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Issues & Analysis


Water, food, energy, economy and us
By  Ali Moeen Nawazish

Water, food, energy, economy and us:-Pakissan.comThe 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 problems.

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 our needs.

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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 Pakistan.

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.

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      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 heating machinery.

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 periods.

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 economy altogether.

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.


November, 2013

Source:  The News;


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