By Shariq Nadeem.
Pakistan the land of beauty, filled with immensely beautiful landscapes, timberland, high mountains, lakes, valleys and its rich cultural heritage made it a place of attraction for tourists worldwide. The Northern Areas spans a region of some 72,496 square kilometers of north-eastern Pakistan. They are characterized by a fragile, high mountain environment and extreme climatic conditions; however, they support over 870,000 people, and possess great ecological and cultural diversity. The Northern Areas also serve as the principal water catchment for the Indus River, upon which a majority of Pakistan’s irrigation and hydroelectricity depends.
Due to the lack of sanitation Environmental health problem are a growing concern in the region which affected by deadly diseases like cholera, typhoid, shigellosis, amoebiasis and asthma which absolutely shameful considering the beauty surrounding it all. This speaks volumes of the fact that thousands of people affected due to poor sanitation and health circumstances in the area.
According to Express Tribune in 2016: Pakistan’s tourism industry grew by a good 4.1 percent, which clearly goes to show that as a nation in a past few years a country hit by extreme terror it is a major achievement contrary to that all we doing is somehow trying to bring that figure down again.
Virtually all water supply system in the northern areas is contaminated by human and animal waste which is serious cause of concern in the multiple scenic sites of Pakistan.
Lack of sanitation, improper lavatory system is a major issue especially for women. As men sometimes prefer to go to open fields which obviously is a bizarre option to have but women have no other option. In this kind of helpless condition people use those temporary washrooms which make that area more dirty and taint, spreading diseases in the environment. Strict action must be taken against inadequacy and unsatisfactory conditions of toilets. Local citizen as well as tourists should take responsibility to keep the area clean and green. Travellers should restrain from throwing waste on roads and surroundings for maintaining the beauty of nature.
Government should take notice for the betterment of the sanitation issues in the northern areas of Pakistan. Safe outbuildings with proper lavatory facilities should be establish and more trash cans should be placed after every small distance for the travelers which would add more ease and comfort to their wonderful trip across Pakistan. Amelioration in sanitation problems and accommodation for tourist will improve tourism in the country resulting in clean and healthy environment and growth of Pakistan’s economy.
As part of sustainability and developing strategy of northern areas it is extremely important for us to raise awareness amongst people to change lifestyles of the people there to preserve our dearest asset. An intensive public awareness programs, Ngos working in these areas simple measures to improve health conditions waste management, house and land-use planning, water supply and sewerage are extremely important for the tourism industry to grow and for the tourists to know that Pakistan is the place to be and set an example of how we as nation preserve our heavens.
If we also let go of this then probably we as a nation have gone past the point return.
Shariq Nadeem is student of Business Administration at Institute Of Business Management, Karachi.