By Pervez Saleem
“Our world is one of terrible contradictions. Plenty of food, but one billion people go hungry. Lavish lifestyles for a few, but poverty for too many others. Huge advances in medicine while mothers die every day in childbirth, and children die every day from drinking dirty water. Billions spent on weapons to kill people instead of keeping them safe.”
Who we are
We are WaterAid. For more than 30 years we’ve been transforming lives by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in the world’s poorest communities.
We are an international non-profit organization with water, sanitation and hygiene programs in 26 countries. Since 1981 we’ve helped 21.2 million people gain access to safe water. Since 2004 we’ve helped 18.1 million people get sanitation.
WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation.
WaterAid transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities. We work with partners and influence decision-makers to maximize our impact.
Everything we do is shaped by our six values:
What we do
WaterAid enables the world’s poorest people to gain access to safe water and sanitation. Together with improved hygiene, these basic human rights underpin health, education and livelihoods, forming the first essential step in overcoming poverty. We work with local partners, who understand local issues, and provide them with the skills and support to help communities set up and manage practical and sustainable projects that meet their real needs. We also work locally and internationally to change policy and practice and ensure water, hygiene and sanitation’s vital role in reducing poverty is recognized.
Pakistan is one of the most populous countries in the world and increasing urbanization and political instability have resulted in millions lacking safe water or a basic toilet.
Nearly 14 million people have no choice but to collect dirty water from unsafe sources.
people in Pakistan don’t have access to safe water.
Nearly 93 million people don’t have access to adequate sanitation in Pakistan, over half of the population.
Over 40,000 children die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation in Pakistan.
The geography of Pakistan varies greatly, ranging from arid deserts to remote mountainous regions. This makes accessing safe water extremely difficult for many communities.
There is a high risk of flooding across much of the country. The extreme floods in 2010 affected 20 million people, more than one in ten of the total population.
It is estimated that by 2015 over half of the people in Pakistan will live in urban areas. This rapid migration is putting increased strain on already limited water and sanitation facilities.
WaterAid has been active in Pakistan for over two decades, working to improve access to safe water, toilets and hygiene education in rural and urban communities and schools.
The first urban program we supported there was the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) in Karachi. This innovative community-led engineering project empowered local people living in slums to finance, construct and manage their own underground sewerage systems. We have since replicated this approach in other major cities in the country, and used the lessons learned in the project to inform the development of urban programs in many other countries.
We worked through our existing programs and partners to support those affected by the floods in 2010. Our life-saving support included safe drinking water and essential hygiene kit provision, together with holding hygiene education sessions and building temporary toilets. Sindh province was the worst affected area, with 80% of the population forced from their homes. We helped more than 12,000 families in the region, providing nearly 300,000 aqua tabs, 250 water coolers and over 4,000 hygiene kits.
In Pakistan last year we reached:
75,000 people with safe water
108,000 people with improved sanitation.
Watch this short film to find out more:
Javed, a young boy from Pakistan
Age 10, Gul Hasan Shaikh, Pakistan
“I still remember when the flood came few years back, I was very much scared. Everywhere I saw water and just water.”
Javed and his family were affected by the floods in Pakistan. They managed to escape the flood waters and take refuge on an embankment for two months until they were moved to a ‘tent city’.
They stayed at the camp for another four months where they were given essential food, water and medicine. They are now back in their village, trying to rebuild their lives.
WaterAid and a local partner have helped the village to install two pumps, providing safe water close to home. Javed now has clean water at school and a toilet in front of his house.
With your support we were able to reach two million people with safe water this year.
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