KARACHI. The SindhWater Sector Improvement Project in Collaboration with GoS held its First Steering Committee Meeting in the Committee Room of Sindh Secretariat Building under Chairmanship Minister Irrigation GoS, Mr. Sohail Anwar Siyal, to discuss the status upon actions required and move forward for the formulation of Sindh Water Policy. The purpose of the meeting was to monitor the overall progress in the formulation of the policy, review the interim outputs as well as providing guidance on policy objectives Mr. Muhammad Yasir Jan Baloch, PC WSIP and Secretary of Steering Committee briefed the forum regarding the importance of demand of the provinces to develop water policy for sustainable development and management of water resources as the first step towards NWP. The provinces like Punjab and KPK also developed their own water policy in line with NWP. Hence, the dire need for Sindh to have its own policy in order to contribute for sustainable growth by ensuring access to water and sanitation and water security. He further highlighted that the policy will encompass some key elements which include: Focus on the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) approach, by Integrating all the water using stakeholders; addressing food security and persistent poverty issues; ensuring access to safe water and sanitation; ensuring water security for urban centers and commercial hubs; improving the productivity of water use in agriculture; increasing the resilience against Climate Changes, Environmental, Social impacts and natural disaster risks; innovative water technologies; addressing key issues of on-going water pollution; protecting Sindh’s precious wetlands and the Indus Delta; proper management of water resources; surface and groundwater; water quantity and quality; institutional and organizational restructuring; economic value and pricing of water resources; and legal framework for water governance.
Meeting was held under Chairmanship of Minister Irrigation who was hopeful that the formulation of water policy will give Sindh access to water keeping in view that the importance of agriculture and other economic aspects that are dependent on water. He also briefed that keeping in the view of the importance and multidimensional aspects of water, it is essential to form group/ committees for defining the policy objectives and priorities based on a strong participatory process of consultation with related departments. Mr. Toru Konishi, Task Team Leader-WSIP/SBIP, The World Bank also informed the forum that the World Bank has agreed to provide the financial as well as technical assistance to GoSindh in collaboration with UN-FAO in preparation of the policy. He also gave his input on SWP and stressed it as an important document for the sustainable growth of Sindh in ensuring the access of water and water security in Sindh. He also informed the participants that the policy will cover all water resources and their uses in provinces would help in improving water quality and quantity as well as help in agriculture, industrial domestic and environmental use.Secretaries of Irrigation, Agriculture, Public Health, Forest, Environment, Local Government and prominent members of Sindh Abadgar Board, Sindh Agriculture Board, Irrigation and Water Sector were also present in the meeting