March 14 is the International Day of Action for Rivers. Every year hundreds of people around the world raise their voices to celebrate the world’s rivers and the thousands of people who struggle to defend them. The International Day of Action for Rivers is a day to celebrate victories such as river restoration. It is a day to take to the streets, demonstrate and require improvements in the policies and practices of decision makers. It is a day to educate one another about the threats facing our rivers, and learn about better water and energy solutions.
The International Day of Action against Dams and For Rivers, Water and Life was adopted by the contributors of the first International Meeting of People Affected by Dams, March 1997 in “Curitiba, Brazil”. Representatives from 20 countries decided that the International Day of Action would take place on March 14.
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Here point to be noted is that, in Pakistan, all the game seems different. Government has no interest in these actions. Action against dams in Pakistan is not due to any environmental cause but political, as i.e. Kala Bagh Dam.
The question of poor land-use planning and deforestation on the bank of rivers is being left out in current deliberations on why disasters keep happening in Pakistan. Ordinary hazards such as floods became disasters when the people and material infrastructure (Land use planning) are not able to cope with it. Here political influence affects Pakistani people and Pakistan economy a lot. This defenselessness is further get worse by the lack of prevention and watchfulness or suitable emergency management systems which leads to various losses — human life, structural and financial.
The Poor’s survival is greatly interlinked with their environment and land use planning. Their options of where to stay and obtain their livelihood from are limited. Their alternatives of settlement are often limited to marginalized locations like riverbanks.[Soft Break]When disaster strikes, they usually do not have the possessions to recover quickly.
Floods of years 2010 and 2011 have confirmed that absence of a comprehensive land use plan can show the way quite accurately to a disaster: socially, economically and environmentally. Therefore, land-use planning is an important tool in disaster risk management. The objective of land-use planning for disaster risk management is to attain a utilization of land and natural resources which is modified to local conditions and needs, and takes into account disaster risks.
As this International Day of Action for Rivers is also celebrating by Klimatech Environmental Club with the joint collaboration of Responsible Business Initiative and United Nations Global Concept on 14th March at Lake View Park Islamabad,and the activities will include Walk of Awareness,Poster Competitiona and speeches on different hot topics regarding river conservation,river polution and rivers restoration.
I would like to request all authorities, national and international NGOs and donor agencies and all stakeholders to make Pakistan disaster-resilient by Good land use planning and forestation along the bank of rivers especially Sindh.
This Article is Written by “Noman Ashraf”,Guest Author At Envirocivil.com