The Water and Sanitation Program-South Asia (WSP-SA) office in Islamabad, Pakistan has researched the current status of water and sanitation related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP).
NWFP has already met its quantitative MDG Targets in sanitation: Household surveys indicate that 75% of the population has access to a latrine, with 95% access to latrines in urban areas and 71% in rural areas.
However, data from the 2001/2 NWFP Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) suggests that as many as half of these latrines may be unsanitary. A tradition of ‘open defecation’ in NWFP means that even if latrines are present in the home they are not always used. In addition, the coverage of latrines in public places (markets, bus stands, railways, industry) is poor.
NWFP is ‘on track’ to meet its quantitative MDG Targets in drinking water supply: According to the trends reported from successive Federal Bureau of Statistic Surveys, 71% of the population of NWFP (91% of the urban population and 64% of the rural population) have access to an improved source.
Access to an improved source of water does not necessarily mean that this water is safe. In urban areas, intermittent supplies results in contamination within the piped distribution networks. In rural areas, failures in the treatment and protection of improved sources also lead to contamination. The extents of these risks are such that only 38% of the water accessed by consumers is estimated to be chemically and bacteriologically safe.
Read more: WESNews / drinking water-Pakistan Google Group, Sep 2008