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Deep-seated Challenges To Water Sector And Human Life In Pakistan

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Muhammad Jahangir, Muhammad Wasif Bashi Babar
WASH Gourp Pakistan1, Ravi Sustainable WASH Development Organization2

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 1: Water supply and demand,
Abstract Key words: barrier; socioeconomic status; water associated disease; disaster; MDGs

Equal Access to safe drinking water & adequate sanitation is basic human right all about the world. Pakistan is a developing nation with rapidly increasing in its population. It had been facing static types of challenges in the water sector development which are going to paralyse and destroy the all fundamental aspects of human life here at the state. This study was conducted in 2014 to investigate the possible challenges in the way to develop a sustainable water/WASH development and their concrete influence on the human life and its social environment as a whole.

Almost five districts of Punjab province were selected as a universe of this study named Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan & Rawalpindi where the Water & Sanitation Agencies (WASAs) had existed and in operational forms. Primary data was collected using structured interview schedule, focus group discussion and personal observation tolls. About 1500 household were selected as a representative sample & targeted population using simple random sampling technique. Total 300 household were conducted interview from each district in which 100 were senior male, 100 senior female and 100 were young (included 50% young boys & girls). Almost 300 focus group discussion conducted in which 60 from each district with 50% male & female ratio whereas personal observation was carried out throughout the field work and evidence taken into account. Secondary data was also collected from the concerning institutions, record, reports and publication materials.

Result indicated that there are a series of barrier which are playing a challenging role in the way to develop the sustainable WASH development in the Pakistan. The much critical challenges are lack of institutional capacity, financial constraints, political instability and lack of well, poor water utilization behaviour of local citizens, lack of proper education, lack of technical manpower, high level of illiteracy, war & terror and natural disaster. It was also interpreted that the mismanagement in the water resource utilization leading to the devastating floods and other natural disaster which are not more natural but a man made.

Data demonstrated that there are very little availability and practice to treat waste water in all its form before indulging it into other natural water bodies which put sever negative effects on the soil, marine and human life. In addition this unethical behaviour also play important role in the ground water contamination, spreading the disease and devaluation of the socio-eco system of the nature. About 78% data showed that there is a high level of disease in the Pakistan which is directly associated to poor drinking water and sanitation. About 81% data indicated that people have to spend about 39% of their income for treatment the disease related to the poor WASH facilities even majority of population included youth are facing the curse of unemployment in the state. Majority of population response demonstrated that the war & terror , political instability played very negative role in the field to meet MDGs in its decade from 2005-2015 and now Pakistan is far behind to win its desirous goals within required time that presenting very negative picture on the globe.

This study suggested political and parliamentarian should join hands with local communities to develop the public oriented flexible policies for political stability and developing concrete visionary roadmap for the WASH development in Pakistan. A sufficient budget should be allocated in all the annual development plan of Pakistan for the Water sector. Educational institutions, youth and media should be engaged for the research, social mobilization, behaviour change; highlighting the issues in water sector and develop fact base policies with gender mainstreaming and inclusion & submerging of social, cultural and behaviour change from the local citizen to high level institutional officials. It also provide a way forward that a better & adequate water management system should be developed in the term of Water Dam/ Basin to collect the rain water and other source and then use it for the production of thermoelectricity to combat with energy crisis and floods which are very alarming matters for the Pakistan in the current situation . 1. Ahmad, N. (2012). Worth of public-private partnership in water, sanitation projects. Reported published: Urban Unit PandD Punjab, volume 2, pp, 21-25.
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