Water, food, energy, economy and us
By Ali Moeen Nawazish
number of challenges we face as a state, nation and country
today are one of the most extreme in our history.
Law and order, security,
economy and energy are the buzzwords of today.
Yet, as the saying goes
prevention is always better than a cure, we are grossly
ill-prepared for the challenges that we will face tomorrow.
Challenges that the world
is already preparing for and we are not even paying heed to.
Crisis donít happen
overnight. If we are facing an electricity shortage today it
is because we ignored our increasing needs and did not
forecast our demands.
The electricity crisis we
face today is because someone did not act in the past. A
similar fate awaits us as we turn a blind eye and ignore our
Water is a scarce resource, yet it is also a fundamental
human right. We depend on water not only for our survival
but for living with dignity.
We depend on water for almost
all our industrial and agriculture needs. Yet, we are living
with a water system which is falling grossly in adequate for
In todayís world it is hard
to imagine that many people in our country still rely on
rain water for drinking and agricultural usage! We need to
act to build dams, making our tap water drinkable, and
providing access to clean water to our population.
Less than 20% of our
population has access to clean drinking water, and water
borne diseases are a leading cause of infant fatalities in
Alongside a fast increasing
population we need to increase our agri-yields and intensify
our efforts into making food available for everyone.
This will perhaps be one of
the biggest challenge in the coming days. Everyday
commodities must be in a surplus to ensure that we can feed
our booming population.
Yet, so far little government
reform and action has been seen in this regard. Sasta bazars
are not the solution to our food problem, but increasing
yields and ensuring low prices are.
Similarly, this is the time when we must heavily invest in
clean energy. We are very good at adopting new technology.
The CNG explosion has clearly shown that when cost-effective
energy supply is present we are quick to adopt.
Fossil fuels in the future
will become a rare commodity and we must ready ourselves to
shift to alternate sources. Heavy investment in solar, wind
and hydro electricity production along with a focus on
electric cars is a must if we are to secure our future.
We also need to look at
making our energy usage more efficient through building and
house insulations and usage of more efficient water and room
Pakistan is at this moment a bad place for any new
entrepreneur to setup a business. We have been rated as one
of the least business friendly countries in the world.
Our industry and commercial
sector not only face a chronic energy shortage but
bureaucratic hurdles, corruption and unavailability of
places to do business means that our economy will slowly
begin to stall.
Many Pakistani companies are
increasingly looking at other countries such as Bangladesh
to move production to, where they are not only offered free
electricity but also tax holidays for substantial time
We punish our investors and
entrepreneurs and this is a practice if continued will stop
the creation of new jobs and businesses and stall our
We should be worried, as these are key sectors where little
discussion and even less action occurs. We are already
facing a few crises right now, and itís high time we move
before we start adding more to the list.