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WWF urges need to promote water efficiency in Pakistan

PESHAWAR: Pakistan is water-stressed country and is nearing the threshold of water scarcity, said World Wide Fund-Pakistan Director General Hammad Naqi Khan.

Access to safe drinking water in rural and urban areas is declining and provision of potable water is a key issue that people face, he pointed out while speaking at WWF-Pakistan’s media briefing session on Tuesday.

He also said that the implementation of laws pertaining to industrial effluents generated from the textile and leather industries is weak. Furthermore, industrial waste from these industries contains heavy metals such as copper, chromium, and nickel.

He was of the view that safe drinking water should be made available to the population and industries need to ensure proper disposal of solid and liquid waste.

Industries should also ensure that the labour force working in their facilities are not exposed to harmful chemicals, he added.

The media briefing session conducted by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Pakistan) under a project titled ‘International Labour and Environmental Standards Application in Pakistan’s Small and Medium Enterprises’.

According to a press release issued on Tuesday, the six-year project, funded by the European Union, is jointly being implemented by the International Labour Organization(ILO) in Lahore, Karachi, Sialkot and Faisalabad.

The project aims to implement international labour and environmental standards in Pakistan in order to improve the capacity of the public sector to implement multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and national environmental laws and standards in Pakistan.

The project involves building the capacity of the textile and leather sector to adopt Smart Environmental Management Practices (SEMPs) in order to efficiently use water and energy resources and reduce the use of hazardous chemicals by 15 to20 percent.

Further the project aims at contributing to improvement in industry based laws so that Pakistan’s export market can compete with international labour and environmental standards.

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