Karachi, May 23, 2014 (PPI-OT): On 23th May, the Local Government Department of Government of Sindh and UNICEF jointly organized one-day training workshop on water, sanitation and hygiene at a local hotel in Karachi. Mr Faheem Junejo, Director General Local Government Sindh, Ms Mubashra Iram, WASH Specialist UNICEF Sindh, Qaiser Shah WASH Officer Unicef Karachi and Niaz Ullah Khan Consultant were key resource persons. More than 80 participants from different TMAs of Sindh attended the seminar. Mr Faheem Junejo informed that Pakistan spends only 0.18% of its GDP on water and sanitation, which is lowest in the region.
He recognises that provision of drinking water and sanitation is the responsibility of provincial government through local councils. The local government and Town and Municipal Committees are preparing their new annual development programs (ADP) for 2014-2015. It is right time for the councils to reconsider their priorities and enhance the allocations for water, sanitation and hygiene.
Ms MubashraIram, WASH Specialist UNICEF Sindh shared that 100-150 children die every day in Pakistan because of diarrhoeal related illnesses. Many of these deaths can be prevented by adequate sanitation, safe drinking water and improved hygiene. Some 60-75 million people in the country are affected by diarrhoeal related illnesses annually.
The economic impact of poor sanitation and hygiene results in an annual loss of 3.94% or more of the GDP.Mr Niaz Ullah Khan provided an overview of water and sanitation in Pakistan. Half of the population of Pakistan lives without adequate sanitation whereas only 13% of the poorest in Pakistan have access to improved sanitation. Specifically in Sindh, nearly 3/4th rural population of Sindh lives without improved sanitation, and only 22% of population of Sindh use any effective treatment method for drinking water.
The budgetary allocation for water and sanitation under annual development plans for Sindh were increased in 2013-2014 but there is need to enhance the allocation for operation and maintenance of water and sanitation programs being managed by the local councils.
The participants conducted the group work to learn about budget cycle and different methods to increase their budgetary allocation for water, sanitation and hygiene.
For more information, contact:
A.D (Coordination-(M and E)
Government of Sindh
Local Government Department