Environment: Environment is anything that is around us, it can be living or non-living things. Living things live in the environment and constantly interact with it. But sadly the natural environment of Pakistan is not as good as it needs to be and it is facing some serious issues which require attention of not only the higher authorities but also the local men living in this environment. These issues are explained below;
One of the major environmental issue is pollution; air pollution, noise pollution, land or soil pollution and thus all kind of pollution effecting us and environment adversely.
- Air Pollution: It occurs when gases, dust particles, fumes or odour are introduced into the atmosphere in a way that makes it injurious to living beings. The main causes of air pollution are fumes from automobiles, industries, and the chloro-flouro-carbon which is the main outcome of electronic appliances and contribute mainly on global warming. High level of air pollution can cause an increase in number of health problems like breathing difficulties, birth defects, heart attacks etc.
- Noise Pollution: Loud and unpleasant noise that is caused by automobiles, airplanes, social events and commercials etc, which are irritating and harmful for the listeners is called Noise pollution. It can cause stress, anxiety, headaches, irritability, hearing loss and sleep loss which result in decreased productivity. In severe cases it might cause deafness.
- Land/Soil Pollution: Main causes of soil pollution are use of harmful pesticides, deforestation, urbanization, improper sewage system and most importantly irresponsible waste disposal in oceans or lands etc. All these have adverse effect on living beings as it is responsible for the spread of different skin and respiratory problems and also cancers. Deforestation, also, cause atmospheric imbalance and decrease the intake of carbon (where most pollution is carbon based).
- Water Pollution: It is basically the contamination of water bodies (lakes, rivers, ponds, oceans) as a result of disposal of waste into them. Industrial waste is one of the main cause of water pollution. This causes serious problems like poisoning and killing of marine life which will ultimately affects humans.
Natural disasters such as earthquakes, mudslides, floods, wildfires, and weather events like extreme monsoon or droughts are increasing because of the climatic changes. These events bring with them a host of issues like:
- People are forced to leave their house because of the disaster because their former homeland is no longer habitable. These people are called Environmental migrants.
- Poor public health after the disaster is also a big issue where the victims, most of the time, get isolated from the rescue and emergency healthcare services. In addition to this, during and after floods and hurricanes the standing water can become a breeding ground for disease causing microorganisms and vectors like mosquitoes which usually worsen the health condition.
- Natural disasters, from tsunamis to wildfires, can cause wide-ranging and long-term consequences for ecosystem.
- Infrastructural damage is also a serious issue. It is really difficult for the government as well as private home owners to raise the funds for rebuilding of their properties especially in a developing country.
Overpopulation contributes to some of the compelling environmental problems which encompass:
- Overpopulation causes excessive consumption of natural resources like arable land, coral reefs, fresh water, fossil fuels, forests etc can result in their depletion for the future generations.
- There is a visible increment in loss of the ecosystems like wetlands, wildlife, rainforests, aquatic life forms etc. this is mostly because of overpopulations and pollution created by their activities.
- Urbanization, cutting down of trees to create houses and offices for growing population has a huge impact on our environment.
- More population use more automobiles, machines and electricity which directly or indirectly has great involvement in pollutions and climatic change, ultimately, global warming.
- Because of loss of ecosystems the already endangered species are getting extinct.
- Overpopulation is one of the leading cause of the speedy occurrence and emergence of human disease like TB, HIV, dysentery, malaria etc.
It affects the environment in following ways:
- Many animal species lose their shelter. Loss of biodiversity can also be seen.
- It increases the greenhouse gases whereas decreases the productivity rate of oxygen.
- Increases soil erosion, salinity, loss of land for agriculture, more vulnerable to floods.
- It dries the soil making it arid, as fewer trees return less water (from atmosphere) to the soil.
- Loss of rain and rainforests.
Recently, one of the main issues that is having great impact on our environment is shortage of water because of which we’re forced to use unsafe water for food, drinking as well as other vital tasks. Research says that, if government didn’t take any action for it, Pakistan will run out of water by 2025. We all know that Pakistan is an agricultural land, 95% of water is used for it and 60% of people are directly involved in this, water scarcity is making lands go barren and the quality of life of such people. The contaminated water is also impacting public health as it acts as a ground for many disease causing micro-organisms to grow and infect human beings. Drought conditions has occurred in many desert areas like Thar where people are dying because of low availability of water. Hence this is affecting environment in numerous ways.
Steps already taken for these Problems
Our government is mainly ignorant towards the environmental issues which is resulting in increase of health related issues and illness too. They put in very little efforts for this cause and some of the programs they initiated are going on with very slow pace.
Almost 2 years back government started program named “Billion Tree Tsunami” which was with the aim of planting more than a billion trees but the program is running mainly in KPK.
Government apparently banned the use of plastic bags but they failed to implement this policy on larger scale and they are still in use.
Few months back, government started collecting funds under the scheme “DIAMER-BHASHA AND MOHMAND DAMS FUND” for the construction of these dams and in order to deal with water scarcity but we hardly hear about this project today.
The government also started collecting garbage from the affected areas in order to deal with the health related issues and to reduce the spread of diseases.
Suggesions to Improve Environmental Problems
The measures taken by Pakistan government are static, common people can’t see the influence it had made and they suggest their own ways to solve these problems which are:
- Planting more trees.
- Using public transport rather than personal vehicles to reduce the smoke in the atmosphere which is leading to air pollution.
- Construction of more dams, so that they can store the water during rainfall and to reduce the chances of floods.
- Controlling population by making different policies about it and spreading awareness.
- Don’t let dirty water stand around us as it results in growth of different pathogens.
- Less use of irritating and noise producing instruments be it the horns, loud music or the sound of industrial machines can help in reducing noise pollution.
- Make a proper sewerage system to avoid the dumping of industrial wastes in ocean and polluting water.