With over 30,000 novel coronavirus cases reported across the country, the UN Habitat on Monday launched the ‘Pakistan Covid-19 Urban Slums Response Programme’ (PCUSRP).
The programme aims to prevent the spread of Covid-19 amongst communities living in urban slums and informal settlements (Katchi Abadis) as well as empowering local communities to mitigate its economic impact.
The programme has been launched in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change, Shehersaaz, and National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC) and Akhtar Hameed Khan Memorial Trust (AHKMT), Aman and the Rawalpindi Waste Management Company (RWMC).
With growing migration, urban centres expanding in haphazard manner
A pilot for the programme will be carried out in Dhoke Hassu and Dhoke Mangtal areas of Rawalpindi before being replicated in other urban slums across the country.
Habitat Programme Manager Jawed Khan explained that the programme includes innovative tools for creating a virtual community coordination platform, the introduction of intensive disinfectant sprays in hotspots, streets and markets, frequent checking of body temperature through laser guns, installation of handwashing stations, distribution of sanitizers, masks and gloves, the introduction of wash facilities and arrangements for environmentally safe collection and disposal of solid-liquid and hazardous wastes.
It will also create employment opportunities by engaging the local community to produce masks and gloves.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2020.