Pakistan is one of the top 23 countries suffering from a severe drought emergency, a statement issued by the Ministry of Climate Change said on Thursday.
On account of the World Desertification and Drought day, the ministry alerted that by 2025, droughts are predicted to affect almost three-quarters of the world’s population, reported local media.
Desertification caused by human and environmental factors has left Pakistan scarred, leading to environmental degradation, loss of soil fertility, loss of biodiversity, and reduction in land productivity, exacerbating the vulnerability of the country’s fragile local communities, Dawn reported the statement as saying.
The statement read, “Droughts have always been a part of nature and human experience, however, massive deforestation and anthropogenic activities have accelerated the fallout. In Pakistan, people are experiencing water stress and rivers are drying up all over the country due to prolonged heat waves, delayed rains and poor distribution of water.”
With the per capita water availability dropping from 5,060 cubic metres per annum in 1951 to only 908 cubic metres in 2022, the condition of the predominantly arid country has worsened. The livestock is critically affected by the rising heat and lack of water in already water-stressed areas of Sindh and South Punjab.
The Indus Delta has shrunk by 92 per cent. The Living Indus initiative of the United Nations and the Ministry of Climate Change serves to restore the health of the Indus Basin.
Coming to aid the crisis, Pakistan planted 1.5 billion plants and gave rise to 250,000 environmental jobs in rural areas that are still bearing the brunt of droughts and desertification.
Pakistan has established an Ecosystem Restoration project under the subject of ‘Nature-Based Solutions’ to address critical environmental concerns such as desertification, fertility loss, and droughts, the ministry’s statement added.
“We need to set in motion, work on improving drought preparedness and building drought resilience. Pakistan is one of the countries on the frontline of the climate emergency. We cannot stop droughts from happening but we can prepare for them by conserving our water. The country is striving to achieve the voluntary Land Degradation Neutrality Targets by 2030 and the aforementioned efforts will lead the way to achieve these targets,” it further stated, as reported by Dawn.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)