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environmental issues of pakistan

February 6, 2013

Environmental issues in Pakistan threaten the population’s health and have been disturbing the balance between economic development and environmental protection. As a great problem for the nature and natiof Pakistan and As Pakistan is a large importer of both exhaustible and renewable natural resources and a large consumer of fossil fuels, the Ministry of Environment of Government of Pakistan takes responsibility to conserve and protect the environment.

Current issues: water pollution from raw sewage, industrial wastes, and agricultural runoff; limited natural fresh water resources; a majority of the population does not have access to potable water; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification Little attention was paid to pollution . Related concerns, such as sanitation and potable water, received earlier scrutiny. In 1987 only about 6 percent of rural residents and 51 percent of urban residents had access to sanitary facilities; i Greater success has been achieved in bringing potable water within reach of the people; nearly half the population enjoyed such access by 1990. However, researchers at the Pakistan Medical Research Council, recognizing that a large proportion of diseases in Pakistan are caused by the consumption of polluted water, have been questioning the “safe” classification in use in the 1990s. Even the 38 percent of the population that receives its water throughpipelines runs the risk of consuming seriously contaminated water, although the problem varies by area. In Punjab, for example, as much as 90 percent of drinking water comes from groundwater, as compared with only 9 percent in Sindh.
The central government’s Perspective Plan (1988–2003) and previous five-year plans do not mentionsustainable development strategies. Further, there have been no overarching policies focused on sustainable development and conservation. The state has focused on achieving self sufficiency in food production, meeting energy demands, and containing the high rate of population growth, not on curtailing pollution or other environmental hazards. In 1992 Pakistan’s National Conservation Strategy Report attempted to redress the previous inattention to the nation’s mounting environmental problem. Drawing on the expertise of more than 3,000 people from a wide array of political affiliations, the government produced a document outlining the current state of environmental health, its sustainable goals, and viable program options for the future.
Karachi is the financial capital of Pakistan
Of special concern to environmentalists is the diminishing forest cover in watershed regions of the northern highlands, which has only recently come under close scrutiny.
Pollution
.The National Conservation Strategy Report has documented how solid and liquid excreta are the major source of water pollution in the country and the cause of widespread waterborne diseases. Because only just over half of urban residents have access to sanitation, the remaining urban excreta are deposited on roadsides, into waterways, or incorporated into solid waste. Additionally, only three major sewage treatment plants exist in the country; two of them operate intermittently. Much of the untreated sewage goes into irrigation systems, where the wastewater is reused, and into streams and rivers, which become sewage carriers at low-flow periods. Consequently, the vegetables grown from such wastewater have serious bacteriological contamination. Gastroenteritis, widely considered in medical circles to be the leading cause of death in Pakistan, is transmitted through waterborne pollutants.
Motor cycles and scooters are major polluters in the cities
Low-lying land is generally used for solid waste disposal, without the benefit of sanitary landfill methods. The National Conservation Strategy has raised concerns about industrial toxic wastes also being dumped in municipal disposal areas without any record of their location, quantity, or toxic composition. Another important issue is the contamination of shallow groundwater near urban industries that discharge wastes directly into the ground. Air pollution has also become a major problem in most cities. There are no controls on vehicular emissions, which account for 90 percent of pollutants. The National Conservation Strategy Report claims that the average Pakistani vehicle emits twenty-five times as much carbon monoxide, twenty times as many hydrocarbons, and more than three and one-half times as much nitrous oxide in grams per kilometer as the average vehicle in the United States. Another major source of pollution, not mentioned in the National Conservation Strategy Report, isnoise. The hyper-urbanization experienced by Pakistan since the 1960s has resulted in loose controls for heavy equipment operation in densely populated areas, as well as in crowded streets filled withbuses, trucks, automobiles, and motorcycles, which often honk at each other and at the horse-drawntongas (used for transporting people) and the horse-drawn rehras (used for transporting goods).

Natural disasters
Main article: List of natural disasters in Pakistan
Pakistan is subject to frequent earthquakes which are often severe (especially in north and west) and severe flooding along the Indus after heavy rains (July and August). Landslides are common in the northern mountains.
Climate change
New data from millennium-long tree-ring analyses are indicating that mountains in northern Pakistan have grown significantly wetter over the past century than they had been over the last millennium — quite possibly due to human-induced global warming. In Karakoram and Himalaya mountains in northern Pakistan, the upper reaches of the Indus Valley (which supplies the world’s largest irrigation network), a group of researchers collected samples of Juniper tree rings that dated back as far as. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_issues_in_Pakistan

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Posted in Uncategorized | Tags: and agricultural runoff; limited natural fresh water resources; a majority of the population does not have access to potable water; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification, Drinking water, industrial wastes, Pakistan, Pakistan Medical Research Council, Pollution, Sewage treatment, Wastewater, Water pollution, water pollution from raw sewage, Water resources
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