The Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives hosted a workshop to discuss current initiatives and future actions for making irrigation water management systems more resilient to climate change in Pakistan.
Mr. Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, discussed the distribution of water and existing water policies with a focus on economic growth. He appreciated the organizing of the workshop and confirmed that its recommendations would be implemented in the future.
Mr. Jehanzeb Khan, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of Pakistan, noted the workshop’s timing as the country prepares to implement the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2022-23. He hoped that an action plan could be developed by all stakeholders to implement the water policy.
Mr. Khan also said that an effective implementation of the national water policy would bring about a real change in the water sector in Pakistan. He noted that a lot of work has been carried out in the area of water conveyance, however, more efforts are needed for water management in the country.
Dr. Hamid Jalil, Member of Food Security and Climate Change at the Planning Commission of Pakistan, highlighted the importance of irrigation water management and stressed the need for formulating practical recommendations for implementing the national water policy in Pakistan.
Presentations were given on the National Water Policy, opportunities and challenges in Pakistan’s irrigation systems and the role of institutions in developing water policies and the relevant capacity building initiatives by Dr. Akmal Siddiq, Dr. Akhtar Ali and Dr. Bakshal Khan Lashari.
One the major recommendations was the establishment of a water commission to strengthen the Ministry of Water Resources (MOWR) in addition to establishing an apex organization for transboundary water management.
The experts highlighted the need for supporting and strengthening civil society organizations working in the water sector and that water financing mechanisms should be improved further. Participants stressed that water-sector policies and action plans also be made more gender-focused by enhancing the role of women at policy and practice levels.
The workshop was organized under ADPC’s Climate Adaptation and Resilience (CARE) for South Asia project which is supported by the World Bank.