Join hands for a noble cause
The planet earth is like our mother. It gives
birth to all of us. From unicellular simple organism such as
Chlamydomonas and Amoeba to highest well developed organism such
as human being and whale and all other organisms from the vast
dry deserts of Africa to the depth of pacific oceans all are a
brought up on the face of green planet. It provides us shelter
to live and also supply the living being with all the bread and
butter to live on. No other planet or in the known universe is
so life friendly as ours. God has created this planet for the
human being to live and it serves as a base to explore the other
part of the unknown and mysterious universe. Human being, by
using its intellect has explored about every nook and corner.
Men have designed missiles to hit others. They have sent
satellites to the space. We placed our steps on moon and mars.
In turn of all these benefit the human being is doing nothing
except destroying the whole eco system. It is being done in
every part of the land whether we claim to be developed or under
developed. Some where we violate the Kyoto agreement. Somewhere
the environment is being destroyed by the contamination of water
sources. Somewhere highly poisonous gases are sent to the upper
atmosphere resulting in the depletion of ozone layer. Change in
the weather pattern is a counter effect of the global warming.
Still in many places the very heart of the earth are being
shaken by the huge explosion of very powerful nuclear detonator
that have shocked and traumatized the very heart of the earth.
Like previous years this year on June 5 environmental day was
observed throughout the globe with pump and show. Seminars and
conferences were arranged followed by promises and assurances to
protect our mother earth at any cost. Unfortunately, all
promises to protect the environment are boiled away as same as
the bubbles in the air. Like other part of the world, in Chitral
also some of the non governmental organization arranged seminars
and promised to save the environment.
The green valley of Chitral which was once said to be as the
land of crystal clear steams and spring water is turning into a
land of garbage. If well-timed action steps are not taken this
beautiful piece of land is developing mountain size garbage and
if the natural resources are not properly utilized then the
whole mountains and shining ice caps will be covered only with
black color soot and dust emitted from the internal combustion
engines of automobiles. Chitral region has been blessed with the
clean environment. There are no industries in the area so the
major pollution sources such as industrial wastes are not faced
by this region. Nor it has the problem of harmful radioactive
waste as other part of the world. However, here the main sources
of environmental degradation could be categorized into the
following main types.
• Household waste after the uses of different man made
industrial materials such as poly ethane shopping bag and other
packing materials and water filled with detergents.
• Agricultural wastes such as pesticides, herbicides and
• Wastes from Hospitals in District Headquarter Hospital Chitral
and other Rural Health Units and Basic Health Units in different
areas of Chitral.
• Market wastes including contaminated water from the hotels and
Excessive and unnecessary use of shopping bag as a wrapper and
covering of many purchased material is one big source of
pollution. When a small business owner was asked about the daily
consumption of plastic shopping bag in his own shop he told that
about two kilogram pack (containing 200 to 250 shopping bags)
was consumed for a single day. This shows the alarming number.
Every one knows that a single poly ethane bag takes about 200
years to decompose. It is a common misperception that the these
bags are destroyed on burning but few number of the population
know that after burning it is converted into more poisonous
substances as carbon mono oxide, carbon dioxide and many other
harmful gases thus polluting the air.
In the same way, some of the town areas of Booni, Mastuj,
Chitral and Drosh have business activities. Hotels and
restaurants are being run in these areas. Barber shops are also
situated in the main bazaars areas which release huge amount of
water contaminated with shampoos and bath soaps. Moreover,
unlike big cities, the whole region is not suitable for
multistory building constructions. But on the other hand, lack
of building codes in the district multistory construction is
being seen just mimicking the metropolitan cities. Also no
proper urban planning could be seen in Chitral. As a result huge
amount of sewage lines from toilets and bathrooms automatically
get mixed with the river water and thus endangering the marine
species along with the plants and crops.
The use of pesticides and herbicides make the situation graver.
In the name of so called protection of plants from diseases
toxic and environmentally hazardous chemicals are sprayed over
the crops and plants. Although, such chemical substances kill
the harmful pest but their ultimate effect is that they
contaminate the flowing water in the villages which is no more
usable for drinking or cleaning purposes.
Hospitals wastes such as used syringes, plastic bags and other
packing materials have no proper places to dump. Hospitals in
Chitral, except few, are filled with this garbage around the
buildings. Such garbage provides a very good and favorable
environment for bacteria and viruses to grow. Rapid growth of
bacteria and virus finally results in the spreading of diseases.
People who come to hospital for the sake of curing diseases take
many other diseases to their homes. Thus hospitals are serving
not a place of treatment but a place to spread disease.
It is a fact that one cannot stop the fast growing business in
the region. We cannot close down the door of hospital just
blaming them as sources of pollutions. Neither hotels nor market
could be shut down. However, some practical actions could be
taken to minimize the degradation of environment in our own
hand. The issues of pollution must be sensitized before it gets
the alarming condition.
Environmental awareness among the common masses is the need of
the hour. For this purpose the people of all ages must be
educated. In order to get the positive results teachers could be
trained to produce environment friendly and sensitive students.
Environmental clubs in schools and other institutions could be
formed to create awareness among the public. In addition, to
encourage the plantation another step could also be taken. It is
by conditioning the certification of students at the end of
academic year in school or college year with at least planting a
single tree by the students.
The unnecessary and excessive use of the poly ethane shopping
bag must be discouraged. Instead of using shopping bag for every
piece of a substance we could have other bags of cotton with us
to keep our luggage after shopping. This simple act will highly
be helpful to minimize the environmental pollution. Similarly,
children must be educated to use recycle bin instead of dustbin
in their home and schools. If children take a chewing gum ask
him/her to put the plastic cover of confectioneries into the
recycle bin. Use recycle bin as more as possible. Instead of
putting household or any other wastes in flowing water one can
dump the garbage thus by protecting water from being polluted.
Similarly, recycling techniques could also be useful. We can
design decoration pieces from the garbage thus by getting wealth
A large amount of paper is consumed daily within the district
especially in the government and private offices. One must
remember that with every page of paper a tree is cut down. It
results in the deforestation which ultimately leads to thinning
of forest in a country which is already deprived from this
wealth. Instead of using papers we can search for alternatives.
It could be using soft copies and reading them from the computer
Mammoth gathering of people are seen in the three mega events of
Shandur, Broghol festivals and Jashn e Qaqlasht where people use
fast foods and other edibles. Soft drinks are taken in
abundance. After every big event these places are filled with
wastes. Through mass media the people could also be educated.
Such occasions provide a best platform for a number of people to
educate. Implicit message of importance of clean and neat
environment could be given to the people through banners and
announcements. Showing documentaries on the hazards of
environmental pollution will be another step towards this noble
Environmental degradation is not only the concern of Chitral nor
is it the issue of today rather it has been felt in all parts of
the planet earth. No other weapon of mass destruction poses a
threat as severe as the environmental pollution. Human being is
much concerned about the fast changing weather pattern, melting
of ice caps and elevation of ocean water. No country or
government has the magic wand to clean the environment in a
while. Every individual has an important role. Let us again
remember the famous dictum of great German Philosopher,
Nietzsche, and "Let everyone sweep in front of his door and all
the world is clean". Let every citizen of the world take a pause
and thing about our planet in general and our region in
particular and play his/her role.
Dokandeh, Booni, Chitral
09 June 10.
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