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Sindh is declared as Earth Hour province

KARACHI: Government of Sindh has declared the province of Sindh as Earth Hour province to show the commitment of the government for the cause of energy conservation and climate change.

In a simple but impressive ceremony held here on Tuesday under the aegis of the Environment and Alternative Energy Department, Government of Sindh in collaboration with WWF Pakistan in Hotel Avari Tower Mir Hussain Ali Secretary Environment and Alternative Energy Department, Government of Sindh signed the Earth Hour Declaration on behalf of the Sindh Government.

Speaking at the ceremony Secretary Environment and Alternative Energy Department Government of Sindh Mir Hussain Ali said that the main objective of observing the Earth Hour is to inculcate people that our individual actions to save energy can contribute a lot to address the issues of climate change and global warming that is enormously affecting the natural environment of the entire world.

He said that on the occasion of Earth Hour on 23rd March 2013 an awareness walk is being arranged at Mazar-e-Quaid-e-Azam by the Department with the collaboration of WWF Pakistan to reflect the collective will for a greener Pakistan by showing commitment to conserve energy and preserve environment with the participation of all stakeholders.

He further said that the keen interest of Sindh Government in commemorating this event throughout the Sindh is itself a proof of how government is deeply involved in all motivational and awareness activities that lead to a safer and greener Pakistan for us and for our coming generation.

Veiling out the various activities to be held on this occasion he said that Sindh Environmental Protection Agency has requested the management and administration of the main buildings of the Sindh to voluntarily observe the Earth Hour on 23rd March 2013 by switching off all unnecessary lights and electric appliance for one hour from 8:30 p.m to 9:30 p.m.

He further said that Environmental Protection Agency Government of Sindh apart from organizing an awareness walk at Mazar-e-Quaid on 23rd March 2013 is also organizing various awareness activities in interior of Sindh in collaboration with non-governmental organizations and civil society.

Paying special tribute to the Former Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh Sheikh Muhammad Afzal (Khalid Umer) he said that because of the keen interest of the Ex-Minister Environment we have been observing the Earth Hour massively throughout Sindh since its inception in 2007.

He appreciated the role of Sindh Environmental Protection Agency, Government of Sindh and WWF Pakistan who together have been observing this event with zeal and enthusiasm to make people aware on significance of energy conservation. “This is because of the untiring efforts of both the organizers of the Earth Hour that now this event is not uncommon in Pakistan and every concerned citizen knows its objectives”, he added.

Speaking on the occasion Director General Environmental Protection Agency, Government of Sindh Mr. Rafiuddin has said that the main objective to observe Earth Hour is to infuse spirit of voluntarism in people to play their role to consume electricity at the minimum possible level and make our country energy efficient. Simultaneously, he added, their action will contribute to resolve the problem of climate change and global warming that is leading our world towards the path of environmental disaster.

Narrating the history of Earth Hour Director Technical of EPA Sindh Waqar Hussain Phulpoto said the since 2007 whole world has been observing this event to revive the pledge of mankind for the energy conservation and to address the issues of climate change and global warming. Director WWF Pakistan Rab Nawaz and Corporate Manager Asma Tahir also spoke on the occasion.

Earth Hour 2013

It may be pointed out that the Earth Hour is celebrated all over the world every year on last Saturday of March by switching off all unnecessary lights and electric appliances for one hour from 8:30 p.m to 9:30 p.m. This year it is being celebrated one Saturday earlier on 23rd March 2013.

Earth Hour 2013 will be held on Saturday March 23 at 8:30pm-9:30pm wherever you are in the world. So save the date and keep coming back to earthhour.org to see the world unite to protect the planet. In Pakistan the main event would be held at Mazar-e-Quaid-e-Azam at 8:30 p.m on 23rd March 2013.

Past History of Earth Hour

2007: The inaugural Earth Hour was held in Sydney Australia, 2.2 million Sydney siders and 2,100 businesses participate.  In 2008 Earth Hour was held in 371 cities and towns in more than 35 countries globally at 8pm-9pm. A highly conservative estimate concludes that 50 million people participate. This number could have been as high as 100 million people.

On the occasion of Earth Hour of 2009 hundreds of millions of people in more than 4,000 cities and towns across 88 countries switched off their lights for one hour, creating a visual mandate for action on climate change effectively kick-starting the world’s first global vote.

In 2010 Earth Hour was held and succeeded in being a global call to action to stand up, take responsibility and lead the global journey to a sustainable future. A record 128 countries and territories take part and iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas stood in darkness.

In the year 2011 Earth Hour was held and continues broke records for participation with 135 countries taking part. Earth Hour 2011 is the first Earth Hour to go beyond the hour, by asking supporters to think about what else they can do to make a difference.

Earth Hour 2012 was held by breaking records to cement itself as the largest voluntary action for the environment, with more than 6950 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories taking part.

 

Sheikh Afzal orders KESC, NADRA to boost up customer care

Staff Reporter

KARACHI (October 18, 2012): Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh Sheikh Muhammad Afzal (Khalid Umer) has directed Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) and National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) to further improve their customer care services and resolve the people’s problems related to their services on priority basis.

He was talking to delegations of KESC and NADRA in separate meetings in his office at Shaan Chowrangi Korangi Industrial Area on Thursday here. On this occasion Administrator Korangi Town Abdul Sami Khan was also present.

Talking to the delegation of KESC the Provincial Minister said that in his constituency Korangi and its suburbs the unannounced load shedding must be avoided and excess billings must not be made to consumers who already are facing lot of financial problems owing to rising prices. He further said that applications of new connections must be disposed of on priority bases without any unnecessary delay.  

The KESC delegation comprised of Khalid Jamil (GM VIBC), Iqbal Ahmed Shaikh (DGM VIBC), Raza Ali (DGM RPR), S.M Abid Hasan (DGM CA), Mohammad Ismail Manager (NW/VIBC) and Abdul Waheed Assistant Manager (Complaint Incharge) of Korangi Town.

Meanwhile talking to the delegation of NADRA the Provincial Minister Sheikh Muhammad Afzal said that the process of the issuance of new CNICs and change in CNICs must be made speedy to provide CNIC-related services to people promptly without any botheration to them. The delegation of NADRA comprised of Incharge Deputy Assistant Director NADRA Korangi Town Inamul Haq and Zonal Assistant Director Javed Irshad.

