Earth Day Festivities
Yesterday was Earth Day all over the world, one of two official dates celebrated for the earth. (one set by the US, the other set by the UN, why is that always the case?)
Well in Karachi, it was good to see that finally there has been some action towards this. Thanks MB for your post on what each of us can do individually to make a difference. It really starts with reducing our consumption and putting the trash where it belongs (ie. not the road, your your neighbors street curb.)
Well one particular event I attended on this day was hosted by Aga Khan University, who set up three different activities for the day. Starting with a community clean up walk in Sultanabad Colony (a katchi abadis of 40,000 inhabitants). 75 students and volunteers (included local schools) showed their support for the event. It was concluded by an address by the colony’s Nazim.
In the afternoon, they invited NGOs such as IUCN, HANDS, AWARE, Shirkat Gah, WWF, EPA and Waste busters to set up stalls and inform people about their environmental contributions. It was really good to see the Windmill setup and community based arts and crafts amongst others. They also ran an audio/visual presentation featuring epic scenes from our planet.
They ended the day with a panel discussion including Mr. Asif Farooqui of Waste Busters, Mr Shahid Lutfi, former Director of EPA Sindh and hosted by Dr. Gregory Pappas, chair of CHS. It was an enlightening discussion about the serious issues being faced in the waste sector in terms of household, and industrial waste. The event had a very sound closing with comments by the Honorable Secretary of EPA Sindh, Mir Hussain Ali.
The turn out was less than expected at an AKU event, but perhaps that just reflects the lack of interest from many parties who need to take responsibility for this issue. The good news, is that there are private and public projects underway that are making a difference, but there is much more to go.
One such project that will be starting in June is by a Chinese firm under contract for 20 years to build an efficient waste management and implementation plan for Karachi. Let’s see if they can help solve our issues, however a home grown solution would probably be best.
All in all, a good day and good start to raising a voice about the topic in and around the city!