Friday, October 15, 2010

October 15- I start my birthday with a Blog on Water

October 15- it’s my birthday and it’s also the Blog Action Day for water. I was just thinking what can be a good thing to do to start my day. And then I decided to write my new blog on Water- a basic human right to live and survive.

Thinking about the water crisis and then about my birthday, Iam feeling much concerned of where I am going with every year of my life. Can I really celebrate my birthday when, every year people in my country continue to suffer more and more? And why I am thinking like this… because of one of the facts in my mind right now- fresh water availability per person in Pakistan, as per the UNDP report, has reduced to 20% of what it was available 50 years before. It is not something to ignore.

Why shouldn’t I be much concerned? Only in Karachi city, more than 20,000 deaths are reported every year due to unsafe water. More than 40% deaths in Pakistan are due to water born diseases. 60% infants’ deaths are related to water born infections. Only two rivers’ water in Pakistan i.e. Sindh and Jhelum has relatively better quality, while rest of the three major rivers have major biological loads. Although with less than a percent share in global carbon emission, Pakistan is one of the worst hit countries due to climate catastrophes. The massive flooding that started in July this year in Pakistan is the most evident example in the climate change history when almost one fifth of the country area was under water, impacting more than 21 million people. While flood water was everywhere, not a single drop of clean water was available for thousands of little children, women and their families. Sindh province is still flooded.

Talking about the basic human rights, we often think about freedom of expression, freedom to vote, freedom to move freely, freedom to live a healthy life etc. What about those rights which we often neglect or give less priority in the international debate- ability to access clean drinking water to live. Very simple- if we can’t provide clean drinking water to a child, how is he or she going to live a healthy life and how is he or she going to live long and able to vote in future? About one eighth population of the world i.e. one billion has no access to safe drinking water.

Thinking about future is much concerning with the increasing impacts of climate change in Pakistan and all around the world. In most of the rural Pakistani society, women are usually responsible for fetching water in hard hilly areas in the North and the largely spread deserts in the South. As the changing climate patterns continue to degrade water resources, this is going to increase the hardship of rural women by forcing them travel more in search of water. While 10 to 15 percent reduction in the precipitation rate in the plain arid and southern parts of the country is observed during the past 40 years, the severe droughts of 1999 and 2000 in Pakistan has also sharply reduced the water table.

For the world, especially those who advocate on human rights violation must seriously take into account the severity of environmental rights’ violation, where water crisis comes on priority. This is the message that I, being a climate campaigner, would like to give as I start my birthday on October 15.

Photo: Hanif Khattak


  1. Happy Birthday! Great way to start your birthday.

  2. Thank you so much!! Stay happy.

  3. Well said. I have recommended people come to your blog to understand more about this important global public health issue and to meet some on who is promoting peaceful thoughts and action in this region of the world. Thanks.

  4. I think awareness should be created among the masses through media about the water issues. As you have mentioned in your article that most of the diseases are water borne, so by improving water quality they could be avoided.There are occasion public message ads on TV telling people to boil drinking water but the problem is that water that is polluted by chemical waste and sewerage cannot be purified just by boiling. It is the responsibility of the government to make sure that water is properly filtered.

  5. hi,glad to read your post on BAD 2010...and wishing you happy birthday...hope God will always bless you up..if you want to read my post on BAD 2010,feel free to visit here

  6. Very good your blog. Greetings from Brazil.

  7. Thank you so much friends for your comments and liking my blog.
    @ R- thanks for sharing my blog among your network and friends. So nice of you!

    @Utopian- thanks and agree with you. Electronic media is a strong mean of educating masses and helping people know and understand issues.

    @Ahmad, thanks for the wishes and its nice to visit your blog. really great

    @Nelson- Thanks for liking and loved to see your blog. Much appreciated.

    Love to all!

  8. May this birthday be the start of a very good year with renewed hope for the future of our planet and all citizens who share one earth.

    A nephew also celebrated his birthday on the 15th.

  9. Hi Alyceclover, thank you so much for such a beautiful wishes. I am touched with your thoughts. Happy birthday to your nephew!!