Better hygiene: Drinking water schemes to benefit 7,500 people

Projects aimed at curbing diseases in Ghizer and Hunza valleys of G-B.

Our Correspondent August 16, 2014


At least 7,500 people in Gilgit-Baltistan’s (G-B) Ghizer and Hunza valleys will benefit from drinking water and sanitation schemes being launched by the German government in collaboration with a local NGO.

Earlier this week, the projects were inaugurated in Faizabad and Dal Sandhi in Ghizer district and Aliabad in Hunza-Nagar district to meet the longstanding demands of locals.

“We have been saved from the curse of diarrhoeal diseases,” Hunza resident Tasleem Bano said on Saturday.

The facilities were inaugurated by German Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Cyrill Nunn. He was accompanied by German First Secretary Barbara Voss and officials of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).

“The German government and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) have inaugurated the schemes as part of a €9.4 million grant (Rs1.25 billion) announced in 2010,” read a press release issued by AKDN.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Nunn applauded the role of AKDN and its affiliated agencies, saying that over 300 villages in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral now have access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities.

He also commended the communities which contributed to the implementation of the scheme.

Aga Khan Planning and Building Services (AKPBS) Chairman Hafiz Sherali urged community members to ensure proper maintenance of what he called one of their most valuable assets.

Nearly half the population in G-B and Chitral reportedly does not have access to safe drinking water or adequate sanitation facilities. Families usually collect water from open and contaminated channels, thus falling victim to waterborne diseases.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2014.


Amed Jami Sakhi | 9 years ago | Reply

We appreciate the work and initiatives of AKDN, especially, WSEP for providing safe drinking water and Sanitation to rural community of GB. There is a strong need that the local government line-departments should also cooperate and pool their funds to organizations like WASEP to provide such basic facility to other needy communities as well. Urban areas are more affected as a result of growing migrated population from different valleys to Gilgit and unplanned settlements in different localities of Gilgit city, such as, Zulfiqarabad, Wahdat Colony and Noor colony are suffering from shortage of safe water, which results in several water-born diseases. The local communities have realized the importance of such facility and are willing to cooperate with AKPBSP's WASEP to contribute their share of the total costs. WASEP needs to develop a proper community participation strategy, such as, collecting community share in installments from those households who are unable to give their share in one-go. Safe water should be provided to all households living in any particular hamlet or Muhallah considering it as a basic human right. Working in close collaboration with organizations like ZADO might accelerate the pace of work in Zulfiqarabad, Gilgit. Similar NGOs also exist in other hamlets of Gilgit city.

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