KARACHI: HANDS, USAID, UNICEF, Government of Sindh (MSDP), Techno Consulting Pakistan, UNHABITAT, and WATER AID PAKISTAN have joined hands to re-establish Jacobabd’s infrastructure including roads, streets, solid waste management system, and water-sanitation structure.
Forty percent of Jacobabad’s population in urban areas uses tap water or hand pumps, whereas majority relies on other sources of water. Less than 5% population has access to water in the town and only 3% people have access to improved drinking water. Almost 35% households have access to adequate sanitation, said Ghous Bux Pirzado, Advocacy Officer, Urban Wash Project Hands Jacobabad, in an interview to PPI.
He said Jacobabad is facing multifarious problems like acute water shortage, bad road infrastructure, shabby solid waste management system, and battered sanitation structure. The city needs massive restructuring and rehabilitation to provide relief to the citizens. Improvements in water supply and sanitation services, along with adoption of improved hygiene behaviours at household level are direly needed in the city. It is the matter of great concern that majority of citizens still drink low quality water which is arranged through donkey carts, he said.
Ghous informed that improving municipal service delivery is one of the many challenges confronting local government institutions. Many municipalities are struggling to find ways to meet their obligations to deliver services. In some municipalities, the existing facilities for water supply, sewerage, and solid waste management are dysfunctional and require major remedial interventions.
Making urban service providers accountable to the urban poor remains a major challenge, as their voices are typically not institutionally included in the governing bodies of utilities, and current Public Private Partnership (PPP) models often neglect the urban poor. The urban poor in informal settlements are frequently neglected, as they are mostly considered illegal occupants, he said.
He informed that to make Urban WASH Project as big success that could boost the beauty of the city to high level, HANDS as stakeholder has started mobilisation for the project so that citizens could own it. He said that HANDS has formed Muhalla WASH Committees in eight union councils of the city besides forming School WASH Clubs at school level.
The Urban WASH Project team has held meetings with Deputy Commissioner Jacobabad regarding project activities progress at Deputy Commissioner Office Jacobabad and shared implementation strategy.
The Urban WASH Project team has also held meetings at different venues with all project stakeholders of MSP. A meeting was also held with USAID Advisor Dr Zulfiqar Gorar at Hotel Al Harmin Jacobabad regarding the implementation strategy by HANDS, he said
During the meeting we briefed him that our targets are 275,000 population of eight union councils of Jacobabad city. Ghous said: HANDS has hired 16 social mobilizers, four union council supervisors, two senior social mobilizers, behaviour change communication officer for BCC activities, advocacy officer, communication officer, planning monitoring and evaluation (PME) and project manager. Secondly, we made eight SMTs for all eight targeted union councils of Jacobabad. A SMT is consisting of one male and one female social mobilizer. Ghous said; They will mobilise people to own the coming projects so that city could build on modern lines. The each SMT has assigned a targeted union council of Jacobabad. Every two SMTs have been assigned to a one union council’s supervisor. The project manager is facilitating whole project team.
After the formation of Muhalla WASH Committees, ward committees were formed. All this is to mobilize citizens for the projects. Furthermore, the our team has also shared all detailed project activities with USAID delegation during first meeting.
He said; The Urban WASH Project team is working according to the approved strategy which was finalized by management of HANDS. The Project team is responsible for the working on social mobilization and behaviour change communication. The team will use the different tools of social mobilization and behaviour change communication for the achievement of project.
He said: The Urban WASH Project’s SMTs started intervention and met with the key notable persons and stakeholders to conduct project activities in the targeted areas of all eight union council of Jacobabad.
All SMTs of Urban WASH Project had done the participatory rapid appraisal activity in different targeted areas where they performed this activity with the help of key notables and stakeholders.
The community of the targeted areas is doing the social mapping in their muhalla with the help of Urban WASH Project’s staff. The targeted community of eight union councils of Jacobabad has done the social mapping of their residential area and structure. The Urban WASH project team is facilitating them when they are mapping their residential areas.
The project Community Mobilization for Improved WASH Services and Hygiene Behaviors, Jacobabad City is running successfully in the district All the stakeholders of the project are putting their best efforts in the field including US Aid, Water Aid, HANDS, UNICEF and UN-Habitat. “HANDS WASH team’s visible efforts can be observed in the fields regarding the noticeable change in the behaviors of the communities about WASH related actions in routine life,” Ghous concluded.