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     November 25,  2015



USAID and AKPBS launched water and hygiene improvement project in Gilgit-Baltistan

Chitral Times Report

Karachi: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 to improve the quality of life 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 World Health Organization standards.“Too many people lack dependable access to clean water, which puts them at risk of disease. We rely on water to grow food and to maintain our health. We hope improvements in water, sanitation and hygiene programmes will save and improve lives,” said John Groarke, USAID Mission Director.

Murtazaabad village has a population of 3,500, including a large number of children. The villagecomprises five schools, and other communal buildings and is home to430 households with an average household income of PKR3,000 a month.Currently the entire population accessesdrinking water from open sources most of which are contaminated. When temperatures drop below freezing in the winter, obtaining water becomes even more arduous and risky for women and young girls, who have to travel long distances to collect water.

The Water and Hygiene Improvement Project is a continuation of AKPBSP’s award-winning and internationally acclaimed Water and Sanitation Extension Programme (WASEP), which was first implemented in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral in 1997.

“The strategic partnership between USAID and AKPBS,P will improve the quality of life of underserved communities in Gilgit-Baltistanand Chitral, and will pave the way to support other communities in the area,”said Nawab Ali Khan, AKBPS,P Chief Executive Officer.



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