RUDA plans to preserve Ravi’s water

In Pakistan, the Ravi River has degraded significantly. The communities of the Ravi Basin have a different vision for the future of the river. Much progress may be accomplished through water treatment and river restoration, but people and organizations must do their share to protect the Ravi. The River Ravi Eco-Revitalization Master Plan is a detailed road map for realizing the collective’s vision.

The Ravi River is one of five tributaries of the Indus River that give Punjab its name (also known as the Land of the Five Rivers). Tens of millions of Punjab inhabitants rely on it for survival. It’s basin has a population of 52 MILLION PEOPLE. Ravi and its network of nullahs are the lifeline that connects and serves homes and businesses dispersed across Pakistan’s most populated province. The local word for natural streams and drainage systems that have been turned into open sewers over time is nullah. Lahore, where the population has increased by 60% in the previous ten years, is home to 10% of Punjabis who rely on the River Ravi. A handful of other large cities make up the urban balance. The ecosystem of Ravi has been strained beyond its limits as a result of rapid population increase and powerful economic development, threatening the livelihoods of millions of Punjabis and eliminating essential ecological services that might support the economy. The river is confronted with a complicated set of difficulties that endangers its population and their livelihoods, including: Diversion of headwaters

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Unjust agricultural and industrial practices.

A critical mismatch exists between the basin’s rivers and its population. Changes in groundwater levels and contamination. Inadequate wastewater treatment, as well as poor environmental management.

Due to the sheer population explosion, high industrialization, rapid urbanization, lack of wastewater treatment, and little regulation of water use, large amounts of residential, industrial, and agricultural wastewater, as well as toxic effluents, are discharged directly into nearby nullahs from almost every region of the basin. Human-made and natural nullahs, seen as drains by locals, transport industrial wastes and sewage from big metropolitan centers such as Lahore, Sheikhupura, Faisalabad, and Sahiwal, as well as smaller towns and villages, into the River Ravi. Smaller nullahs are also polluted as a result of unauthorized “multi-purposing.” The state of the River Ravi and its nullahs poses a major danger to the health of those who live in the basin. Because of widespread pollution, water-borne and water-washed (skin) illnesses affect people of all ages. Also, this untreated waste water is used by the farmers for irrigation purposes situated near or next to river. Thus this produce harvested through this polluted water goes into our food chain which Lahore eat on everyday basis.

MUHAMMAD JAZIL

LAHORE

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