USAID and AKPBS,P Launch Water and Hygene Project in Murtazaabad, Hunza
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan (AKPBS,P) – an agency of Aga Khan Development Network – have launched a new Water and Hygiene Improvement Project in Murtazaabad, Hunza Valley. The project is launched in celebration of World Toilet Day drawing attention to the fact that 2.5 billion people worldwide do not have access to adequate sanitation. The Water and Hygiene Improvement Project will install house and communal clean drinking water tap stands that meet standards set by World Health Organization(WHO).
“Too many people imperiled by of lack dependable access to clean water. It exposes them to serious diseases. Water is an essential human need. We rely on water to grow food and to maintain our health. We hope improvements in water, sanitation and hygiene programs will improve quality of life and will certainly save precious lives,” said John Groarke, USAID Mission Director.
Murtazaabad village has a population of 3,500, relatively young population, consisting a large number of children. The village has five schools, and other communal buildings and is home to 430 households with an average household income of PKR 3,000 a month.
The entire community in this village lacks access to clean drinking water. Lack of sanitation exposes them to contaminated water. It becomes riskier and arduous for women in freezing cold winters, as they have to travel long distances to fetch water.
“The strategic partnership between USAID and AKPBS,P will improve the quality of life of undeserved communities in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral, and will pave the way to support other communities in the area,” said Nawab Ali Khan, AKBPS,P Chief Executive Officer.
The project is anticipated to be a continuation of a success story, as many believe AKPBSP, has already written in the region. Their award winning Water and Sanitation Extension Program (WASEP) has received international acclamation. It was a pioneering sanitation project in Gilgit Baltistan and Chitral. The program has provided potable water to people in over 12,000 homes. It has helped people install more than 10,000 latrines, 12,000 household tap stands, and 500 communal taps.
The Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan (AKPBS,P) is one of the developmental agencies, networked by their parent organization, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).