Karachi, The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Pakistan, has launched ‘Water and Environmental Sanitation Improvement Project in Coastal Communities of Karachi’.
The launching ceremony was organized by WWF with support from United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT) and the Coca-Cola Company. The two year project is being implemented in Kakapir and Soomer villages, catering to 300 households who rely heavily on fishing income. The area is deficient on water supply, sewerage system and solid waste management, which the project will address through public awareness, capacity building and institutional setup. The ceremony was attended by government representatives, subject specialists, civil society, private sector, academia, community members and media. Welcoming the participants, Dr. Ejaz Ahmed, Deputy Director General, WWF Pakistan, highlighted the unique nature of the project, in terms of diverse partnership including public and private sector, as well as local NGOs and UN-HABITAT. He mentioned the collective commitment of the partners in reducing water footprint and improving environmental sanitation. Mr. Syed Hasan Eijaz Kazmi, Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), an autonomous body, deliberated on their institutional efforts to redress the problem of water and sanitation in urban areas, which generate 470 million gallons of sewage.
Their initiatives include multistage pumping from the two water sources (Hub Dam 100mgd and River Indus 550mgd), Citizens Report Card and Performance Benchmarking. One of the project sponsors, UN-HABITAT, was represented by Mr. Siamak Moghaddam, Country Programme Manager, who briefed the audience on the agency’s programme in Pakistan, and the corresponding field interventions. He stressed on the need for addressing human settlements and rapid urbanization issues, especially in Karachi, a city he identified as the engine driving Pakistan. Another UN-HABITAT representative, Mr. Bhushan Tuladhar, Regional Technical Advisor for Water for Asian Cities Programme, illustrated the project significance in terms of its role in partnership and perseverance to bridge the gap between humans and nature. The other project sponsor, The Coca-Cola Company representative, Mr. Fahad Qadir, Regional Public Affairs and Communication Manager, shared their global commitment for improving the quality of life in less privileged communities, such as the selected villages near Sandspit and Hawksbay Beach. Mr. Hashim, President of Fishermen Development Organization Kakapir Village informed the audience on the impact of ongoing partnership initiatives in nature conservation and community development. Mr. Aijaz Nizamani, Secretary, Forest and Wildlife Sindh stressed on the need for government bodies to learn efficient management systems from the private and NGO sector. Subhash K Dawani, Manager Conservation (Sindh) WWF Pakistan, presented the prevalent issues, sanitation practices and project roadmap. This was followed by closing remarks by Rab Nawaz, Director, WWF, who appreciated the work of project partners and expressed hope in addressing water security concerns of Pakistan through concerted efforts.