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Scaling-up of rural sanitation in flood-affected districts emphasised

Islamabad: Immediate measures to scale up sanitation facilities in flood-affected districts were emphasised during the inaugural session of a two-day workshop that began here today, to review the Early Recovery Program on Rural Sanitation in Flood-affected Districts of Pakistan

Spearheaded by the Ministry of Climate Change, Government of Pakistan in collaboration with UNICEF, Plan International, WaterAid and other partners, the workshop is organised to review programme implementation but also objectives and constraint to further scale up the programme to reach out to the most in need in all Provinces in Pakistan.

During the inaugural session, high level officials from the Ministry of Climate Change, Government of Pakistan applauded the efforts of its development partners and ensured the continued technical and institutional support for further replication of this program in all provinces.

Following a phased approach by the end of 2012, nearly 7.6 million people in 34 flood affected districts will be reached within the program. The program focuses on demand creation instruments which include information, education, and communication (IEC) material, Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) triggering, triggering in schools, formulation of Water Sanitation and Hygiene clubs and mass media communications, therewith following the basic principles of a human rights based approach to sanitation.

To date, already about 5 million people now reside in 4500 open defecation free villages with access to improved sanitation facilities while the programme is still on-going.

The number of people who still need assistance in sanitation is concerning, but the progress made in safe water shows very clearly that MDG targets can be met with the will, the effort and sufficient funding available,” said Simone Klawitter, Chief WASH UNICEF, a vision which is jointly shared with Plan International and WaterAid: “We must target the most difficult to reach, the poorest and the most disadvantaged people, including children and women. Access to drinking water and sanitation are human rights, and we must ensure that every person has access.”

This project was made possible through the generous contribution of several donors, including AusAID, USAID, general contributions to UNICEFs early recovery floods 2010/2011 programme and UNICEF’s National Committees.

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