93% population to have access to piped water, 90% to sewage by 2015
* Rs 1,029.77 million to be spent on HRD, environment education and awareness project
By Irfan Ghauri
ISLAMABAD: The government has set a target to provide 93 percent of the population with safe drinking water, while 90 percent of the people will have access to sewerage facilities by 2015.
According to the data available with the Environment Ministry, at present 70 percent of the population have access to piped water however it does not mention whether they have access to safe drinking water.
Only 55 percent of the population – both in urban and rural areas – will have access to sanitation facilities by 2005-06, the data said. The government has decided to incorporate millennium development goal (MDG) targets in its new national environment policy to ensure environmental sustainability. According to the data, only 53 percent of the population had an access to piped water in 1990 which was increased to 63 percent in 2001 and 70 percent in 2005 while a target of 84 percent will be achieved by 2011 and it will be increased to 93 percent of the total population by 2015.
The record showed that only 30 percent of the country’s population had sanitation facilities which were increased to 40 percent population in 2001, and 55 percent in 2005 and it would be further increased to 63 percent of the population by 2011 and 90 percent by 2015.
In 1990, 4.8 percent of the total land area – state-owned and private forest and farmlands – had forest cover which remained the same till 2003 and slightly increased to 5.0 percent in 2005. The government has set a target of 5.7 percent forest cover in the country by 2011 and will increase it to six percent by 2015. Only 11.3 percent of the land area is protected for the conservation of wildlife in 2005 which will be increased to 11.5 percent by 2011 and 12.0 percent by 2015 as per the set goals. The government has set a target to convert the 812,000 petrol and diesel vehicles to CNG fuel by 2011 to contain air pollution and is determined to increase the number to 920,000 by 2015.
Sixty percent of slum areas, identified as kachi abadis in 1985, have been regularised till the current year while 75 percent of them will be regularised by 2011 and 95 percent by 2015. Under the new national environment policy, the government has set a medium-term development framework (MTDF) for the next five years (2005-10) according to which Rs 1,029.77 million will be spent on projects of human resource development, capacity building, environment education, awareness and research.
The government has decided to launch environment education projects in schools and colleges at a cost of Rs 28.4 million whereas Rs 8 million has been reserved for the same purpose in the fiscal year 2005-06. The Environment Ministry has planned to include environment subjects in teachers’ training programmes of the Allama Iqbal Open University at a cost of Rs 12.27 million. The ministry is also expected to collaborate with the Education Ministry to launch the teachers’ training programme from the next year at a cost of Rs 50 million.
The government is expected to spend Rs 160 million on the human resource development programme in the environment. The programme will start from the fiscal year 2006-07 at an estimated cost of Rs 40 million per year and the amount of money will continue to increase till 2009-10. The Environment Ministry is also determined to launch an environment awareness project from the current financial year at a cost of Rs 300 million.
The government has reserved Rs 100 million to launch a Green TV channel in the new financial year. A website on environment education will also be created by the ministry at a cost of Rs 2.05 million.