Pakistan is a country that has struggled through many stigmas and dogmas since the day it came into being. It is also a country that keeps its hopes high and alive to achieve the equality on world platform for many issues. One thing I have to admire about my young nation is that no matter how hard we get hit by others, we still find the energy to stand tall with dignity and pride. And this attitude never lets you die or even be ignored by others. With this vigour, I as a Pakistani would like to give the world a message which should help clear the air on many different levels. Pakistan needs to get its scientists together and help clean up a mess that has been created by every single person of this world. We must tackle environmental issues just as serious as we tackle terrorism issues. It is that serious.
Pakistan needs to begin by dealing with issues close at hand and no doubt as a young nation, it is doing everything possible to survive well. I would like to draw the nation’s attention towards an issue that not just hampers our geographical space but also affects globally. The issue of pollution and its effects are drastic and leading us to a slow poisonous death. It’s possible that when we realise the importance of it, we will hit the wall by then and there will be nothing left to return back to. We must rise up and start rolling our sleeves in order to take charge now and my message is to all the environmental scientists of the country.
The pollution state is extremely dire to say the least but still we can do something about it. Currently I see no measures being taken by the public or the government at a level that shows the urgency in attention to rising pollution. A simple example is the use of plastic in our country, which is probably at the highest level without a single thought to its hazardous affects. Whenever I am out to shop, I see the use of carrier bags without any limit or even a charge. No wonder these bags are then seen being accumulated somewhere on an empty piece of land. The use of non-biodegradable plastic is killing us slowly yet there is very little awareness amongst common public. There should be more initiative to educate public about re-use of bags as well as further research must be carried out to find alternative to the use of bags. Scientists need to focus on producing biodegradable plastic and also find alternative material that does not add on to the pollution. This is not just a problem for Pakistan but also problem for the entire world. I invite Pakistan’s scientist to rise to the challenge and come up with solution which should be gifted to the world to save everyone globally. And why not, our nation has the raw talent and infinite passion to take up this challenge. I see one of our young guns coming up with a material that will take over from plastic without taking its side effects. Now this is obviously only possible if we raise an awareness amongst our public and professionals.
The huge initiative must come from the government. The problem is stretched as far as we can think. There is a huge build-up of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. These greenhouse gases are produced from burning the fuel and natural gases and cause the production of acid rain too. Deforestation is also another factor that is leaving our soil less fertile and easily eroded by acidic rain. It’s great to hear that at least Pakistan is working towards replacing its cut down forests. There is still a long way to go but at least the public has been given awareness in this area. Similarly, all other areas need to be focussed on and tackled.
Another huge area of current concern is the rising levels of arsenic in ground waters of Pakistan. I can see lots of work is being done to assess the water quality as well as making it drinkable for the public, but as far as the awareness or solution to this problem goes, I see very little evidence of it being done. This is where I would also advise the scientists to dig deep and get down to the root cause of this alarmingly high rise of arsenic levels in our groundwater. This is a slow poisoning process that will start showing through in nation’s ill health and will end up crippling us from our roots. There is a need for development of many more research labs and protocols to look into solving this problem. Pakistan must also focus on much more collaborative work that helps to deal with this issue. Youth also must be engaged in raising awareness and young scientists must be given more incentive to come into research and development of this field. The pollution must be told that it can stay here no more. It has no room on our planet any longer and we must pull together to clear this messy situation.
As a Pakistani I will begin from my home, and extend my skills to tackle this issue head on. I would be very much interested in hearing from scientists, groups, agencies or any government or private initiatives that are currently dealing with issues of Pollution. We need to pull together and as a united nation, clear the air that is threatening our lives from below and above the ground.