Pakistan is included in the list of those countries which are deemed highly vulnerable to climate change, although it is not a significant greenhouse gas emitter. According to official demographic statistics, more than 1/3rd population of Pakistan resides in urban areas, and this population is rapidly increasing at a pace much faster than national population growth rate. Pakistan is one of the fastest urbanizing nations in South Asia. While urban areas are expanding and especially their inner/older parts are getting denser; their social, economic, administrative and environmental issues are also getting more and more complex. Climate change is further complicating this situation in shape of flooding, water scarcity, heatwaves and disease outbreaks in urban areas. Municipal governments are increasingly finding it challenging to provide even basic municipal services to a rapidly growing urban population while maintaining their quality, coverage and adequacy. Adaptation to climate challenge is simply appearing beyond their existing administrative, planning and management capacities. Although Government of Pakistan has declared adaptation to climate change as one of its key policy priorities; national and provincial climate responsive urban development and management policies and frameworks and local plans are missing.
In this context, UN-Habitat is implementing this 04-year project with financial support from Adaptation Fund (AF). The overall project objective is to enhance community, local and national-level urban climate change resilience to water scarcity, caused by floods and droughts in Rawalpindi and Nowshera. The project combines horizontally and vertically interrelated activities: spatial planning strategies and concrete innovative interventions focused on reducing flood and water scarcity risks and impacts at the city and community level combined with the establishment of a national policy and regulatory framework for adaptation action at the urban level. Among the key executing entities are: Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) Nowshera, Water and Sanitation Agency (WASA) Rawalpindi, and Shehersaaz—a non-government organization working for sustainable urban development in Pakistan. This project is to be executed at three levels—national, provincial/local/city, and community. Likewise, it has three key components—each corresponding to a specific level.
Component 01 covers community level interventions. It has two distinct but interconnected outcomes and three outputs. Each output is further divided into multiple broad activities. Each of these broad activities have been divided into sub-activities.
Under Output 1.1; 5,000 community / household level flood resilient (i.e. elevated not be affected by flood water) rainwater harvesting facilities are to be constructed, using innovative techniques.
Under Output 1.2; 15 Union/Neighbourhood Council level community plans are to be developed (07 in Rawalpindi and 08 in Nowshera) while training community members (especially women and youth) to have requisite knowledge and practical guidance to plan, construct, operate, maintain and replicate water harvesting facilities at community level, and to reduce waste in drainage channels through awareness raising campaigns.
Under Output 1.3 covers campaigns to increase awareness in all target communities to reduce dumping of solid waste in drainage channels.