Tag Archives: Pakistan

USAID Global Development Alliance – Safe Drinking Water Alliance

USAID Global Development Alliance. (2010). Safe Drinking Water Alliance – Experiences in Haiti, Ethiopia, and Pakistan: Lessons for future water treatment programs.

Full-text: http://www.ehproject.org/PDF/ehkm/gda2010.pdf

To address some of the challenges created by lack of access to safe water, in 2004, the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Global Development Alliance (GDA) brought together Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP), Population Services International (PSI), CARE USA, and Procter & Gamble (P&G) to create the Safe Drinking Water Alliance (SDWA). The general goal of the Alliance was to test three marketing models to increase demand for water treatment and to identify the potential of P&G’s PUR in each model as an alternative POU technology. PUR is a household-based water treatment product that combines disinfection with removal of dirt and other pollutants and transforms turbid contaminated water into clear, potable water. The three models tested by the SWDA included:

(1) a commercial marketing model with full cost recovery in Pakistan;
(2) a social marketing model where some promotional costs were subsidized in Haiti; and
(3) an emergency relief model in Ethiopia.

In Pakistan and Haiti a combination of behavior change communication activities and PUR-branded messages and materials were disseminated to increase the demand for water treatment and to introduce PUR. In both countries, CCP led the behavior change campaigns, while in Haiti PSI handled the specific promotion and distribution of PUR. In Pakistan, P&G focused on creating demand for PUR. In Ethiopia, CARE staff working in the Community-Based Therapeutic program were fully in charge of introducing PUR and providing the motivation and information for its use.

In all three contexts SDWA partners also studied barriers and facilitators to sustained water treatment behaviors, as well as reactions to and use of PUR specifically. Findings have clear programmatic relevance, and add to the emerging literature on water treatment behavior and the adoption of new technologies, and particularly provide insights about feasible directions for PUR.

Pakistan: ‘24% of country’s hospital beds occupied by waterborne disease patients’

In Pakistan, 38.5 million people do not have access to safe drinking water and 50.7 million do not have the facility of proper sanitation. These high statistics result in more than 24 percent of Pakistan’s hospital beds being occupied by the people suffering from waterborne diseases. Moreover, diarrhoea is the leading cause of mortality and second leading cause of morbidity among children under five years of age, said experts at a meeting in Karachi.

Addressing the session of the first day of Aga Khan University’s 13th National Health Sciences Research Symposium on ‘Impact of Water and Sanitation on Health: Our Problems and Our Solutions“, Pakistan government Health Director General Dr Rashid Jooma said that the work being done on the water and sanitation sectors in Pakistan is not like that being done in other countries, such as India, worsening the sanitation conditions.

Jooma said that the bad sanitation conditions are not only affecting human health but the environment too. He added that the estimated cost of environmental degradation in Pakistan is Rs 365 billion per year, of which Rs 112 billion [US$ 1.34 billion] is caused by inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene conditions.

Talking about the government’s response to these challenges, including legislation and policy, and initiatives for safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, he said there are several projects in the pipeline and more is yet to be done.

Senior Architect and Urban Town Planner Arif Hassan underlined the fact that over the last 50 years the government has invested considerable money, including aid, in drinking water and sanitation programmes. However, these projects have not been successful and have increased Pakistan’s foreign debt considerably. Some NGO projects have delivered positive results but unless their methodology becomes a part of the official policy, planning and implementation procedures, they cannot be successful to the extent required for servicing the growing demand for water and sanitation. In the past two years, the government has legislated a sanitation and drinking water policy which, to be successful, will need to relate to ground realities.

[...] Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT Professor Dr James Wescoat said landscape planning has an increasing role to play in helping expand household and neighbourhood water and sanitation solutions to rural and urban areas. “Environmental design has played a vital role in linking water and health, from Mohenjo Daro to Boston,” he said.

Addressing the Symposium via the Internet from India, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of the Sulabh Sanitary Movement, said low-cost sanitation technology is available and by adopting these technologies, any country can improve the sanitation sector. Sharing his experience of introducing a two-pit pour flush toilet that uses only 1-1.5 litres of water, he said that the technology is flexible and affordable and can be implemented at costs starting from USD 30, depending on the quality.

AKU’s Dr Iqtidar A Khan said that in Pakistan 90 percent of water is used for agriculture and less than 10 percent for drinking and sanitation. He said the water availability has fallen from 5,000 cubic metres per capita in the early 1950s to less than 1,500 cubic metres today. Quoting the words of former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, he said that AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious diseases will not be defeated until the battles for safe drinking water, sanitation and basic health care are won.

