Saturday September 23, 2023

A barren land

August 18, 2022

Even after 75 years of independence, Pakistan is grappling with a myriad of challenges. Among them, climate change is one of the most daunting and it needs to be addressed immediately. Climate-related issues have been aggravated by the exponential rise in population. Pakistan is currently the fifth most populous country in the world with a population of over 235 million, according to UN projections. The country is already experiencing ramifications in the form of water scarcity, food insecurity, poverty and unemployment.

Pakistan’s per capita water availability has decreased by 400 per cent from 5600cm in 1947 to around 1038cm while around 38 per cent of Pakistanis are food insecure. The impacts of this growing scarcity are already visible as political conflicts within the country and with our neighbour, India, over the distribution of water resources continue to escalate. Furthermore, 38 per cent of children aged under five are stunted. There is a dire need to formulate a broad-based and consensual framework aimed at envisioning a more sustainable, eco-friendly and prosperous future.

Muhammad Aftab Ahmad