PESHAWAR: The Sarhad Rural Support Programme has launched 89 community infrastructure projects in merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the assistance of the European Union to help the...
PESHAWAR: The Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) has launched 89 community infrastructure projects in merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with the assistance of the European Union to help the government with sustainable development of the hitherto neglected areas.
The projects have been initiated in four merged districts, including Khyber, Kurram, North Waziristan, and Orakzai, under the ‘Aid to Uprooted People in Pakistan (AUP)’ project of the European Union. The EU-funded AUP project is being implemented by the SRSP in five districts of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas to facilitate the reintegration of internally displaced persons by creating a favourable environment for their return.The project has been initiated in Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram, North Waziristan while it would also be launched in South Waziristan soon. “The project is aimed at supporting and sustaining the community-driven local development initiatives in selected areas to create a favourable socio-economic environment for the returning temporary displaced persons,” said an official.
The five-year AUP project, which was initially funded by the European Union and financed through KFW, was initiated in merged districts on July 1, 2018. In order to have a sustainable impact, the official said, the AUP intervened through a long-term development perspective, focusing on community mobilisation, improvement of community infrastructure and productive assets via community involvement as well as increased and sustainable incomes of most vulnerable households in the target districts.
Besides forming community organisations representing a population of 76,232 in 44 months, the project enabled access of 24,661 households to clean drinking water, improved irrigation, better-quality roads and bridges, enhanced sanitation, and renewable energy.
The official said though 2,462 men and women benefited from employability and entrepreneurial skills, it was unable to meet all planned targets and could not deliver all the committed funds due to abrupt and early closure of the project in March 2022. However, as a result of continued efforts by the SRSP management, Economic Affairs Division, Planning and Development Department KP, political representatives and communities of merged districts, it was decided to relaunch the project in February this year in the same five districts for 15 months.
Under the project, a total of 101 community physical infrastructure schemes would be completed in the five districts and over 1,600 community members would be trained in different skills.Initially, 89 launched schemes under the project encompass a range of initiatives aimed at improving the living conditions of the communities. To address the issue of water scarcity and contamination, the launched schemes include the implementation of 48 drinking water supply schemes.
These water supply schemes comprise 47 solar-powered tube wells and one gravity flow scheme, ensuring a reliable and sustainable source of clean drinking water for the residents. In addition, 31 sanitation schemes, focusing on the construction of street pavements and drains, have been undertaken. This will greatly contribute to improving the sanitation conditions in the merged districts.