 

Minister Orders Speedy Action against Polluters

KARACHI  :  The  Provisional  Minister for  Environment    sheikh Muhammad Afzal (Khalid Umar)  issued directives   to  Environmental   Protection  Agency ,  Sindh  to  speed  up  the  monitoring  of  industries ,  Hospitals ,  constructions projects  and solid  waste  disposal  by  civic  agencies   to  control  the  pollution  and  protect  the  environment .
Chairing  the  monthly  departmental  meeting  of  Environmental   Department,  Sindh , he ordered  the technical  officers  of  Sindh  EPA  to utilize all  the  available resources  for  the  regular  and  vigilant  monitoring  of  all  types  of  the  polluters  and  take  strict legal against  them  .
He  further  said  that  lame  excuses  can  never  be  obstacles  for  the  efficient  workers  therefore  Sindh  EPA  should  put  all  its  efforts  to  control  the  menace  of  pollution  at  its  source  so  that  our  environment  can  be  protected  from  all types  of  hazards .
Sheikh Afzal also  directed  on  this  occasion  to  finalize  the  draft  PC of  all those  schemes  which  were  reflected  in  Annual  Development  plan  of  current  fiscal  year,  He   also  directed  the  Environment  Department  to  push  up  the  process  of  release  of  the  funds  of  all the  approved  schemes  under  ADP  so  that  their  implementation  may  be  initiated  without  any  further  delay .  He  also  directed  to  install vehicular  emission  testing  station  (VETS)  at Karachi  and  Sukkur  within  a  week  under  vehicular  Emission Cell  of  SEPA  .
Eelier  Secretary  Environment   Department  Government of  Sindh  Mir Hussain Ali briefed  the  Minster  for  Environment    on  overall  progress  of  the  department  , DG  EPA  , Sindh  Mr. Raffia Uddin  also gave a detailed   presentation  on  the  status   of  various  on  going ,  newly  approved  and  currently-reflected  development schemes  of  EPA , Sindh .

 

World Water Day 2012

Sindh Minister for Environment Sheikh Muhammad Afzal

 

Message from Honorable Minister of Environment Sheikh Afzal on Earth Hour

Almighty Allah has endowed Pakistan with a bounty of precious natural resources that have served our country well during more than six decades of development. Energy and, more particularly electricity, is an essential commodity for any developing nation such as Pakistan. It is, consequently essential that we conserve and use this valuable resource wisely. The manifestations of climate change are already demonstrating how vulnerable countries can be to phenomena such as global warming and how deeply unpredictable environmental events may affect our societies. Conservation of natural resources must become a matter of social consciousness.

I am pleased to learn that Environmental Protection Agency, Sindh is observing Earth Hour in Sindh on March 31st, 2012 in order to create a sense of awareness in the minds of the people towards our planet, Earth. It is said that a penny saved is the penny earned. Likewise energy saved is energy conserved. We must all think seriously about conserving energy and feel our responsibility because our healthy survival on the planet is in our own hands.

I would appeal to the people of Sindh to switch off all the unnecessary lights at and join hand with the rest of the World. Together we can bring a change. We must all make a firm resolve that we will use energy judiciously for the benefit of all.

World Wetlands Day

Sindh Minister for Environment Sheikh Muhammad Afzal

World Wetlands Day is celebrated internationally on the 2nd of February each year. It marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, on the 2nd February 1971.

The theme for this year’s World Wetlands Day is Wetlands and Tourism – a great experience. Because of being such beautiful places, wetlands are great places to visit.

Each year, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community take advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular.

In Pakistan too, efforts are in process to protect, conserve and rehabilitate wetlands. More particularly, special attention is being given in Sindh to control all such anti-environment activities which eventually pollutes our natural resources most important of them are wetlands.

People from all spheres of life must come out to save our natural resources and join hands with government to keep our environment free from the menace of pollution.

 
Legal action to be taken against violators

KARACHI: Provincial Minister for Environment Sheikh Muhammad Afzal has said that legal actions should be taken against those who violate environmental and forest laws and FIRs may be lodged under Section 144 because nothing is more important than the lives and health of citizens.

This he said while presiding over high level meeting at Sindh Environment Protection Agency Complex here at Korangi Karachi on Wednesday.

He said that environmental issues should be taken seriously and a mechanism and feasibility would be made to build garbage transfer stations in order to dispose of the garbage of the city properly and effectively. He said that 12000 tones garbage was usually estimated in the city only and the current infrastructure was to make better arrangements to dispose off the garbage.

Provincial Minister said ‘Dumping of the garbage in different areas is a matter of concern because dispose of the garbage in unscientific way is creating different kinds of diseases and people are suffering. He admitted that due to the shortage of funds it is difficult to meet the targets however he encouraged the officers concerned to work honestly to redress environmental issues.

He directed the officers to plant the trees which were echo friendly and reduce the grievances of the people. He said that mechanism should be made for planned and unplanned population and if you work harder then garbage could be utilized for different positive purposes such as to generate the electricity.

He said that the areas of the dense population and katchi abadies were worst hit areas in this regard and it is the need of hour to create awareness among the masses regarding environmental pollution and the people should throw their garbage into designated kundies. Mr. Sheikh said that the Environment Department was striving hard to resolve the issues but the cooperation of other departments was veryvital in this regard.

He directed the departments concerned to avoid to dump solid waste on sea shore because due to this practice coastal fisheries had almost destroyed. Mohiuddin, Imran Aslam Khan, Municipal Commissioner West, Shafiq ur Rahman, Municipal Commissioner, Shakeel Zaman Senior Director Health KMC, Fayaz Rasool Manager  Marine Pollution Department, Imam Bux Baloch, Chief Engineer KPT, Noor Ahmed Rind, Director Korangi Fish Harbour and Kamal Mustafa Municipal Commissioner Cantonment were also present in the meeting.

Environment to be incorporated as a compulsory subject in the curriculum

KARACHI: Efforts are underway to incorporate environment as a compulsory subject in the school and college curriculum to engender sense of responsibility among students towards protection of environment and natural resources.

This was stated by Sindh Minister for Environment, Shaikh Mohammad Afzal while talking to a group of students from a private university at his office on Monday. He said efforts to help youth channelize their capabilities and talent can bring about a revolutionary change in the country.

The minister said a campaign against environmental pollution will be launched at different educational institutions in the province and for this a series of competitions including speech contest would be conducted. "Dramas would also be staged to raise public awareness about importance of clean and pollution free environment," said Shaikh Mohamamd Afzal.

He said awareness has to be raised at every level to make people realize the implications of pollution on their general well being in terms of health as well as for the economy. Sindh minister for environment urged the students to take equal attention towards plantation in their educational institutions as well as in spaces around their residential areas.

"Public pressure has also to be developed against deforestation so much so that people, in different capacities, must themselves resist destruction of forests," he said. Shaikh Mohamamd Afzal advised the students to conduct public awareness camps, under supervision of their teachers, at all major thorough fares against pollution.

"Pakistan is fortunate to have a significant population of youth who can be utilized to bring about positive change in the country," he said. On the occasion students also shared with the minister their suggestion to combat growing levels of environmental pollution in the country.

Sheikh Afzal calls for environmental improvement 

Sindh Environment and Alternative Energy Minister Sheikh Muhammad Afzal has urged Karachiites to realise the importance of the environment and start taking steps at personal level to improve city environment, saying each and every citizen should plant a sapling in his or her neighbourhood.

Addressing the participants of an awareness walk at the University Road on Saturday, organised by the environment department in collaboration with Town administration, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, on the eve of World Environment Day, the minister said those having vehicles should also try not to let off vehicular emissions beyond permissible levels.

Sheikh Muhammad Afzal was of the view that parents should inform their children about the importance of clean environment as unfortunately, most of the people in our country were unaware of the environmental issues and their impact on human lives.

He claimed that his department was striving to increase awareness about better environment, and added that from next year, environment education would be imparted in schools.

