Pakistan’s leading oil and gas exploration company, Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL), has taken the initiative to provide clean drinking water to the residents of Islamabad. Realizing its corporate social responsibility and the issue of water scarcity, MPCL has rehabilitated three water filtration plants in the Federal capital. This operation was carried out in the water filtration plants of the areas, G-10/4, G-9/1 and G-7.
Mayor Islamabad, Sheikh Ansar Aziz and Deputy Mayor, Syed Zeeshan Naqvi, inaugurated the water filtration plants on 22 April, 2020. Several officials were present on the occasion to represent Mari Petroleum. This included Consultant Admin & Security MPCL, Brig(R) Shaheryar Khan, General Manager Exploration, Tufail Ahmed Khoso and Consultant Projects MPCL Brig (R) Muhammad Sultan.
MPCL officials state that the total cost incurred on the water filtration plant rehabilitation project approximates to Rs 4 million. Furthermore, Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) has also approached the company. They hope to further restore several inoperative and abandoned filtration plants in Islamabad with the help of MPCL.
In fact, the local community and MCI have lauded the role of Mari petroleum and has further requested to continue this project in various locations. CEO MPCL, Lt. Gen (R) Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmed, assured the locals and MCI that Mari petroleum shall continue this streak to provide clean drinking water to as many people as possible in Islamabad.
Water scarcity in Pakistan
This past century has seen growing water use globally – and that too more than twice the rate of population growth. In fact, water scarcity is expected to worsen due to rapidly spreading urbanization in the country.
Water scarcity can indicate multiple shortcomings: water shortage blocked access to water or inability to consume water. This may be due to physical shortage or failure of responsible institutions to ensure a regular supply or due to a lack of adequate infrastructure.
Interestingly, a recent report by the World Bank states that Pakistan is well endowed with water. However, due to two main reasons, the country faces a peculiar kind of water scarcity. Our lowest water availability per person is at 1,100 cubic meters. This is due to the rapidly growing population and mismanagement of the available water resources.
According to the United Nations, nearly 1.8 billion people will live in ‘absolute water scarcity’ by the end of 2025. The World Economic Report further exacerbates this fear. It says that the biggest threat to Pakistan is the water crisis. The report then further highlights unmanageable inflation, terrorist attacks, failure of urban planning etc. as other threats.
The private sector has an important role to play to address the growing threat of water scarcity in Pakistan. On the whole, it can use its resources to gauge the understanding of the benefits occurring out of water stewardship in Pakistan. We congratulate MPCL for their considerate initiative.