Millions facing environmental threats: minister
KARACHI: National Forum for Environment (NFE) in collaboration with the District Municipal Corporation South has launched a tree plantation campaign in connection with the International Earth Day.
Sindh Environment Minister Shaikh Muhammad Afzal (Khalid Omer) was the chief guest of the ceremony held at Boat Basin area, Friday morning. About 100 school-going children and citizens participated in the campaign.
Speaking on the occasion, Afzal said that the entire Muslim Umma, including Pakistan, was left behind with regard to safe and healthy environment, despite the fact that cleanliness was considered half a Muslim’s faith.
He said that millions of people were facing acute environmental threats across the entire province, particularly Karachi and to overcome the issue, non-governmental organisations, industrialists, transporters, municipal institution, media and citizens should come forward with joint efforts.
Sindh minister was of the view that blind industrial developments, disarranged constructions, encroachments, negative behaviour of people, negligence of relevant authorities and lack of appropriate policies have pressed the situation from bad to worst. He also stressed the need to ensure the safety of mangroves.
Talking about contamination of Keenjhar lake, he said that investigations were underway and those responsible for contaminating the lake would be punished without indiscriminately.
He hailed the services and contribution of the forum for the betterment and safety of environment and assured the organisers for full support and cooperation for the noble cause of saving environment.
NFE President Muhammad Naeem Qureshi appealed to the masses to keep their homes, streets and areas clean and green. He urged the environment department to organise environment friendly activities throughout the year in collaboration with NGOs and industrial organisations. He also stressed the need to ensure strict action under environmental organisation against those responsible for spreading pollution.
DMC Administrator on the occasion, announced that 5,000 plants will be planted during the tree plantation campaign being initiated by the corporation.
Secretary Environment Mir Hassan Ali, Municipal Commissioner Noman Arshed, Dr Kaiser Waheed, EPA Director Rafiuddin, Abdul Majeed Abdani and Asif Azeem also expressed their views at the ceremony. Later, the distinguished guests were honoured with ‘Ajraks’, the traditional gifts.