PM announces Clean, Green Pakistan drive
ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday launched an ambitious five-year long “Clean and Green Pakistan” campaign aimed at beautifying the country and securing a better future for the coming generations.
Addressing the launch of the campaign here at the PM Office, he explained in detail the contours of the unprecedented campaign, based on Hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him); “Cleanliness is half of faith”.
The federal cabinet had given the nod for the launch of the campaign in its meeting last month.
The prime minister recalled the crystal clear water streams in Islamabad, the beautiful lush green gardens of Lahore, the clean rivers where people used to fish, but regretted that it all had been polluted, and today rivers, mountains, land, air and water reek of foul smell and heaps of garbage are everywhere.
He said the Muslims were known to be exceptionally clean, as it was a demand of their religion, but over the decades, this had been reversed and now we look at awe the neat and clean streets and water streams in Europe and elsewhere. He said it was still doable and recalled how Singapore river which had turned into a sewerage stream was converted to its original beauty.
The prime minister said the campaign would practically kick off on Saturday (Oct 13) with the president, prime minister, governors, chief ministers taking the lead in cleaning the country.
He made an impassioned appeal to the media, the religious scholars, Imams at the mosques, social workers, media personalities to be part of the campaign and urge the people to clean their surroundings for a healthy environment.
Imran Khan said currently only around 42 percent of Pakistanis had access to toilets and sanitation facility and many a tourists refrained from visiting the country because of dearth of such facilities, particularly at the tourist spots.
He said an estimated 40,000 children are killed each year because of unclean drinking water, while the cases of Hepatitis are rising at an alarming rate across the country.
The prime minister announced a four tiered campaign that would start from bringing about a change in the mindset and would involve making cleanliness part of the syllabus, besides launching a mass awareness campaign.
Dumping sites for waste would be identified and a complete system of waste collection evolved, even down to the village level and efforts would be made to use this waste for generating electricity.
The second tier would include putting in place a monitoring system that would give cash rewards for outstanding cleanliness, while reprimand for those failing to meet the targets. He was optimist that with time and cleanliness all around, the people will themselves realize its importance and will be part of the process.
The third tier would involve wide scale construction of toilets across the country. He said all public and petrol and CNG stations have been directed to ensure that their toilets were clean and easily accessible to the people and said the people would be asked to send in pictures of dirty toilets, and action would be taken against those responsible.
He said the under the fourth tier advocacy would be conducted by scouts and volunteers to extend the scope of the campaign to every nook and corner of the country.
He said the Green Pakistan campaign would also form part of the Green and Clean Pakistan. Under the campaign, an effort would be made at reviving the natural forests of Pakistan, besides measures for protecting the country’s wildlife and particularly the endangered species.
Imran Khan said like the success of plantation of one billion trees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, ten billion trees would be planted across the country in next five years. He said these would be the best counter measure to fight the climate change and pointed that Pakistan was listed at 60th place in list of countries that were under threat of this change.
To a question, Imran Khan said the government would adopt a multi pronged approach to address the issue of solid waste management, discharge of effluent from the factories and hospitals.
Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said the government was cognisant of increased intensity and frequency of natural disasters and assured allocation of resources for implementation of National Disaster Risk Reduction Policy and National Disaster Management Plan.
In his message on the ‘National Resilience Day’ on October 8, the Prime Minister said the day was remembered to express solidarity with the bereaved families who had lost their loved ones in the devastating earthquake on 8th October, 2005.
“We observe this day as National Resilience Day to not only pay homage to our people who lost their lives due to these disasters, but also as a day of our renewed national resolve for resilience,” the Prime Minister said.
The prime minister said for years, the country had been repeatedly affected by both hydro-meteorological and geo-physical disasters of enormous magnitude.
He said the occasion called for urgent need to implement a paradigm shift from response-oriented approach to a proactive, integrated and holistic approach to Disaster Risk Management aligned with global frameworks including the Sendai Framework for DRR and global Sustainable Development Goals.
“Such an approach envisages mitigation through a mix of structural and non-structural measures, putting in place strong response mechanisms and recovery plans to minimise losses. It also underpins the need for preparing communities to better combat such adversities being the usual first responders,” he said.
The premier mentioned that the country had a robust institutional structure for disaster management in the form of National and Provincial Disaster Management Authorities.
“We now need to strengthen the District Disaster Management Authorities (DDMAs) that are supposed to be the actual implementing bodies of DRM policy and plans at local level. This will be one of the most important components in our local government system,” he added.