“One of the biggest threats to the environment is smoke emitted from vehicles and in this regard, I urge people having vehicles to keep them in better condition so that they do not emit poisonous smoke” he said, adding that citizens should discourage burning of garbage within city limits.

According to him, plastic and polythene bags were also a major source of environmental pollution and urged the citizens to avoid using them.

The walk was also participated in by the officials of environment department and Sindh Environmental protection agency and citizens.

They were carrying placards inscribed with slogan like, “Protect the environment — protect yourself” and banners carrying messages to keep the environment clean for betterment of the world and the country.

 Karachiites Consume 50-55 Mw Less Electricity on Earth Hour

KARACHI: People of Karachi have consumed 50 to 55 Mega Watt less electricity on Earth Hour which was observed in Pakistan like other part of the world on Saturday to show solidarity with global fraternity on global warming and climate change.

Congratulating the Karachiites on successful observance of Earth Hour and saluting their spirit to save such a huge amount of electricity during one hour, Sheikh Muhammad Afzal, Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh said that residents of Karachi proved that Pakistani nation is not lagging behind global efforts of energy conservation. He was addressing the members of Earth Hour Organizing Committee of Environment and Alternative Energy Department, Government of Sindh on Sunday here.

He further said that on the appeal of Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Quaid Mr.. Altaf Hussain people of whole country not only voluntarily switched of their non-essential lights and electric appliances but also set an example for others to follow. “Pakistani nation once again demonstrated that it can give any kind of sacrifice for the betterment of the country”, he added.

Sheikh Afzal said that during short period of one hour voluntarily saving of 50-55 MW energy is itself a record while declaration of Sindh as Earth Hour Province by Sindh Government and declaration of Karachi as Earth Hour City by Karachi City District Government is also a unique example for others countries which evinces our dedication for the noble cause of protection of environment and conservation of energy.

It may be pointed out that on the occasion of Earth Hour 2011 on 26th March various activities were arranged by Environment and Alternative Energy Department, Government of Sindh. On Saturday an Awareness Walk at Mazar-e-Quaid Azam Karachi was held in which Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh Sheikh Muhammad Afzal, Chief Secretary Sindh Subhan Memon, Secretary  Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh Mir Hussain Ali, Director General EPA Sindh Naeem Mughal, EDO Municipal Services Masood Alam were present besides Town Administrators of CDGK, NGOs and media. 

Besides, installation of awareness sign boards and banners on main spots of the city, ceremony for declaration of Sindh as Earth Hour Province, ceremony for declaration of Karachi as Earth Hour City and awareness walks in Sukkur and Hyderabad were also arranged by Environment Department, Govt of Sindh.

The most important part of these activities was placement of Huge Earth Hour Charter at Mazar-e-Quaid which was signed by huge number of people to show their pledge for the protection of mother Earth.

      Minister for Earth Hour celebrations at mass level

 KARACHI: Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Sheik Muhammad Afzal (Khalid Umer) said that Earth Hour would be celebrated on 26th March 2011 at 8-30 pm (local time) to join the global commitment for the protection and conservation of planet Earth from the negative effects of climate change and global warming.He said that owing to climate change our fragile ecosystem has already been under severe threat, therefore for the proper care of our environment it should be our bounden duty to protect it from all types of hazards.

 “For this purpose we have to bring on behavioral changes with respect to environment”, he added. Minister said that Earth Hour is a global event and is held on the last Saturday of March annually, asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness towards the need to take action on climate change. Earth Hour 2011 will take place on Saturday 26 March at 8.30PM (local time).

 “This Earth Hour may go beyond the hour, so after the lights go back on think about what else you can do to make a difference”, he added.It may be pointed out that Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change.Only a year later Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participated in it. In March 2009, hundreds of millions of people took part in the third Earth Hour.Over 4000 cities in 88 countries officially switched off to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2009 the world’s largest global climate change initiative.Earth Hour 2010 became the biggest Earth Hour ever. A record 128 countries and territories joined the global display of climate action.Iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas switched off. People across the world from all walks of life turned off their lights and came together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.

Minister message on World Wetland Day

Karachi: The 2nd February each year is the World Wetlands Day (WWD). This particular date has been selected because it marks the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in Ramsar (Iran) on the 2nd February 1971. Every year the Ramsar Convention selects a theme and raises awareness on specific types of wetlands or aspects of wetland management. This year the theme they have selected is Wetlands and Forests which was chosen especially as 2011 is the UN International Year of Forests. The slogan is simple but effective- Forests for water and wetlands-.

This theme and slogan bring attention to the role that forests have in our lives. Forested wetlands are biologically diverse areas which not only help freshwater management but also provide carbon storage- a very important property in a world threatened by rising Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and climate change.

In Pakistan, our wetlands are generally degrading due to a whole range of human inducted threats including; conversion of wetlands and their immediate surroundings for agriculture and other purposes, damming of rivers and changes in water flow regimes, over harvesting of many forms of wetlands resources, felling of timber and deforestation of catchments areas, organic and inorganic pollution of wetlands and inadequate management.

We can benefit from wetlands by sustenance for agriculture, grazing and fisheries, provision of vital habitat for wildlife, especially waterfowl, maintenance of water quality and abatement of pollution, flood and erosion control, maintenance of both surface and underground water supplies, tourism, outdoor education, sports and recreation; and contribution to global climate control and stability.

Let’s pledge to protect our wetlands and to make efforts for their conservation while maintaining our ecosystem for the greater good of our planet Earth.

Minister orders strict monitoring of polluting industries

KARACHI: Provincial Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy, Sheikh Muhammad Afzal said that avoidance of being environmentally monitored is itself violation of green laws and all such elements found warding off environmental inspections would be dealt with iron hand.

Taking serious notice of cases where polluting industries did not let monitoring teams of Sindh Environmental Protection Agency to assess the environmental impact of their manufacturing process, Provincial Minister said that industrial pollution is one of the main contributors in
environmental degradation therefore no stone would be left unturned to bring industries in the ambit of environmental compliance.

He issued directives to Sindh EPA that its authorized monitoring teams may be provided all necessary support to inspect the polluting industries and if any industry creates hurdle in monitoring process its case may be forwarded to Environmental Protection Tribunal immediately. He said that polluting is itself a crime and if a polluting industry impedes the environmental monitoring process it actually commits double crime and therefore deserves double punishment.

However, he added, that inspection teams of Sindh EPA must not apply any kind of harassment tactic while monitoring the industries and all possible technical guidance may be provided to industries to bring them under the ambit of environmental compliance.

            Sheikh Afzal expresses concern on pollution in Manchar lake

 

KARACHI, December 28: Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Sheikh Muhammad Afzal (Khalid Umer) said that the pH value, alkalinity, conductivity, salinity, total dissolved solids, total hardness, phosphate, chlorides and dissolved oxygen in water of Manchar lake are towards higher side from standard parameters which indicates that pollution level in one of the largest lakes of the country has increased to an alarming level.

Talking to various delegations in his office on Tuesday, he said that the intensity level of pollutants and heavy metals like Zinc, Iron, mercury and lead in Manchar lake has highly increased. MNV drain, soaked pigeon peas (matri), domestic waste and oil pollution are the sources of pollution, which has killed the unique culture of its surrounding area and exposed the population living in that area to poverty and heath issues. This led to various diseases like Hepatitis C, skin and eye infections, TB, night blindness and infant maternal mortality.

