WaterAid photo gallery – Pakistan: Troubled waters Ayesha Javed, Communications Coordinator at WaterAid Pakistan, visitedMuzaffargarh district in Punjab towards the end of 2012. In her photo gallery Ayesha shows us the context in which vital projects for the HSBC Water Programme are taking shape.
In Kot Adu village I met Fatima, who told me that due to lack of clean water and sanitation childrenin the area suffer from acute diarrhoea, respiratory infections and skin diseases. InPakistan, 46,000 children die every year from diarrhoea-related diseases.
Pakistan is a geographically diverse country, ranging from arid deserts to remote mountainousregions. Vast flood plains present high risks of flooding across much of the country. In 2010,extreme flooding affected 20 million people, around one in ten of the total population.
In flood-prone Muzaffargarh district, the presence of naturally occurring arsenic has compelledsome families to migrate in search of safe drinking water.
Pakistan aspires to be one of the big economies of the future, yet lack of basic safe water andsanitation services costs the economy billions of dollars every year in health expenses, lostearnings and other impacts.
The HSBC Water Programme will benefit 500 rural communities in Muzaffargarh that are in greatneed of safe water, sanitation and hygiene.
Local staff are mobilising hundreds of communities to achieve Open Defecation Free (ODF) statusthrough a Community-led Total Sanitation approach (CLTS). At the heart of CLTS lies theunderstanding that merely providing toilets does not guarantee their use, nor result in improvedsanitation and hygiene.
Hygiene sessions are being conducted with women and children, to help explain the cause of someof their health problems and what preventative measures can be taken. In many sessions culturaltaboos such as menstruation can be discussed openly – often for the first time.
A local resident was proud to show me a latrine he constructed after a training session with a localmason, organised by our local partner AGHAE. The latrine is now used by three families.
Water, sanitation and hygiene programmes have already started in schools, like this one inMuzaffargarh.
WaterAid projects in Pakistan, with the support of the HSBC Water Programme, aim to reach over370,000 people with safe water and over 600,000 people with sanitation over the next five years.All photos WaterAid/ Ayesha Javed.