Lack of Environmental Policy and Water Governance: An Alarming Situation in Pakistan

Lack of Environmental Policy and Water Governance: An Alarming Situation in Pakistan

Laeeq Janjua (Poznan University of Economics, Poland), Atteeq Razzak (University of Karachi, Pakistan) and Azeem Razzak (University of Karachi, Pakistan)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/IJCEWM.2021070104
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In Pakistan, water pollution is a cause of numerous health issue and water stress. The aim of writing this paper is to empirically investigate the impact of industrialization, foreign direct investment, and economic growth along with energy consumption on total suspended solids in the Indus River, which is used as a proxy for water pollution. The authors employed ARDL estimation to achieve the research objective. The findings revealed that in long-run economic growth, foreign direct investment inflows and industrialization have a positive influence on water pollution in the Indus River. Still, on the other hand, due to sustainable energy production, water pollution is falling in the Indus River. At the same time, in the short-run, economic growth causes reduction in total suspended solids, whereas industrialization is still a major cause of water pollution in the Indus River.
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1. Introduction

Water is a sign of life. In historical perspective, human evolution revolves around the existence of water. Furthermore, it also became a major of geographical population expansion around the world. In recent period due to rapid urbanization and factor of global warming, making water availability very scare and limited. Similarly, in developing countries, water-related issues such as water pollution and its consequences are more serious such as water-related deceases (Zawaydeh, 2017; McMichael et al. 2008; Khan et al. 2019). Water Pollution in Pakistan is a major cause of numerous health issues (Khan and Dong 2017). Furthermore, due to unplanned urban expansion and lack of government attention for sanitation along with clean water supply induces a more harmful effect of water Pollution. Similarly, the lack of enforcement of the law regarding environmental issue induces more environmental issues in Pakistan. More specially, due to lack of sewage system during the monsoon period in Pakistan, water pollution-related decreases rapidly increases and numerous peoples are a victim of them and then died. According to the World Health Organization report, from July to November 2019, approximately 47,120 people across Pakistan were infected with Dengue fever, and 80 people died (WHO 2019). Furthermore, Pakistan is the world second high prevalence of hepatitis C, and approximately 7% of the entire population is Pakistan suffering from various categories of Hepatitis. One of the major causes of Hepatitis in Pakistan is due to unsaved and polluted drinking water. On the other hand, due to lack of education and unplanned urbanization, which cause water sewerage issue is also a major of contributor in spreading of Hepatitis. Similarly, according to the World Bank estimation, 45% newly born infant died every year in Pakistan due to diarrhea, which is also common water polluted decease in Pakistan (WHO 2019). Numerous industries release toxic gases and other toxic byproducts without further treatment harming the natural environment day by day (Figure 1).

In Pakistan, textile industries are located in Karachi and Faisalabad cities; food industries located in all major cities Pakistan; lather industry is located in Gujranwala and Sialkot region and ceramic industry in KPK region and Lahore region. Furthermore, sugar and other petrochemical industries along with the Indus river belt across Pakistan are the primary sources of an environmental hazard. Moreover, sewage sludge of textiles, agriculture pesticides, plastic processing units (cottage and large scale) and microelectronics industrial unites are catalyst agents for metal pollution (Nagajyoti et al., 2010). Similarly, urban water waste dumping without recycling is a major cause of toxic metal pollution in the water as well (Chang et al., 2009), (Xia et al., 2011; Simpson 2012).

Increase in industrialization induces economic growth, furthermore, for better life opportunities rural-urban migration in the presence of water treatment plants is a major cause of water pollution in rivers of Pakistan as well it also polluted groundwater. Due to pollution and unrestricted water extraction from the ground already marked Pakistan as water stress country by the World Bank. Furthermore, (Azizullah et al., 2011) mention that in Pakistan surface as well as groundwater are heavily polluted with microorganisms and other various toxic compounds. Majority of pollution in Pakistan depend on natural resources; Therefore 41% population in Pakistan employed in the agriculture sector. Inadequate water supply, water pollution and Water Logging and Salinity adversely affect the agriculture sector, which increases unemployment and poverty as well in Pakistan.

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