He further said that the wetland biodiversity remains under a diverse array of threats. These threats are the impacts of agriculture and irrigation development, dam construction, water off-take for irrigated agriculture, flood control programme and water quality degradation arising from agricultural drainage, groundwater use, and industrial and urban pollution of river and canal systems.

“Once the largest freshwater perennial lake, located in Dadu district covering an area of 200 to 250 sq. km during monsoon with maximum depth upto 25 meters, now present a picture of lost paradise” he added.

He was of the view that to secure the conservation of biodiversity, natural values and other benefits accruing from Pakistan’s significant wetland sites, it is necessary to develop site-specific management strategies to combat threats to wetland sites and biodiversity; promote sustainable development in and around those sites; and develop national and local capacity to integrate conservation into the development process via multi-stake holder participation (including local communities, local government, NGOs, civil society and government agencies).

Moreover, he added, generation of data on water quality status during summer and winter seasons; identification of sources of pollution and pollutants into lake; pointing out alternate source of water for the local people and recommendation of steps to control pollution are equally important for the conservation of such an important natural resource.

He said that diversion of MNV drain’s flow to somewhere else and arrangement of fresh water in to the lake are workable solutions to mitigate the pollution load in Manchar lake.

 

Sheikh Afzal strongly advocates alternative energy resources

 

 

(KARACHI; December 21) Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Sheikh Muhammad Afzal (Khalid Umer) strongly advocated usage of alternative energy resources to combat energy shortage on sustainable basis.

 

Talking to various delegations in his office, he said that owing to grave energy crisis including shortage of electricity and gas it is necessary to promote usage of alternative energy resources to make people aware on usage of solar energy appliances for domestic energy needs. He said that solar cooker can be a good alternative for gas fireplace and solar lamp can help save electricity.

 

There is pressing need to utilize solar energy resources at domestic level for the ultimate aim to overcome the prevailing energy crisis at grassroots level”, he added.

 

He further said that a development scheme is being prepared for the promotion of alternative energy resources and it will be proposed in Annual Development Program of Sindh. The proposed scheme would cover a mass awareness drive on solar energy appliance all districts of Sindh.

 

It may be mentioned here that Environment and Alternative Energy Department Government of Sindh is organizing a practical demonstration of solar energy appliances on 29th December at EPA Complex Karachi.

 

 

Minister asks EPA Sindh to boost up monitoring of hospitals

 

 

KARACHI: On the directives of Provincial Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Shaikh Muhammad Afzal; Environmental Protection Agency, Government of Sindh has decided to boost up monitoring of all hospitals of both public and private sectors in the province to ensure

proper management of hospital waste.

 

This was stated by Mr. Naeem Ahmed Mughal, Director General EPA Sindh while presiding over a meeting on hospital waste management held on Thursday at EPA Complex, which was attended by representatives of leading hospitals of public and private sectors of the city.

 

He said that initially public notices would be published in leading newspapers to advise all hospitals, clinics, laboratories, dispensaries, pharmacies, nursing homes, blood banks, autopsy centers, mortuaries, medical research institutes and veterinary institutions including any other facility involved in healthcare and bio-medical activities to strictly follow Hospital Waste  Management Rules of 2005 for the environmentally safe disposal of infectious and hazardous wastes of their setups.

 

He further said that after publication of public notices, technical teams of EPA Sindh would visit the hospitals of public and private sectors to monitor their hospital waste management system. On findings of persistent violation by any hospital, its case would be forwarded to Environmental

Tribunal for legal action.

 

Mr. Naeem Mughal lamented that hospital waste – infectious and hazardous – is being treated mostly like municipal waste or its many contents like syringes, bottles, utensils etc are illegally being reused or recycled which may cause fatal diseases including HIV positive, hepatitis etc

“Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997 and Hospital Waste Management Rules 2005 strictly prohibit unsafe disposal of all types of hospital/hazardous waste including hospital waste failing which violators can be prosecuted for fine and/or imprisonment”, he added.

 

Most of the representatives of the hospitals who were present in the referred meeting vowed to follow Hospital Waste Management Rules 2005 for the safe disposal of infectious and hospital waste. It was broadly agreed upon in the meeting that appropriate techniques would be applied for the proper management of hospital waste.

 

Director, EPA Sindh Waqar Hussain Phulpoto and Director, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Karachi Dr Moazzam Ali also spoke on the occasion.

 

 

Towns asked to stop open burning of solid waste: Sheikh Afzal
 

KARACHI - Nov 27: Provincial Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh Mr Sheikh Muhammad Afzal (Khalid Umer) said that Town Administrators of Karachi have been asked not to allow any open burning of solid waste further and ensure that the waste dumped at the designated sites in their jurisdiction was lifted and transferred to the landfill sites on a daily basis.

Briefing the media on a high level meeting on solid waste management, Mr Sheikh Afzal said that it was noted in the referred meeting that continued illegal dumping of solid waste at various sites or their unsafe burning along roads and in ditches created enormous environmental problems. There were many public concerns associated with the existing solid waste management operations in the city of Karachi, he said, adding that all open burning activities produced smoke, which according to experts contained harmful pollutants some of which were toxic.

He said that towns had been asked to run comprehensive campaigns to sort out the issues of the environment and play a proactive role in coordination with the district administration concerned. “What we need is enthusiasm on the part of the town administrations and awareness about the merits and demerits of the solid waste management among the field staffers and people in general”, he said, adding that the government was also aware of the limitations of towns, but that should not be made grounds for further failure.

He said that a decision for constitution of a provincial solid waste management body has also been reached during the meeting and a team headed by the Secretary, Environment Department with DCOs of Karachi and Hyderabad as members would held meeting on a monthly basis to ensure a meaningful management of solid waste and environment friendly approaches by coordinating with all the town and district administrators across the province.

Earlier speaking in the referred meeting Provincial Minister for Information Technology Mr. Raza Haroon said that all the people and organizations were needed to work together for any practical solution to the solid waste management problem.

Secretary Environment, Mir Hussain Ali; DCO Karachi, Mr. Fazlur Rehman; DCO Hyderabad, Mr Aftab Khatri and Director General EPA Sindh Mr. Naeem Mughal also spoke in the meeting.

 
Minister stresses to keep beaches clean

(KARACHI – November 23) Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Shaikh Muhammad Afzal alias Khalid Umer has said that beaches are beautiful gift from nature therefore their safety is bounden duty of all of us.

Talking to various delegations, Provincial Minister said that beaches are good picnic resort and it is the responsibility of all citizens to take care of them while picnicking around them. He further said that environment is beautiful mix of rivers, seas, beaches, forests, land, mountains etc and their protection is our shared responsibility. If any one of the component of environment suffers from pollution, the entire ecosystem will fall in jeopardy.

Shaikh Afzal said that picnickers should throw the wrappers and empty packets of eatables into designated dustbins at the beaches and also ask others to do so. He further said that clean environment depicts the high awareness level of a nation; therefore, for the cause of clean and pollution-free environment, people from all walks of life would have to play their role.