Source: Amar Guriro, Daily Times, 28 Oct 2009

Pakistan: moving beyond open defecation free sanitation


CLTS Picture book. Plan International Pakistan

Pakistan has taken an important step towards improved sanitation through a major sector assessment and setting up of a core group that seeks to move communities beyond open defecation free (ODF) status. The Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach has already enabled more than 1,500 villages in Pakistan to achieve ODF status and is expected to reach 15,000 villages by June 2011. This will mean that a third of the rural population of Pakistan would be covered.


To consolidate this progress and scale up learning, a Core Group was formed in August 2008 to advise the government in policy refinement and implementation of its nation-wide sanitation policy. The Core Group includes senior officials from the key national ministries of Environment and Health, as well as Provincial Planning and Development Departments and international agencies, including WSP.

The group commissioned an assessment of CLTS pilots in nine villages in the country. The evidence gathered revealed that CLTS had the potential to motivate communities to achieve ODF status. However, it did not create demand for “improved sanitation,” which, according to the Joint Monitoring Program, implies use of sanitation facilities “that ensure hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact.

The surveyed communities were found using unimproved and unhygienic latrines without taking any substantial effort to upgrade or replace damaged latrines due to limited knowledge of different latrine options available at the household level.

A countrywide CLTS implementation strategy will be developed based on the recommendations of the review, and is likely to benefit all communities living in rural areas by 2015.

Source: WSP Access, Oct 2009

Reacting to this WSP news item, Prof. Duncan Mara noted in his blog:

‘So now we know what many of us had long suspected: the whole CLTS ‘process’ needs to be upgraded so as to ensure people get at least ‘improved’ sanitation. Actually what people need is ‘good’ sanitation and ‘improved’ does not necessarily mean ‘good’ (after all, ‘improved’ sanitation includes a “pit latrine with slab” − see here − and we’ve all seen hundreds of these that are far from satisfactory).’

Pakistan – Launch of Total Sanitation Campaign

Plan to launch ‘Saaf Suthra Pakistan Programme’

Ministry of Environment along with its partners is working on a comprehensive plan to launch ‘Saaf Suthra (clean) Pakistan Programme’ that envisages total sanitation all across the country to achieve the Millennium Development Goals targets.

Sources at the ministry told APP that allocations would be made for the programme over the next five years to achieve the total sanitation target.

“The ‘Saaf Suthra Pakistan Programme’ will have a phased approach for creating demand through communication and capacity development units in each province,” sources said.

“The programme will also include surveys and mapping for component sharing in selective TMAs and setting up of provincial social mobilisation units to scale up community and school led approaches,” sources added.

Experts at the two-day Pakistan Conference on Sanitation (PACOSAN) a couple of days back had also recommended multiple approaches to focus on the ‘Clean Pakistan Programme’.

It was also proposed during the conference that Rs12.5 billion would be allocated to execute the programme over the next five years, as the environment minister had set a target of total sanitation for all by 2015.

Sources also mentioned that setting up of ‘Rural Sanitation Marts’ in selected tehsils, provision of revolving funds and micro-finance, special consideration for the poorest of the poor, and coverage enhancement of public toilets are other features of the programme.

NGOs would be involved to develop, test, document, and replicate successful models for total sanitation, and solid and liquid waste management, the sources added.

Mentioning the guiding principles of the National Sanitation Action Plan, sources said that open defecation would be unacceptable and there should be an inclusive participatory development.

The total sanitation concept would be adapted with improved sanitation provided to all and focus would be on productive infrastructure only, ensuring that no one is exposed to the risks of unconfined ‘human excreta’ and solid waste. Progress would be accelerated to achieve health benefits and coordinate efforts within a framework of mutual accountability.

Sources also mentioned to improve governance, reward collective outcomes, incentives for producing performance information and support IEC for collective behavioural change.

See also: Call for Total Sanitation in Pakistan by 2015, WSSCC

Source – The News, Pakistan

Documentary Film: Coming Clean on Sanitation

This 22-minute documentary film, produced in 2009 by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with assistance from 5 national broadcasting companies in the region, showcases the difficulties experienced and actions undertaken by individuals, communities, organizations, and governments in the following 6 countries:

  • China, People’s Republic of –  A photographer documents the degradation and revival of Suzhou Creek.
  • India – People clamor for individual household toilets after realizing its benefits.
  • Indonesia – A dedicated teacher and her students campaign for the use of public toilets.
  • Pakistan – A cleanup woman comes home to a community of garbage, without water and sanitation.
  • Philippines – Lakeside slums deal with water pollution and the consequences of water-borne diseases.
  • Viet Nam – A dying lake is revived by a huge development project, benefiting lakeside towns.

