HYDERABAD: Speakers at a programme titled ‘Water for nature, accepting women’s role in water governance and peace building’ held at a local hotel on Tuesday emphasised the need for including women and marginalised groups in all decision-making bodies created under the Sindh Water Management Ordinance, 2002 that regulates the Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (Sida).
They stressed the need for women’s participation so that they could give their input for better management of farm sector in all Sida-governed areas.
The programme was organised by Sida in collaboration with the Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO), Oxfam and Aware.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Maula Bux Chandio observed that everyone today was raising the question that where had Sindh’s water gone.
He regretted that democracy and politics were not strengthened in Pakistan and stressed that countries always showed progress through consistent policies.
He appreciated the fact that today women peasants were raising voice for their rights in the agriculture sector. He agreed that women must have a role in decision-making.
Mr Chandio said the PPP took pride in making a woman the first prime minister of the Islamic world and then first speaker of the National Assembly.
He observed that NGOs also played a positive role in spite of the fact that many of them got flak from different circles. He said that he remembered many comrades joining NGOs and forgetting their dreams they persistently used to talk about.
SPO’s regional head Mustafa Baloch gave an overview of the programme and stressed that the Sindh Water Management Ordinance, 2002 needed to be amended for inclusion of women and marginalised groups in all decision-making bodies.
“Pakistan witnesses conflicts in water sector vertically and horizontally considering the fact that water is in fact power,” he observed.
Sida chairman Nawaz Chandio said that today Sindh was facing a severe shortage of water and due to ill-planning, tail-end farmers were not getting it. He urged society to play its role in this regard. He said that Sida was there to ensure an equitable distribution of water within its jurisdiction.
MPA Rana Ansar, MPA Faqir Dad Khoso, Oxfam country director Mohammad Qazalbash, Sida general manager (transition) Nazeer Essani and Aware representative Iftikhar Talpur also spoke.