Saving the planet is ‘saving ourselves’!

Millions of people across the globe are feeling the impact of a rapidly warming planet. We must do something about plastic pollution. Maybe have something installed to recycle plastic bottles or for that matter, other materials made up of polypropylene.

We were geared up in Gujrat (Gt.) to have a compost plant put up through a collaborative effort of UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and waste busters a private waste management company. The new emerging concept of the private-public partnership was introduced. This plant was to be installed at the dumping site Sheikh Sukha, District Gt. predominantly a site that could have been used as a site for the three tehsils to cater to the cascading scale of the waste. The Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) purchased this land in a view to converting 150 metric tons of waste into Green force.

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The ideal would be to have a composite plant. Waste to fertilizer and waste to energy. We have to join our heads to move forward and fight the menace of waste. A well-thought-out plan for the city is what we must aim at. I had a meeting with MD NESPAK. I told the gentleman to get us out of the long agonizing painfully unending sewerage predicament. He gladly volunteered to help us out. A very knowledgeable man who is presently managing and offering consultancy to all ongoing major projects across Pakistan.

The whole idea surrounding this theme is to initially have a master plan initiated. Then whatever activity that you may envisage must be carried out keeping in view the very master plan in mind. All development activities could center around the main blueprint. No person in charge would therefore be allowed to go against the set plan. That’s the whole idea about it. For this very purpose, he said we could get funding from ADB (Asian Development Bank). There are two such projects being funded by ADB. One in Sahiwal and the other in Sialkot. There is a window of opportunity we the Gujratis could avail ourselves of. Only a matter of pulling the right strings. I am available to assist and get the whole thing initiated. The best would be to incorporate the Speaker Punjab assembly to kick start and get the string going. A long-awaited problem that we must rid ourselves of. We need to put our act together. The coming days are going to be very tough.

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Like us, the African continent is also facing the same problems. The cities, the rivers, and the oceans are way too polluted. Zambia has seen the longest drought successively. Egypt is no different. All these places pose a major threat to the environment. Dumping sites in Cairo present a spectacle of man-made catastrophe. It is a sea of plastic-induced pollution. The rivers are full of microplastics. A situation that needs to be rectified.

The climatic conditions in Zambia have gone from bad to worse. The consecutive years of degradation environmentally have led the Earth to dry up like swathes of parched land. The hippos in the once Zambian river seem to be standing on the bed of the river. The water has dramatically lowered in years. The magnificence of Victoria falls seems so magnificent when viewed from above. It cuts the earth when you see it from high above the ground. The waterfall has dwindled. A spectacle that is a staggering blow to the lovers of nature. Measures need to be taken to restore the area to its past glory.

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In Ethiopia, the veterinary doctors had to administer upon one-year calves and flush out entangled plastic in their stomachs while they graze upon the scattered litter, witnessed on the documentaries shown on TV.

The Nile is full of plastics. The city of Cairo generates thousands of tons of plastic waste. It is in turn being catered to by the local Zambales. They do the sorting at this place where the whole waste is brought and fed into a big machine which recycles it into microchips. But the condition in the river is appalling.

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There is a saying whoever pollutes the Nile will not go to paradise. But instead, we see the Nile being dumped with tons of plastics. The looming environmental catastrophe in the Nile unravels the dizzying heights of people’s obliviousness as to what great degree the hazard of throwing waste becomes damaging. The scientists have shown the Nile that repletes with microplastics. The fish ingest plastics. In no way the fish remains fit for human consumption. If people don’t react to this looming danger the whole continent would be at a greater risk people may not have imagined anything like this. The sheer scale of the waste is just horrendous. It’s about time the authorities did something about it. The fishing industry thrives on the interminable supply of fish. But if this is how it continues on then all this will end up in futility. An unfortunate tormenting reality.

Nature is our biggest ally and our biggest inspiration. If we take care of nature, nature will take care of us. It’s not about saving the planet, it is about saving ourselves.

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