 
Sustainability is vital for development: Sheikh Afzal

KARACHI: Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Sheikh Muhammad Afzal alias Khalid Umer has said that development without taking care of environment could never be called sustainable development.
Talking to various delegations in his office, Provincial Minister said that it is wrongly presumed that development sans environmental care could serve the basic goal of advancement. “If any progress is made at the cost of environment, it will definitely bring on negative impact either instantly or after sometime” he added.
He said that for every development project it is mandatory under Section 12 of Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997 to get its environmental impact assessment or initial environmental examination. He further said that private and public both sectors should obtain environmental approval of their development projects from their respective provincial environmental protection agencies.
Provincial minister said that various departments and organizations of private and public sectors are off and on approached to convince them to conduct EIA or IEE of their development projects. Private sector is moving ahead to get environmental compliance of their development projects.
He stressed upon the need of full compliance of environmental laws and regulations in every development activity so that this world may be handed over to the next generation free from pollution.

 

Sheikh Afzal Urges Plantation At Large Scale

Karachi, October 29: Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Sheikh Muhammad Afzal (Khalid Umer) expressed grave concern on increasing trends of tree-cutting and urged the authorities concerned to fully protectthe tress while carrying out development work.Chairing a high-level meeting at EPA Complex, he said that trees play an important role in mitigating pollution and make life healthier and safer. Hesaid that wanton destruction of forests has played havoc with our ecosystem and made the natural environment more fragile. Therefore, it is the need of hour to take full care of our natural resources and people should feel it their responsibility to avoid such acts which put the environment in peril.
         He further said that after the devastation by floods, the restructuring and rehabilitation should also be made fully taking care of their environmental aspect. He said that for sustainable development it is very necessary to keep in full view of environmental care otherwise the effects of development might be adverse.He directed the authorities of Environment and Alternative Energy Department Government of Sindh to devise such schemes which promote trends of tree plantation in entire province. He also directed to take on board all stakeholders to initiate a campaign on tree plantation at a broader level.
Secretary, Environment and Alternative Energy Mir Hussain Ali and Director General EPA Sindh Naeem Mughal were also present on the occasion.

 

 

Minister holds meeting on alternative energy

 

KARACHI: Mr Shaikh Muhammad Afzal, Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy held a meeting in his office today, the 14th October, 2010 to review the progress being made by Wind Power Generation Project in Jhampir and Gharo area. The meeting was attended by the Chief Executive Officer, Alternative Energy Development Board; Secretary, Environment and Alternative Energy Department; Additional Secretary, Board of Revenue; Additional Secretary Home Department and about 13 investors from the private sector.

 

After a brief introduction of the subject the Chief Executive Officer, Alternative Energy Development Board, and the Secretary, Environment and Alternative Energy Department, all the companies presented their individual progress. They also highlighted the problems being faced by them at the Federal and Provincial level. While analyzing these issues, it was brought to the knowledge of the Minister that Provincial Police Officer, and the Home Department have already upgraded Jhampir out-post a full fledged Police Station, and requisite police force and logistics have already been made available. It was decided that a similar set up would be required for the wind farms being developed in Gharo area, for which the Minister assured that he would take up the matter with the Police and Home Department immediately. Certain land issues of false claims and encroachment were also highlighted and it was decided that the Alternative Energy Development Board will pursue this matter with the Additional Secretary, Land Utilization Department, who would coordinate with the local revenue authorities. Delay by NEPRA in determination of tariff was also quoted by a few investors, to which the Chief Executive Officer, Alternative Energy Development Board agreed to facilitate expeditious disposal of tariff determination cases. The Minister further advised the investors to fulfill corporate social responsibilities like provision of health, education and social welfare activities for the residents of the area by involving local communities. The Minister also decided that the Environment and Alternative Energy Department would acquire land from the Board of Revenue, and through an ADP Scheme, develop a focal area in the region, where office of various Government Departments will be housed and facility for vocational training will also be developed.  

World Ozone Day

MESSAGE

Sheikh Muhammad Afzal (Khalid Umer),

Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh

September 16 every year is observed as "World Ozone Day". The celebration of this day is made to pay our homage to the ozone layer that saves our Earth from the harmful ultra-violet radiation of the Sun.

The gases which are responsible for increasing the Earth temperature artificially are called "green house gases” which includes: carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), sulphur herxa-floride, nitrous oxide, perfluorocarbon. These gases are called green house gases because they increase the temperature in the glass house made artificially to provide higher temperature in colder areas, which in turn helps plants that are native to warmer climates, to grow in the hilly areas.

The gases like CFC, or carbon dioxide have been used in the modern appliances like air-conditioners, refrigerators, fire extinguishers etc. So its looks like where there is more industrialization there is greater chance of causing harm to the ozone layer.

But the reality is unbelievable and horrifying. Unbelievable because the ozone hole was discovered in the Polar Regions where there is negligible industrialization and horrifying because this reality can cause more destruction in less time. The reason behind this reality is the polar stratosphere clouds provide basis for chlorine molecules (present in the CFC) to act freely in the colder regions (as in polar regions) and in the presence of sunlight in the Antarctica region the chlorine molecules attacks on the ozone molecules (O3) and kill them in the process. More damaging fact is this molecule could have a life of 45 years to 250 years. This is also causing the glaciers to melt.

To efficiently deal with this current fearsome situation, we have to take stringent steps. Some are:-

1. Save trees as they save life by inhaling harmful gas carbon-dioxide.

2. More sustainable behavior in our daily lives like saving energy at every step.

3. To use technologies which are environment-friendly, like bio-fertilizers.

4. The expansion of carbon trading by the developed countries from developing countries.

5. Globalize the technologies to the under developed nations that supports the climate.

Let us act now before it is too late.

Floods equally hit environment: Sheikh Afzal

KARACHI (August 24) : Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Sheikh Muhammad Afzal has said that apart from irreparable losses to life and property, flooding has equally damaged environment and it will take long time to rehabilitate the degraded environment.

Talking to various delegations in his office, provincial minister said that flood devastation can not be offset by government alone and in this regard all stakeholders have to play their due role. He said that more than 20 million flood-affected people badly need relief and rehabilitation and for this purpose global community should come forward to serve the humanity.

He said that environmental damages due to floods are also enormous and its repercussion would be felt till long. He further said that after rehabilitation of flood victims a plan would be devised to compensate the losses to environment and experts would be hired to make damage assessment on environment due to heavy flooding.

 

Reports of gastro cases in Landhi areas: Sheikh Afzal orders lab test of water samples

KARACHI – July 21: On the directives of Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Sheikh Muhammad Afzal (Khalid Umer) the technical team of Sindh Environmental Protection Agency has collected samples of drinking water from Bengali Para and Sherpao Colony of Landhi Town where outbreak of gastro was reported due to intake of polluted water. The samples are being analyzed in the laboratory of EPA Sindh.

According to details, Provincial Minister Sheikh Muhammad Afzal took serious notice of the gastro cases in said areas and directed the EPA Sindh to immediately visit the site and collect the water samples for their laboratory analysis to identify the various sources of pollution in the drinking water of the said areas.

