Karachi’s solid wastes flowing into sea be included in World Bank’s blue economy project: Mushahidullah

Irshad Salim –(Updated) Pakistan Federal Minister for Climate Change, Senator Mushahidullah Khan Tuesday said thousands of tons of municipal and industrial waste from Karachi flowed into Arabian sea which was not only polluting sea but also hampering growth of mangroves and fisheries.

The waste from the country’s financial capital and its largest metropolis, being discharged into sea, should be included in Blue Economy Project of the World Bank, he said, while talking to a delegation of the World Bank which called on him in capital Islamabad.

According to the federal Ministry of Ports and Shipping, around 472 million gallons of raw (untreated) sewage is thrown in the sea daily, a gigantic number unacceptable worldwide by environmental standards, media reports say.

The minister for environment and climate change told BE2C2/PKonweb that he’s hopeful the World Bank will include Karachi’s municipal and industrial wastewater disposal issue in the Blue economy project. Expert say it would be a big leap for the metropolis which is also facing solid waste disposal problems.

During the meeting, Ms. Rahat Jabeen, an Environmentalist from the World Bank apprised the minister that the bank emphasized uplifting socio-economic conditions in developing countries.

Related article: Karachi’s toxic waste ‘endangering’ its shoreline on Arabia sea

She said that mangroves forests were part of their Blue Economy Project and they were working on sustainable fisheries projects.

The coastal provinces of Sindh and Balochistan have sizable mangroves forests and fisheries belt along the Arabian Sea coastline. Mangroves forests in Indus delta and along Arabian Sea coastal areas, as per estimates, are some 129,000 hectares in the Indus delta and over 3,000 hectares in Miani Hor, Kalmat Khor and Gwadar bay areas.

It was informed that the World Bank wanted federal government to use assistance of the Bank’s Blue Economy Project as incentive for the provinces.

The World Bank on request of Economic Affairs Division visited Pakistan in June 2017. Potential areas were identified by the World Bank Scoping Mission for additional funding through Green Pakistan Program.

Emphasis would be on capacity building, monitoring and evaluation and knowledge management. It shall facilitate exchange of best practices and knowledge among provinces and with the international community.

The meeting was also attended by Jiang Ru, Senior Environmental Specialist of the World Bank.

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