Judiciary, civil society can help resolve water -sanitation issues: moot told
KARACHI: Action against non-payment for water is a big challenge as there is no any clarity in law is available. It will be good if judiciary and civil society may review water laws again and ensure actions for the betterment of society. The rule of law regarding water and sanitation is mandatory.
This was the crux of policy advocacy seminar on regulatory/statutory ambiguities concerning water and sanitation laws held on Wednesday at a local hotel.
Retired Justice Ali Aslam Jaffery, as a chief guest, was of the opinion that drinking water would be a big challenge in the future. He said: “There is no any system available for water conservation as people are wasting water everywhere, particularly in Karachi city. There is no any system or separate line connection in multi-story buildings to minimize the misuses of water.”
“We are criticizing others but practically we could not do something for betterment of the society. No matter we make very good laws and procedures, but people are not following them. So now we have to take serious action against these issues and strictly implement the rule of law, and if we fail in the implication of law, then no one can bring a positive change to the society.” We must focus on recycling of water or use of the saline water.
Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Ahmed said that laws related water and sanitation are not fully followed in the country. “In rural areas of Karachi, majority of villages have no access to safe drinking water. Majority of deaths are happening due to use of unsafe water in Pakistan.”
He said that five million of our population is passing lives under poverty line and 90,000 households are without shelter. HANDS is working together with government to fulfill the SGD goals. Tanveer said that at present times, role of judiciary is important. Advocate Qazi Athar Ali said that people of Sindh are still dependent and they don’t have access to safe drinking water. They drink rain water in few cases and majority of people use dirty canal water where animal and people drink water together. Ten thousand years ago, Mohen jo Daro people were very rich and civilized regarding sanitation system but now we have no any sanitation system.
Further, he said that 150 million people of Pakistan are depending on Indus River. He said that due to climate change, 90 percent forests have finished from Sindh. He said lawyers should raise voice for water and environment conservation. Due to use of unsafe water, mortality rate has increased in Pakistan in recent years.
Prof. Kamran Akmal said that when we talk about water it means we are talking about health as well because water and health are two names of one thing. He said that health is not in our priorities. He said that 53 percent revenue land had converted into water logging and salinity which is an alarming situation as our economy is mainly dependent on agriculture. People of Korangi Industrial Area are cultivating vegetables with polluted water of industries that has caused increase in diseases. He said that we can bring change collectively.
Justice Syed Shahid Shafique said that law had been bounded in libraries. Local level councilors do not take proper steps for the betterment of systems. He shared his views in the seminar that there is need to work on public issues at district level. He said that judiciary and civil society may work to help resolve water and sanitation.
HANDS representative Ghulam Mustafa Zaur said that due to use of unsafe drinking water, children mortality rate is increasing rapidly.