Pakistan: Environment in Crisis
Pakistan is much in the news. Almost all the attention is on its perilous security situation. But it is also beset with acute environmental problems. Typical of many post colonial countries, Pakistan went headlong into a western model of industrial development. Big dams were seen as an elixir. Now, most of those dams are silting up causing problems. In the province of Punjab, the breadbasket of the country, farmers are hurting for lack of water for irrigation. All things are connected. Global warming is having an adverse impact. In the great mountains in northern Pakistan the glaciers are shrinking. Thus, snowmelt is reduced and there is less water reaching the arid plains resulting in not enough drinking water. Crop yields are declining and food prices are going up. And to exacerbate everything, governmental corruption is all pervasive and deeply entrenched. Interview by David Barsamian.
Najma Sadeque is a leading Pakistani journalist who writes frequently on environmental issues. She’s also a strong advocate on women’s issues. She’s a founder of Shirkat Gah (Women’s Resource Centre).