Wisdom of Life

Urban October Celebrations in Pakistan, 2018

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Event 1: World Habitat Day Celebration

The Urban October celebrations kicked off in Pakistan by UN Habitat, commemorating this year’s World Habitat Day theme “Improving municipal solid waste management is critical for sustainable urban development”. A site visit of the UN Habitat’s first Integrated Resource Recovery Center in Pakistan was arranged on 1st October 2018.  The center was visited by the Federal Minister for Climate Change, Director General, Ministry of Climate Change, senior government officials, university students, community members and a large number of stakeholders and civil society organizations.

Mr. Malik Amin Aslam, Federal Minister for Climate Change, Ministry of Climate Change appreciated the efforts for establishment of IRRC in Islamabad and remarked that community-based waste management approaches offer a ‘best solution for cleaner Pakistan. He said that Clean Green Pakistan Project is being launched to change the behavior of the people so that they would be compelled to think green. Therefore, along with plantation the government is also focusing on solid and liquid waste management simultaneously. Minister while giving his views to journalists explained that the IRRC is catering the need of the whole G-15 sector. The IRRC e-guards collect the garbage and through recycling utilize 85% and put rest of the 15% in the CDA garbage dumping site. Federal Minister suggested for replication and up-scaling of this successful model to other areas in the country.

The Director General, Ministry of Climate Change, Mr. Irfan Tariq remarked that this pilot IRRC has created a very positive impact on environment and is generating demand from the housing societies and other communities in addition to creating livelihood opportunities. On behalf of Ministry of Climate Change, Mr. Irfan Tariq awarded shield as a token of recognition to UN Habitat and Akhtar Hameed Khan Memorial Trust who are managing successfully the IRRC facility as well as to National Cleaner Production Center for their collaboration with UN Habitat.

Mr. Jawed Ali Khan, Habitat Programme Manager, UN Habitat at this occasion stated that the IRRC offers a highly cost-effective way of improving waste management and cleaning the environment in the fast-growing cities of Pakistan. IRRC model in Islamabad demonstrates the potential for community-based waste management to improve public health, mitigate climate change and create safe jobs. For every dollar invested, the IRRC model offers USD 10 in benefits. The benefits are particularly significant in relation to improved public health and climate change mitigation, although employment creation also plays a part. The IRRC diverts 90 per cent of waste from centralized disposal and is a factor of ten cheaper than providing centralized disposal facilities.

Event 2: Physical Launch of Clean and Green Pakistan Programme

The physical launch of Clean and Green Pakistan campaign held at Saidpur Village Islamabad on October 13, 2018 as part of the call by the Prime Minister of Pakistan for a “Clean and Green Pakistan” announced on October 8, 2018. The cleanliness campaign in Saidpur Village was jointly organized by Ministry of Climate Change, and UN Habitat, Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan Memorial Trust (AHKMT), and National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC) in collaboration with the Chairman Union Council Saidpur.

Mr. Malik Amin Aslam, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Climate Change and the focal person for the Clean and Green Pakistan was the Chief Guest. Ambassadors of Netherlands, China, Kenya, Libya, Algeria , Tunisia , Morocco and Sudan participated in the programme. The Minister appreciated the efforts of the organizers. He reiterated Government of Pakistan commitment towards solid and liquid waste management, sanitation and hygiene and aims for community based collective behavior change. He added that we would like to develop Saidpur Village into a model clean and green village which serves as a center of attraction for international tourists and visitors. He said that, I am thankful to UN Habitat and other partners for their offer to assist in setting up an Integrated Resource Recovery Center in Saidpur Village for maintaining healthy environment of the country.

The community members specially youth; students of schools & colleges; sanitary workers of Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), AHKMT and local sanitary workers at the village level collected the solid waste. The dignitaries invited in the campaign also participated in cleanliness campaign. Hygiene messages including importance of hand washing was imparted to the community members especially mothers, adolescence girls and boys and young children. Awareness sessions with the local community was conducted on open defecation free environment especially improvement of the toilet facilities in the village with proper end pipe solutions introducing the concept of safe, functional and hygienic toilets.

A painting competition reinforcing the pride and the sense of personal responsibility towards the cleanliness drive was held among the Behbood school children and prizes were distributed by the chief guest.

About Author: unhabitatorg

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