Villagers fix a long standing sanitation problem

Proper drainage system reduces disease and dust and the whole exercise has made them realise how much they can fix if they work together
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Gravel clay street with proper drainage
April, 2014, Loralai: As Hasan Khan left for Masjid to pray, a child threw a stone in the water, splattering his clothes. So Hasan had to return back home to change. As he walked, annoyed because he would be late for prayers, he pondered yet again what the village could do about the sanitation system.

Dirty clothing was only one of the many problems caused by the poor sanitation. The stagnant water was the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes and other diseases. With no real play area, the kids often played with the stagnant water and were frequently ill. Moreover the unpaved street became treacherously muddy and slippery in the rainy season, while in the summer the dust caused asthma.

At the next meeting with his fellow villagers, Hasan raised the issue again. “But,” they said as they had done before, “what can we do? We can only fix this with the help of the government.”

Shortly after this a Balochistan Community Development Program team visited the village and encouraged them to organise into Community Organisations. They then trained the Village Organisation members to identify their main needs and possible solutions, and to develop a Village Development Plan (VDP) to implement those solutions that could be fixed by the community themselves.

The villagers knew that sanitation was their main problem but they were surprised to realise, with the help of the BCDP team, that they could establish a proper drainage system and construct gravel streets by just using their own resources. All the materials except cement were available nearby; they could provide the unskilled labour themselves and if everyone contributed some money they would raise the 55,000 rupees they reckoned they needed for everything else.

“This has been a revelation. We have suffered many problems for so long, without ever thinking we could solve them ourselves. Now, I feel we can solve every problem if we work together,” Mr. Aiduddin, President of the CO, told the team when the drainage system was complete.

Today, Hasan has no worries that he’ll be late for prayers. And the children no longer play in the stagnant waters but run around clean in the paved roads. Both diseases and the dust in the village are much reduced.

Fact Box

Project:
Balochistan Community Development Programme (BCDP)

Total budget:
€ 7m

EU Contribution:
(100% of the total value of the project)

Duration:
December 2013 – December 2016

Direct Beneficiaries:
274,010 men, women and children

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Hasan Khan has a renewed resolve about dealing with issues that afflict his community
“This has been a revelation. We have suffered many problems for so long, without ever thinking we could solve them ourselves. Now, I feel we can solve every problem if we work together.”

Mr. Aiduddin, CO President

Fact Box

Village: Spena Gondal

Village Organisation: Tal Bahar

Number of beneficiaries: 13 households

Channel Length: (230’X1’X1.5’)




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