To get a DVD copy – go here

Source: ADB

Pakistan Conference on Sanitation (PACOSAN), Islamabad, Pakistan, 28-29 May 2009

Organised by: Ministry of Environment, with the support of RSPN (Rural Support Programmes Network), UNICEF, WSP-SA, WaterAid, Plan Pakistan and other partners.

The objectives of the conference are:

  • Creating awareness and sensitization for mainstreaming sanitation across sectors, ministries/departments, institutions and socio-political persuasions so that sanitation is prioritized in their respective programs
  • Stocktaking of the main features of the enabling environment and current situation in terms of the existing provincial strategies, action plans and targets
  • Developing a PACOSAN Roadmap on Sanitation highlighting a set of key actions and milestones to achieving the national goals and MDGs in a time-bound manner
  • Inception planning of developing a framework for an Integrated Sanitation and Hygiene Programme through brainstorming on various models of collaboration, roles & responsibilities of various stakeholders, financing and the institutional options and arrangements

The conference is expected to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Source: Minutes of the 11th Meeting of the Water and Sanitation Donor Coordination Group (WSDCG) held at UNICEF office, Islamabad on 23 April 2009, drinking water-Pakistan Google Group, 07 May 2009

The Story of Younus – sanitation promotion animation from Pakistan

This animated short film [5 min, 22 sec] details the travails of a barefoot consultant who promotes sanitation in villages in Pakistan. The barefoot consultant prospers in his work and develops a working sanitation market, he achieves such success that he is soon asked to travel to other villages to help them become Open Defecation Free.

The film was directed by Numair Abbas of Gogimation, a division of Gogi Studios in Islamadad, Pakistan. It was produced for the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) and posted on WSP’s YouTube Channel.

Pakistan: “There is no need for foreigners to tell us this [how to make latrines]” – insurgent leader

Insurgents in Pakistan’s volatile Swat Valley in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) who recently made a peace deal with the government now want all NGOs to leave the area.

“They come and tell us how to make latrines in mosques and homes. I’m sure we can do it ourselves. There is no need for foreigners to tell us this,” Muslim Khan, a spokesman for Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), told IRIN from Swat Valley.

“NGO is another name for vulgarity and obscenity. They don’t want us to remain Muslims and want to take away the veil from our women,” Khan claimed.

He said NGOs hire women who work alongside men in the field and in offices. “That is totally un-Islamic and unacceptable,” he said.

Read more: IRIN, 22 Mar 2009

Soaps and detergents ‘could help tackle bird flu’

Commercially available soaps and detergents could kill the bird flu virus that causes extensive damage to poultry and can infect humans, scientists in Pakistan report [...] in the 28 March issue of Virology Journal. [They] reveal that simply washing poultry shed floors and equipment, transport vehicles and workers’ clothing can go a long way in containing the virus.

The scientists [...] tested the effect of common soap brands such as Lifebuoy and detergents such as Surf Excel, as well as heat, ultraviolet light and pH [...]. They found that common soap and detergent brands can kill the virus at a minimum soap/detergent concentration of 0.1 per cent in 5 minutes, and almost immediately at higher concentrations.

Other disinfectants such as formalin, iodine and phenol kill the virus in 15 minutes at concentrations ranging from 0.2 to 0.4 per cent. But heating the virus-infected samples or treating them with ultraviolet light – previously recommended by some virologists and agricultural agencies – took much longer time.

[...] Akbar Shahid, leading author of the study and a microbiologist at the Poultry Research Institute, Rawalpindi, [said] that although simple washing measures can contain the virus and prevent spread of infection, infected birds still need to be vaccinated.

Source: A. A. Khan, SciDev.Net, 09 Apr 2009

Pakistan, Punjab: dengue danger returns

With warmer weather returning to Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province, the vector-borne dengue fever virus has also returned, say officials. Six patients have been diagnosed with dengue in 2009 so far, according to Anwar Saeed Mirza, an additional medical superintendent at Services Hospital in Lahore, the Punjab capital. [...] Last year [2008], 1,240 cases of dengue were reported in the province. There had also been six deaths.

[...] Dengue fever is spread by the bite of the striped Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

Experts have been urging action to prevent a dengue epidemic in 2009. [...] With the first cases of the viral disease already coming in, doctors fear the situation could worsen rapidly. “We need to remind people of the need for safety measures, like ensuring there is no standing water in their homes. The government must also urgently begin a spraying campaign at breeding places,” Faiza Riaz, a family physician, said.

Punjab health secretary Anwar Ahmed Khan has promised the government will undertake measures to tackle dengue and said the spraying of residential areas had been ordered.

Source: IRIN, 29 Mar 2009