Two accords inked on cotton value chain

The meeting shall serve as a platform for experts in the field of water management, textile and environment, including the representatives from Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa-Lhr), Agriculture Department, Pakistan Meteorological Department, The Urban Unit (UU), Lok Sanjh Foundation (LSF), All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA), Sustainable Production Centre (SPC), Ministry of Textile Industry and Environmental Protection Department (EPD) for taking collaborative actions to secure water for people.

The partners inked two Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) covering different segments of cotton value chain, with the overarching objective of jointly developing strategies to mitigate the shared water and environmental risks and to safeguard the environment from the sources of pollution originating from Punjab’s textile industry.

The multiparty agreements also aimed at creating awareness on Pakistan’s exacerbating water crisis; promoting innovative approaches in securing water supplies for drinking, industrial and agricultural use; managing floods and improving urban and rural drainage networks; storing surplus rain/flood water in the surface/subsurface space; and improving drinking water supply for Punjab’s rural areas.

Speaking on the occasion, EPD Director General, Dr Javed Iqbal stated that, “Pakistan’s water resource challenges call for urgent collaborative action. Through partnerships like these, Pakistan’s shared water risks can be mutually assessed and mitigated with the industry and trade associations through the enforcement of environmental regulations.”

Wasa’s Managing Director, Syed Zahid Aziz, shared his experience of collaboration under the city-based partnership of Lahore (LWaSP). With the support from partner institutions and GIZ-IWaSP, Wasa Lahore has successfully developed a very detailed hydrological model of Lahore and in-house expertise for the simulation of different climate and disaster related scenarios to finding appropriate solutions to safeguard Lahore.

Wasa anticipated that water would not be flooding the roads of Lahore after successful implementation of appropriate measures designed by using the cutting-edge technology of 3Di. In his remarks, the Country Manager of BCI Pakistan, Dr Shafiq Ahmad, said “Water stewardship in Pakistan is the way forward to combating the water challenges through provision of modern irrigation techniques, and training in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) to the rural communities.”

GIZ IWaSP Country Coordinator, Dr Naveed Alam, addressed the participants during the meeting, stating that “IWaSP provides a well-tested approach to consolidate the efforts of the public and private sectors and the civil society actors in a safe and conducive environment by conducting impact-orientated dialogue.

Through this stewardship-based approach, the programme aims to improve water security for people along the value chains, based on sound socio-economic cases for action.This approach levers the resources of the water users, ranging from small-scale farmers to multi-national businesses, to implement the solutions designed and fully owned by them.

The programme also aims to combine the international best practices with the local knowledge, for instance, 3Di modelling for flood mitigation and locally-made approaches to improve water efficiency for agricultural and industrial purposes.”

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), on behalf of the German Development Cooperation and UK Department for International Development (DFID), is implementing the International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP) in Pakistan.

IWaSP enables partners to adopt a comprehensive and cost-effective approach to manage water risks for people, farmers, villagers, businesses and ecosystems through building different partnerships at a sustainable basis and empowering the partners to take joint decisions for their own benefits.