ISLAMABAD: The Australian government will continue assisting Pakistan over the next four years in dealing with water, food and energy security issues, said Australian High Commissioner Margaret Adamson on Monday.
“Australia will invest AUD11 million in phase-II of the Sustainable Development Investment Portfolio (SDIP), which is focused on improving energy and water management in the Indus Basin,” said the ambassador.
“Phase-II will build on the phase-I – an AUD4 million investment, which helped strengthen the capacity of Pakistan officials in taking an integrated approach to water resource management,” she added.
The SDIP is a 12-year programme which began in 2013 with an aim to promote water, food and energy security in South Asia through improved management of shared water resources, renewable energy cooperation, sustainable climate, resilient agricultural practices and strengthened national capacity and coordination.
Adamson said Australia was working with Pakistan to help adopt efficient water-use practices at the farm and community levels and to encourage better coordination in water resource management at the provincial level to mitigate the effects of climate change and increasing population pressures on water availability.
“Australian experts have been assisting Pakistan since the 1980s in water management including water harvesting and crop water productivity in Balochistan, irrigation efficiency for mango and citrus orchards in Punjab and Sindh and construction of community-managed drinking water and drainage facilities in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P),” said Adamson.
She said the SDIP phase-II would promote best practices in water management, develop and strengthen the capacity and innovation in Indus Basin communities, which would help them adapt, innovate and cope with the risks related to climatic and non-climatic factors.