Later on a technical team of Sind EPA headed by Ashique Ali Langah, Deputy Director Laboratory visited the referred areas and collected four samples from both the areas for their lab analysis. Presence of various pollutants like coliform, fecal coliform, total chlorine, TDS, dissolve oxygen and their conductivity would be tested in the water sample. On evidence of contamination in collected samples legal action will be initiated under Section 16 of Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997 against the agencies responsible for the supply of water in said areas.

According to initial observation of the technical team the basic reason of contamination of drinking water may be mixing of water supply lines with the sewerage lines. However, it would be premature to say definitely unless the laboratory report is finalized.

 

Sheikh Afzal orders monitoring of amusement parks

KARACHI, July 16: Sheikh Muhammad Afzal (Khalid Umer), Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh has issued directives to Environment and Alternative Energy Department, Government of Sindh to monitor the environmental aspect of amusement parks situated in the city and its suburbs.

Speaking at the monthly review meeting of the Department, Minister said that a database of all amusement parks may be developed and their proper monitoring be conducted to assess the environmental impact of waste of food outlets and sewerage of public utilities situated within the vicinity of such parks. He said that on the name of amusement the health of people especially of children can not be put at risk and all such amusement parks must take necessary safety measures including environmental management in their regular operations.

He further said that hotels, restaurants and food outlets may also be environmentally monitored to see whether such units are properly disposing of their cooking waste in environmental friendly manner or not. He said that apart from maintaining quality of food, it is also a bounden duty of hotel and restaurant owners to take all environmental measures in view to keep their surroundings free from pollution.

In the end, Sheikh Afzal directed the EPA Sindh to continue monitoring of polluting industries, factories, cottage industries, hospitals, public and private vehicles and government installations with same dedication to keep the country free from hazards of environment.

Secretary, Environment and Alternative Energy Department, Government of Sindh, Mir Hussain Ali and Director General, Environmental Protection Agency, Government of Sindh, Naeem Ahmed Mughal were also present on the occasion.

 

 

Minister visits SITE Association; calls for treatment of effluent

KARACHI – July 13: Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Sheikh Muhammad Afzal (Khalid Umer) visited the office of the SITE Association of Trade and Industry and discussed the available options to dispose of the waste and effluent in an environment-friendly manner.

Speaking on the occasion he said that there is no option to avoid treatment of effluent before its disposal on one pretext or another and added that it is clearly laid down in Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997 that all industries have to treat their effluent before disposal failing which legal action may be initiated against polluting industries.

He further said that superior courts have taken serious notice of incidents of burning of children due to toxic waste reportedly dumped in open area in SITE in which a child had lost his life. Therefore, to combat such tragic incidents in future it is the bounden duty of industries to dispose of industrial waste in environmentally safe manner and treat the effluent before its disposal.

Replying to the query of industrialists regarding sample collection from various industrial units, Minister said that industries should cooperate with the monitoring staff of EPA Sindh for inspection of industries to collect the samples and this action may not be presumed a source of harassment. He clarified that sample collection does not mean that the industry where from samples are collected will be closed down instantly as it requires due course of legal steps under the provisions of PEP Act 1997.

“There is a legal procedure to follow and upon proof of release of effluents toxicity from any industry above the limits of National Environment Quality Standards the case of such industry is forwarded to Environmental Protection Tribunal for legal action”, he pointed out.

Minister reiterated that various options to address the issue of treatment of effluent including that of construction of combined effluent treatment plant be explored.

Secretary, Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Mir Hussain Ali proposed that a committee comprising representatives of all industrial associations, EPA Sindh and line departments may be constituted to review the various environmental rules including NEQS to make recommendations for the modifications to bring them in loop with the pollution parameters of any specific industrial cluster.

Director General EPA Sindh Naeem Ahmed Mughal, Chairman SITE Association of Trade and Industry Saleem Parekh and Dr Arshad Vohra, former Chairman SITE Association of Trade and Industry also spoke on the occasion.


 

Oil Tanker overturned near Bilawal Chowrangi: SEPA acts promptly to assess Environmental impacts.

KARACHI – July 09: Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Sheikh Muhammad Afzal (Khalid Umer) took prompt notice of the overturning of oil tanker near Bilawal Chowrangi, Clifton in early morning of Friday and ordered Sindh EPA to reach the site of incident to assess the environmental impact of the oil spillage.

Consequently, a technical team of EPA Sindh headed by Director (Technical) Waqar Hussain Phulpoto reached on the spot at 7’o clock in the morning and asked the staff of City District Government Karachi to properly dispose of the soil which was laid on the spilled oil to cover it for the safety of surrounding area of the incident including traffic, passers-by, shops, restaurants and residential units.

SEPA team also directed the staffers of City District Government Karachi who were present on the spot to shift the contaminated soil after removing it from the affected road to any designated landfill site and if any soil has been shifted to somewhere else that may also be treated in the same manner.

It may be pointed out that Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Sheikh Muhammad Afzal himself noted the occurrence of this incident through media and directed the EPA Sindh to reach on the spot immediately for monitoring the environmental aspect of the incident including providing technical advice to clean the spilled oil with environmentally safe manner and advising people of adjacent areas to remain away from spilled oil unless it is fully removed from the place. SEPA also advised the owners of restaurants and shops of the adjoining place not to open their outlets unless oil is fully cleaned from the area.  

Meanwhile, Director General EPA Sindh, Naeem Ahmed Mughal said in a press statement that it is premature to tell the exact quantity of oil that was spilled on the place of accident and said that its stench may cause asthmatic problems if people do not avoid staying close to the place of incident. However, he said, regular liaison is continuing with CDGK to get the contaminated soil shifted to any designated landfill site without any delay.  

 

 

 

 

  WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY, 2010     03-06-201

MESSAGE

Sheikh Muhammad Afzal

Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy, Sindh 

The World Environment Day is being observed today, all over the world and the purpose is to highlight the importance of environment and its protection.

Universally, environmental degradation continues at a very fast pace. The developed countries due to industrialization and transportation are contributing to the Green House Gases where as the developing and under-developed countries are polluting the natural resources through release of untreated sewerage and industrial effluent and vehicular emissions.

This year the theme of World Environment Day 2010 is “Many Species. One Planet. One Future.” It echoes the urgent call to conserve the diversity of life on our planet as without biodiversity the world has a very bleak prospect. Millions of people and millions of species all share the same planet, and only together can we enjoy a safer and more prosperous future. 

According to a report, a total of 17,291 species are known to be threatened with extinction – from little-known plants and insects to charismatic birds and mammals. This is just the tip of the iceberg; many species disappear before they are even discovered.

The main reasons are irresponsible and negligent human activities. With our present approach to development, we have caused the clearing of much of the original forest, drained half of the world’s wetlands, depleted three quarters of all fish stocks, and emitted enough heat-trapping gases to keep our planet warming for centuries to come.

As a result, we are increasingly risking the loss of the very foundation of our own survival. The variety of life on our planet – known as ‘biodiversity’ – gives us our food, clothes, fuel, medicine and much, much more. When even one species is taken out of the intricate web of life, the results can be catastrophic.

On this day let us all pledge that efforts will be made on war footing to combat environmental degradation by resorting to sustainable development and neutralizing all such activities which are polluting the environment.

