Karandaaz Pakistan, a non-profit entity implementing Enterprise and Asset Growth Programme funded by UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), has announced its plans to fund six green transitional projects as part of its annual Innovation Challenge.
With support from FCDO, this year Karandaaz invited innovative projects seeking financing to implement plastic waste management and efficient water management solutions. After due diligence, Suftech Innovations, Davaam Life, a consortium of 8th Loop and Open Door Design, National Rural Support Program (NRSP), Linked Things, and National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) have been selected as winners to receive funding from Karandaaz.
The qualifying entities were awarded certificates of selection by Ms Annabel Gerry, Development Director at FCDO UK, Mr Waqas ul Hasan, CEO Karandaaz and Mr Jaffer Askari, Sr Private Sector Development Adviser, FCDO.
Speaking at the event, Ms Gerry said, “The private sector is crucial to fighting climate change. I congratulate these six companies on winning funding to take forward projects on plastic waste and water management. The UK and Pakistan are Ek Saath against climate change. At the COP26 climate change conference last week the UK pledged over £55 million to help Pakistan fight climate change, promote efficient water usage and unlock climate investment.”
In a video message to mark the event, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, Chairperson Karandaaz said, “Lack of access to finance and poor investor interest explains the lack of private sector engagement in plastic waste management and efficient water management and conservation. Financial support is missing for the refinement and customization of products and solutions according to the requirements of specific sectors. Transitioning towards green practices requires a holistic approach; introducing an innovative solution, unlocking financing for the implementation, and scaling up, ultimately creating a demonstration effect. According to a study by the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources, about 95% of Pakistan’s water is used in agriculture, where current practices disregard its conservation and efficient use. As a result almost 60% of water is lost during conveyance and application in the field. Untreated disposal of industrial waste also continues to be a common practice for a number of industries in Pakistan. Similarly, according to the Government of Pakistan, 87,000 tons of solid waste is generated per day, mostly from major metropolitan areas. Plastic production and waste management continue to make significant contributions to greenhouse emissions. Factors such as these will have grave implications for the macroeconomy, the burden of disease, food security, livelihoods, and climate. This year, Karandaaz Innovation Challenge Fund will not only help set up six such solutions but demonstrate for other private sector players and the financial sector at large that investing in climate-smart green solutions is not only crucial for sustainable development but also makes commercial sense.”
Climate change is a high priority area for Karandaaz. It has already invested in solar companies. Through this round, Karandaaz will be committing another PKR 200 m and it plans to enhance its green portfolio to support both adaptation and mitigation measures to address the climate change concerns in Pakistan.