Yesterday, Gul Bahao’s Nargis Latif was invited to address a gathering of students at the Goethe Institute. The event was organized by the Children’s museum for Peace and Human Rights to high light the causes behind natural disasters especially in the current situation prevailing in the country.

Nargis Latif in her detailed speech said that Gul Bahao during its 16 years of existence has been giving solutions to seemingly intractable environmental problems. It has invariably linked the environment with economy. It has never indulged in breast beating about pollution levels about the destruction of the planet. It has always shown how we can have development and industry side by side with a clean environment. For instance dry recyclable waste may be collected in bins in such an organized manner that nothing remains to pollute and instead the industry and agriculture would gain through easy and cheap access to raw material.

She said that if we use paper bags instead of shopping bags we will be encouraging deforestation which will lead to large scale flooding. Nargis dwelt on a variety of topics ranging from factory effluents, to use of organic waste as fodder to the use of plastic waste in the use of building blocks (remember Chandi Ghar) is an innovation of Gul Bahao. She said that a sensible waste management system including recycling would go a long way in controlling desertification, deforestation and pollution of natural resources.

There was an intense interaction between the head of Gul Bahao and the participants of the seminar. Students wanted to know how they could help Gul Bahao. Citing the example of Al Noor School in Gul- shan e Iqbal, she said they asked their students to collect recyclable garbage from their friends, relations, neighbors on one particular day. After separation and weighing, it value was calculated at a little over nine thousand rupees. This was a donation from the school to the NGO (Gul Bahao). Nargis revealed that some other educational institutions including few universities have started donating their recyclable garbage to Gul Bahao. Referring to the devastation caused by the floods, Nargis suggested plan of action. According to her more than Rs 3 crore worth of waste is being thrown into the dumps of Karachi every day.

Even if a fraction of this is collected in an organized manner it could help in the relief and rehabilitation of the flood affectees. Nargis said that Gul Bahao during its 16 years of existence has gained ample expertise in this matter and has sold more than eight crores rupees worth of garbage so far.

In the meantime Nargis has appealed to all institutions banks, factories and others and even NGOs to use their recyclable waste for raising funds for the national calamity taking place in the country. Gul Bahao will send its transport and staff to collect the recyclable garbage.

Solutions to environmental problems – lecture at Goethe institute
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