ISLAMABAD, July 27 (APP): Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) on Wednesday adopted Pakistan’s resolution on `Water and Sanitation in Asia for All’.
The resolution was tabled by Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan and Member National Asssembly Dr Ghazi Ghulab Jamal at the concluding day of the two-day Standing Committee meeting of `Asian Parliamentary Assembly’ on
`Economic and Sustainable Development Affairs’.
Talking to APP, Senator Mushahid said the issue of water and
sanitation was alarming and the Punjab government had decided to spend some 300 million dollars on the water and sanitation sector this year.
He said the richest donor Bill Gates always says that the biggest challenge is of water scarcity in Asian countries as its availability can only improve the sanitation.
He said around 600 million people only in India were facing water shortage while overall one billion in Asia could face severe shortage by the year 2050.
The resolution, he said, stressed upon the need for the Asian governments to focus on national policies on water and sanitation issues and contribute towards international efforts in resolving the issues.
Mushahid said Pakistan was playing a pivotal role in the politics of Asia as well as to resolve the challenges being faced by the Asian countries.
The proposals suggested by Pakistan for the collective issues of Asian countries were appreciated and accepted at international level.
The resolution passed on Wednesday would now be discussed in the annual meeting of APA in Cambodia by December 2016, he said.
The resolution stated that the pressing issue of water scarcity was threatening a large population around the globe.
By the year 2025, according to the experts, nearly two-third of the world’s population will be living under water stressed conditions, including roughly 1.8 billion people who will face absolute water scarcity.
Water scarcity and poor water quality will drastically increase disease risks, undermine economic growth, limit food production and become an increasing threat to peace and security, the resolution said.
The forecasts reveal that a billion more people could be `water stressed’ in the next 35 years compared to today in Asia.
Similarly, sanitation in Asia requires more than just toilets as over 1.7 billion people lack access to sanitation in Asia and the Pacific and millions practice open defecation.
The resolution suggested that a one-size-fits-all solution for the region is not possible. Water and sanitation needs to be better integrated into national economic planning so a future roadmap should be devised for the platform of the APA to address the lurking threat of water scarcity.