean Green Pakistan movement is a trigger to make opportunities available to the public and private departments.”

He further added that just like there is money to be made in waste management and its treatment, it is time that these established global business models are used as an opportunity in Pakistan.

“Thousands of people did not have clean drinking water while thousands of others are deprived of toilets,” Aslam said, adding that a large quantity of waste in the country is dumped untreated either into large water bodies or under the open sky which was polluting the environment.

“The Clean Green Pakistan movement is serving as a precursor to the upcoming demand for sanitation,” the adviser to the PM stated.

He further said that under the government’s environmental drive, an index will be launched in 21 cities next month. The best performers according to the index will be rewarded.

Regarding the introduction of electric vehicles in the country, he said that a draft policy has been sent to the federal cabinet while the ministry had also started a green financing fund to move the initiative forward.

Pakistan is no stranger to waste management with the services outsourced in at least three cities of the country. Rawalpindi has contracted the Turkish company Albayrak for its waste management. In Lahore, Albayrak and Ozpak jointly manage the waste of the metropolitan city.  In the megalopolis of Karachi, the task had been outsourced to a Chinese firm.

The federal capital, despite repeated attempts, had failed to outsource its waste management services after the Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (IMC) could not come to an agreement with waste management firms  — some of which were Chinese, terming their services too expensive for the city.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2019.


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