 

 

Sheikh Afzal orders demolition of battery kilns         27-05-10

KARACHI: Provincial Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Sheikh Muhammad Afzal has directed Environmental Protection Agency, Government of Sindh to demolish all such battery kilns located in suburbs of Hyderabad which are polluting surrounding areas and not stopped their operations despite Environmental Protection Orders served on them.

Accordingly, Director General EPA Sindh, Naeem Ahmed Mughal himself supervised the demolition process and started demolishing all such battery kilns (bhatta) which are un-authorizedly recycling batteries at agriculture land and without permission from any concerned authority.

Three months earlier, EPA Sindh monitored all such battery kilns and later on issued Environmental Protection Orders (EPOs) on them directing to stop their operations otherwise the same will be done forcefully under Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997. However, battery kilns did not comply with EPOs and continued their operations.

Provincial Minister, Sheikh Muhammad Afzal pledged that the process of demolition of batter kilns has been started and it will be continuing till the last such installation has completely been removed.

It may be mentioned here that in surrounding areas of Hyderabad district nearly one hundred battery kilns are operating which recycle used battery to make lead blocks which are used for the manufacturing of new batteries and which are sold at higher prices to battery manufactures which has ultimately made this business quite lucrative one.

World Environment Day 2010

Minister calls for mega events

KARACHI – May 11: Provincial Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy, Sheikh Muhammad Afzal (Khalid Umer) asked the authorities of Environment and Alternative Energy Department and Environmental Protection Agency, Government of Sindh to celebrate World Environment Day 2010 with zeal and fervour to help inculcate general public the significance of this day with respect to environmental awareness.

Presiding an in-house meeting of the Department on Tuesday here, Provincial Minister said that the main objective of observance of World Environment Day should not be merely to arrange some stereo activities. It must be commemorated with full commitment and devotion and its purpose should be to motivate people to bring behavioural changes for the greater good of the environment.

He further said that all over the world this day is celebrated to revive the pledge of mankind and to help realize people that very survival of human beings depends upon pollution-free environment. Therefore, he said, it is bounden duty of all and sundry to come forward and join forces to raise public awareness on environmental issues.

It may be pointed out here that every year World Environment Day is celebrated all over the world on 5th June to sensitize people on environment and its related issues. On this occasion at global and national levels various private and public sector organizations and departments arrange various activities including seminars, workshops, conferences, walks, painting competitions, essay competitions, children festivals, debate competitions and many more to make aware people on significance of clean environment for a healthy life.

 

 

22nd April, 2010

EARTH DAY 

MESSAGE

By Sheikh Muhammad Afzal

Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh

 

We all are well aware that today after forty years of the first Earth Day the world is in greater peril than ever. While climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, it also presents the greatest opportunity – an unprecedented opportunity to build a healthy, prosperous, and pollution free environment for our future generations.

The environmental challenges being faced by Sindh are enormous, which have largely resulted from the effects of rapid population growth, increasing rate of urbanization and the development of industrial complexes adjacent to the major cities. These activities have put enormous pressure on the natural resource base of the province. Also, availability of wastes due to limited treatment facilities, the increasing release of industrial effluent and municipal waste have polluted the land and water bodies, thereby posing a perpetual threat to the health of living beings.

Presently province is facing various environmental threats which include: air pollution, water pollution, marine pollution, solid waste, land pollution, noise pollution, bio-diversity, hazardous waste and hospital waste are most important of them.

In Sindh and Pakistan mostly the air pollution is caused by vehicles like, automobiles, trucks, rickshaws, aircraft producing carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, lead pollution. Stationary sources of air pollution are industrial plants, power generation systems, construction projects and solid wastes. These sources add pollution like sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate including dust, ash, soot, metals and various chemicals.

Air pollution in Sindh and Pakistan is confined mostly to cities and industrial areas. Solid and liquid waste areas resulted due to human and industrial activities. The quality of in-land surface and ground water reserves is deteriorating very fast due to indiscriminate release of un-treated municipal and industrial effluents.

The fresh water pollutants present as a suspended material are mostly organic, in-organic and solid particles. In many places in the rural areas of Sindh the under ground water contains more than 150 ppm hardness caused by due to presence of lime-stone. For drinking and domestic purpose chloride concentration should be 250 ppm, while in Sindh it is reported as more than 350 ppm. Nitrates concentration for domestic use contains less than 45 ppm, while in Sindh many places they contain more than 90 ppm which is very toxic.

In some places in Sindh the well water at a depth of 2-6 meters is reported to contain aluminium about 24 ppm, while WHO standard for its level is 0.1 ppm. This shows high level of pollution.

From industries we get pollution in gases form like organic vapours, chloro-fluro compounds, acids aerosols, aldehyde, fluoride, chloride and bromities. Noise pollution mostly caused by the road, rail, air-traffic, industries, construction, public work, indoor noise pollution are caused due to ventilation system, office machines, catering trade, live or recorded music and domestic animals.

In order to reduce pollution and bring sustainable development at national and global level, we must follow a well-defined agenda. The basic factor in controlling the pollution in Pakistan is the control of population growth, at the same time, we have to closely monitor and develop strategies to handle, macro-environmental factors like: climatic changes, depletion of natural resources, use of organic and sustainable methods in agriculture, control the pressure of urbanization and micro-environmental like: dust, noise, radiation and ozone layer.

If we consider above factors and improve education and raise awareness on the subject, it will bring awareness in the rural areas. We will definitely reduce the negative impact of pollution on the ecosystem and this will bring peace and prosperity in the universe.

 

 

Environmental volunteers will be hired: Shaikh Afzal

KARACHI (April 8): Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Shaikh Muhammad Afzal (Khalid Umer) has said that owing to growing requirements of environmental awareness and monitoring throughout the province, it has been decided to hire environmental volunteers from all the districts of Sindh to help protect and conserve fragile environment and ecosystem of the area.

Talking to a group of environmentalists and consultants, he said that after the beginning of implementation process on promulgation of Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 197, the scope of work of the Environmental Protection Agency Sindh has broadened extensively and it urgently needs a large number of work force to monitor environmental conditions of the province with up to the mark performance level.

“Therefore, in view of the shortage of manpower and to overcome this shortage for the time being, it has been decided to hire volunteers from every district of the Sindh who will keep vigil on environmental violations if take place around their area and will report such violations to their respective regional offices of EPA Sindh for immediate action. Accordingly, the monitoring teams of EPA Sindh will visit the identified area and will check the environmental violation for further necessary legal action”, he added.

He further said that after the hiring of environmental volunteers they will be imparted training on environmental issues through distant learning process and thereafter an introductory letter will be issued in favour of each of them to help them smoothly work in their area for the public awareness on environmental issues.

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Minister stresses steps against noise pollution

KARACHI (April 10): Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Shaikh Muhammad Afzal (Khalid Umer) has said that for the effective control of noise pollution, community participation is must to curb this menace for the cause of better environment.

Talking to a delegation of ENT specialists on Saturday here he said that noise level above the limits of National Environment Quality Standards (NEQS) adds possibility of various nervous diseases manifold and sometimes may damage the hearing as well.

For the proper control of noise pollution, he said that people have to play equal role to maintain the noise level of 80 decibels as per prescribed limits of NEQS and added that people must take care of their neighborhood while playing music player and communities should avoid unnecessary use of loudspeaker and must keep the silencer of their vehicles in good condition to help emit minimum noise.

