President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday appealed to the nation, particularly overseas Pakistanis, to donate to the dams fund — set up by the Supreme Court and supported by PM Imran Khan — to help finance construction of the Diamer-Basha dam in Gilgit-Baltistan and Mohmand dam in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In a video message, President Alvi said that Pakistan was facing an acute shortage of water, and the condition was expected to become much worse by the year 2025.
The president pointed out that water scarcity is directly linked to global warming and that Pakistan’s water is being wasted due to its inappropriate usage.
Dr Alvi said the government will also promote the farming techniques which preserve water. He said that drip irrigation and spray irrigation should be explored by farmers while citizens, in general, should be mindful of water usage and try to conserve water.
Last Friday, PM Khan had made a similar appeal when he asked for donations to the dams fund set up by the apex court.
“There is no question that we are faced with several significant problems,” the prime minister said during a televised address.
“Our debt today stands at Rs30,000 billion but the biggest problem we currently face is the water crisis,” he said while adding that Pakistan only has a capacity to store water for only 30 days, while the safe period for water storage should be 120 days.
“India has a storage capacity of 90 days. This is why making the dam is so important for us,” he said to drive the point home.
The prime minister had asked all overseas Pakistanis to make as many donations as they can to the dams fund in dollars to plug the country’s depleting foreign exchange reserves as well as provide funding to start building dams, which he said he would personally oversee.