MANSEHRA: A consortium of nongovernmental organisations and government departments working on environment started a campaign to ensure cleanliness at picnic points in Hazara by launching its activities from Saiful Muluk Lake on Saturday.
The consortium also organised a walk in Naran, the commercial point of Kaghan valley, to educate tourists to keep the beautiful valley clean and free of pollution.
The participants started the walk from central bazaar and reached the riverside of Kunhar after marching through various roads.
Consortium of NGOs starts activities from Saiful Muluk Lake
Deputy commissioner, Mansehra, Iqbal Hussain, deputy director Ministry of Climate Change Farzana Altaf and assistant director of Environmental Protection Agency, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Abdul Waheed also took part in the walk and garbage collection at Saiful Muluk Lake.
The activists of Saibaan Development Foundation, Right to Live, Sungi Development Foundation, Sarhad Rural Support Programme, and Pakistan Red Crescent Society and officials of the Ministry of Climate Change, Islamabad, and Environment Protection Agency of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa took part in the garbage collection and later packed it in bags and shifted them to dumping ground far-off from the site.
“We have initiated the campaign to clean the tourist spots in Hazara and started our activities from Lake Saiful Muluk which attracts a large number of tourists every year,” Abdul Rasheed, the district officer of social welfare department, told mediapersons in Naran.
The volunteers collected wrappers, shopping bags, beverage bottles, disposable crockery and other items, which they said was a big cause of pollution around the Saiful Muluk Lake.
“The volunteers also educated the tourists present there to avoid throwing such items into the water or on the lakeside,” said Mr Rasheed.
He said that as the World Environment Day was being observed on Sunday (today) the newly-formed consortium would continue its activities to make picnic spots and destinations free of pollution on self-help basis.
He said that the consortium had also formed Hazara solid waste management committee which would raise awareness among the relevant stakeholders of solid waste management issues. He said that owing to rapid pollution of water and riverbed the trout fish of Kunhar River was also at risk.
Sahibzada Jawad, managing director of Saibaan, said that NGOs working in Mansehra district had joined hands to make the tourist attractions free of pollution by engaging the local community.
He said that the consortium was working wholeheartedly for safe environment which was a great cause.
Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2016