In a special “Spotlight on Pakistan” at the 2010 Global Water Partnership (GWP) Consulting Partners Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, participants heard a sobering—indeed, heartbreaking—presentation of the unprecedented floods that are drowning Pakistan’s people, economy, infrastructure and culture.
According to the Chair of GWP South Asia, Sardar Muhammad Tariq, the unprecedented intensity of the floods indicates that the impact of climate change on the water cycle is no longer debatable. “Guess work is not needed, climate change is happening,” said Mr. Tariq, “climate change is no longer a myth.” He then posed a question being asked by many in the global community: “How do we create resilience to minimize the impacts and loss of lives and infrastructure?”
Mr. Tariq outlined the mind-numbing losses: 20 million people affected, 1 million homes destroyed, 3500 villages washed away.
Mr. Nadeem Riyaz, the Ambassador of Pakistan to Sweden, recognized the contribution of the international community to help Pakistan even though response was slow in the beginning. While acknowledging the failure of the current and previous generations to prepare for such a disaster, the Ambassador focused on the future of how to rebuild Pakistan and restore the livelihood of its people. “We owe it to our children and future generations,” he said. He expressed his hope that GWP participants in the Consulting Partners Meeting would urge their governments to continue to offer strong support for Pakistan.
The special session concluded with a presentation by the Chair of GWP Pakistan, Mr. Naseer Ahmad Gillani, who showed photos and statistics of the still unfolding tragedy. He outlined GWP Pakistan’s efforts with local agencies to raise money and provide aid and rehabilitation.