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Pakistan to surpass sanitation MDGs soon: Environment Minister

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Environment, Hameedullah Jan Afridi Thursday said Pakistan was not only well on its way towards meeting Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target for sanitation but would also surpass it soon. Addressing a ministerial segment of the third South Asian Conference on Sanitation currently underway in New Delhi, India, he said there has been...

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 20, 2008 | Last Updated: 12 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Nov 20, 2008 | Last Updated: 12 years ago
Pakistan to surpass sanitation MDGs soon: Environment Minister

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Environment, Hameedullah
Jan Afridi Thursday said Pakistan was not only well on its way towards
meeting Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target for sanitation but
would also surpass it soon.
Addressing a ministerial segment of the third South Asian
Conference on Sanitation currently underway in New Delhi, India, he said
there has been an unprecedented level of collaborative efforts in
the past few years to move the sanitation agenda forward.
“Donors, key sector NGOs, media, private sector, together we
have all faced the vast canvas of challenges that confronted us,” he
added.
He said our agencies in health, education, water supply and
sanitation in local government are now working jointly, in recognition
of the inter-connectedness of these sectors, adding that “we are
more coordinated, more stream-lined.”
Emphasizing the need to focus on quality and sustainability
of the sanitation services, the Minister said progress on sanitation
should not be gauged by the progress through latrine coverage
alone.
“Progress lies in a household budget which is not so consumed
by expenditures on health-care that a family cannot pull themselves
out of poverty. Progress lies in a school where enrolment rates of
children do not diminish because they are perpetually ill, where
girl children in particular can attend schools as they can be assured
of security and privacy,” he said, adding that the measures of
progress encompass so much more.
However, he said, these sanitation targets are doorway
towards achievement of Millennium Development Goals.
The Ministers said Pakistan's first 'stand alone' sanitation
policy not only brings sanitation to the fore, but encourages
partnerships and innovation and shifts focus from the 'supply side'
interventions which have failed us in the past.
“Every province and region has since developed sanitation
strategies and action plans in line with the principles of the
national policy, which has served as a beacon. Over 11 million
people have been reached with appropriate hygiene messages
including hand washing with soap, use of safe water and use of
latrine in partnership with government agencies, development partners,
private sector and other partners,” he said.
Afridi said more than 1500 community activists have
been trained on the concept of community led total sanitation
who are 'triggering' open defecation free villages in various
parts of the country.
The four-day third South Asian Conference on Sanitation is
being attended by more than 1500 delegates from India, Pakistan,
Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and other
countries.
It is worth mentioning here that the 1st South Asian Conference
was held in Bangladesh in 2003 to highlight the issue low coverage
of sanitation in the region.
Ministry of Environment, Government of Pakistan hosted the
2nd South Asian Conference on Sanitation in September 2006. One of
the key outcomes of this conference was Islamabad Declaration
whereby the South Asian Countries reaffirmed their commitment
and political will to achieve the targets for basic sanitation
in pursuance of Millennium Development Goals.

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