Enumerating the efforts of Environment Department of Sindh for controlling the noise pollution, he said that under the ongoing campaign against noisy and smoke emitting vehicles of EPA Sindh, the noise level of vehicles is also checked and very noisy vehicles are fined with the help of traffic police.

Moreover, Shaikh Afzal said, while complying with the orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan to remove toxic waste from industrial areas of Karachi, industries are also asked to maintain the noise level of their manufacturing process within the permissible limits of NEQS.

He further said that it is the collective responsibility of all stakeholders to work together for the mitigation of various types of environmental pollution because the efforts of government alone could not be good enough if they are devoid of community participation because any drive for the cause of betterment of the society could not be meaningful unless people are part of such campaign.

     -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

World Health Day, 2010

Shaikh Afzal urges clean environment for healthy life

KARACHI (April 07): Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Shaikh Muhammad Afzal said that the health of people is directly dependent upon pollution-free environment and one can not spend a healthy life unless one has a clean environment free from all types of hazards.

Talking to various delegations of environmental and health NGOs at his office on the occasion of World Health Day on Wednesday here, he said that owing to lack of health facilities sometimes any minor type of disease gets worsened and sometimes proved fatal because of non-availability of hygienic conditions around the patient. Therefore, there is pressing need to keep the environment clear for the greater cause of better health of human life.

Commenting upon poor infrastructure of health facilities in rural and urban areas of the province, provincial minister said that growing urbanization has put lot of pressure on city habitats and congested abodes have added the fears of contagious diseases manifold. Therefore, there should be structural changes in policy-making in health and construction sectors.

He further said that owing to lack of awareness on health and hygiene, due care is also not take by hospitals and clinics to dispose off hospital waste safely and as a result the in-house polluted environment aggravates the sufferings of patients who stay in hospitals for their treatment.

He said that it is the bounden duty of hospitals to abide by Hospital Waste Management Rules while disposing off their hazardous waste because contravention of these

Campaign against smoke-emitting vehicles in full swing

Shaikh Afzal vows to control vehicular emissions

KARACHI: The campaign against noisy and smoke emitting vehicles, which was launched on the directives of the Provincial Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Shaikh Muhammad Afzal a month ago, has been going on in full swing and so far 800 vehicles have been checked at various busy spots of the city.

According to details, Environmental Protection Agency, Government of Sindh under the aegis of one of its development schemes “Vehicular Emission Control Program” has kick started the campaign against noisy and smoke-emitting vehicles with the objective to check vehicular emissions and noise apart from raising awareness level of drivers and vehicle owners to make them maintain their vehicles as environment friendly.

Talking on the details of the campaign, Provincial Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Shaikh Muhammad Afzal said that the primary need for controlling air pollution is not only to make people abide by environmental laws but also to make them aware on hazards of pollution. In this regard, he said, the campaign against smoke-emitting and noisy vehicles is a step in right direction under which vehicle owners and drivers will be asked to stop violating environmental laws and would also be imparted basic information on how to manage their vehicles environment friendly.

He further said that though under Section 15 of Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997 any vehicle owner or driver if found emitting smoke and noise above the limits as prescribed by National Environmental Quality Standard can be fined or imprisoned through prosecution if he or she does not stop violating the law despite receiving order by the concerned authorities to not to do so.

“However, initially vehicle owners and drivers if found violating the concerned Section of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997, will be convinced to maintain their vehicles in good condition and make them environment-friendly and thereafter if violation persists by any of them then their cases would be recommended for legal action. Despite that the basic objective of this campaign is not to harass any one and ultimate purpose is to motivate people to follow the environmental laws for the ultimate good of environmental conditions”, he added.

So far, the monitoring staff of VECOP scheme of EPA Sindh has checked total 800 vehicles at busy spots of the city including Numaish, Shafiq Morrh, Nagan Chowrangi, Hydery Market, Karimabad, Liaquatabad (Dak Khana), Nazimabad Petrol Pump, Nazimabad No. 7, Habib Bank Chowrangi, Sher Shah, Nipa Chowrangi, Jail Chowrangi, Jauhar Morrh, Safura Chowrangi, Shah Faisal, Golimar Chowrangi, Lasbella Chowk, Garden etc.

Out of total 800 vehicles which were checked during the campaign, nearly 390 vehicles were found emitting smoke and noise above the limits prescribed by National Environmental Quality Standards and as a result 200 vehicles out of them were penalized (challaned) through Traffic Police Department.

 

Campaign against vehicular emissions kicks off

KARACHI: Minister for Environment and Alternative Energy Sindh, Shaikh Muhammad Afzal has announced formal commencement of Campaign Against Smoke Emitting Vehicles from 27th January 2009 under which vehicles’ inspection will be carried out at various busy spots of the city and the owners and drivers of noisy and smoke emitting vehicles will be prevailed upon to ameliorate the condition of their vehicles for the improvement of environment.

Unveiling the details of the campaign in a crowded press conference at EPA Complex here, Shaikh Muhammad Afzal said that Vehicular Emission Control Program (VECOP) is a development scheme of Environmental Protection Agency Sindh under which the said campaign is being started to improve the ambient air quality of the city apart from bringing behavioural changes in people to keep their vehicles in good condition to make their vehicles environmental friendly for the ultimate aim of maintaining pollution free environment.

Minister said that during the campaign technical teams of VECOP in collaboration with Traffic Police will check and monitor the smoke emitting and noisy vehicles at the busy locations of the city including Numaish, Nazimabad Petrol Pump, Nazimabad No 7, Shafiq Morrh, Nagan Chowrangi, Nipa Chowrangi, Garden, Sohrab Goth, Jauhar Morrh, Shah Faisal Town and various other roundabouts of the city.

He further said that in initial phase the various vehicular emissions like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide shall be checked and their amount will be compared with the prescribed limits given in National Environmental Quality Standards. On finding of any deviation from the prescribed standards, the vehicles owners and drivers will be advised to maintain the engine of their vehicle to keep it in proper order, avoid using adulterated fuel, keep the silencer in good condition and more importantly to get the engine tune-up on regular basis.

He pointed out that due to vehicular emissions the possibility of various nervous and respiratory diseases including lung’s cancer, skin cancer, anxiety, headache, asthma, eye irritation, cardio pains, and minor deafness increases manifold.

He told the media that earlier under the VECOP the same kind of campaign was successfully conducted in Hyderabad where hundreds of vehicle owners and drivers were made aware on harms of vehicular emissions and convinced to keep their vehicle environmental friendly.

Shaikh Muhammad Afzal further said that if any vehicle emits smoke and noise above the limits of National Environmental Quality Standards then the driver or owner of such vehicle may be fined or imprisoned under Section 15 of Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997. However, he said, initially the owners and drivers of smoke emitting vehicles will be asked to abide by environmental laws and in case of persistent violation from their side they may be fined or imprisoned accordingly.

Mir Hussain Ali, Secretary Environment and Alternative Energy Department Government of Sindh and Naeem A Mughal, Director General, Environmental Protection Agency, Government of Sindh were also present on the occasion.

 

 Government of Sindh, Official Web Portal.