Friday September 29, 2023

MPAs sign declaration to highlight water scarcity, hygiene issues

By our correspondents
June 24, 2017

Several Sindh Assembly members representing various political parties signed a declaration on Friday to establish a ‘water caucus’ in the provincial legislature to ensure an allied approach to tackling water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) challenges in the province.

The declaration was signed at a seminar on improved water, sanitation and hygiene in Sindh. The event was organised by a USAID-supported community mobilisation for water governance, health and hygiene (CMHH) project implemented by HANDS.

Members of the Sindh Assembly, including Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza, Nusrat Saher Abbasi, Haji Shafi Jamote, Arif Mohsin Bhatti, Dr Mohammad Rafique Banbhan, Faqeerdad Khoso, Dr Khatu Mal Jeewan, Ghazala Siyal, Jam Madad Ali, Pir Mujeeb ul Haq, Eng. Pesu Mal Ukrani and Sorath Thebo, signed the declaration. 

It was agreed that the water caucus members would take up WASH concerns through institutional structures of the assembly for supporting the development of a legal framework on water and sanitation.

Speaking on the occasion, minority MPA Eng. Pesu Mal Ukrani said clean drinking water was the prime need of the people and the government had taken many initiatives to provide clean drinking water to them.

MPA Jam Madad Ali said municipalities in Sindh were not properly maintaining water supply systems; hence, there was need to look after these systems after their installation.

MPA Dr Mohammad Rafique Babhan said the people of Sindh had been deprived of clean drinking water, which was a matter of grave concern. “No water supply system across cities and towns of Sindh is providing clean drinking water. There is dire need to install contamination-free water supply, besides sanitation.”

MPA Haji Shafi Jamote said almost all lakes in the province were heavily polluted, fishermen mostly used that water as a result, and they were hit by various diseases. The discharge of sewage into the sea was destroying fish life and needed to be stopped, he said, stressing the need to filter sewage before discharging it into the sea. 

Former minister education and PPP leader Pir Mazharul Haq said it was an irony that laws and policies passed by the Sindh Assembly were not implemented in the province. Therefore, he said, it was the need of the hour that those laws should be implemented.

USAID Deputy Mission Director Sindh and Balochistan Denise A Herbol expressed concern over the deteriorating sanitation and water supply systems in Sindh and stressed the need to improve it on a priority basis.

She said USAID was installing water supply systems in Jacobabad and the project was nearing completion. It would provide great facility to the citizens of Jacobabad.  She further said that clean drinking water was essential for good health, and currently citizens in Jacobabad were getting unclean drinking water through donkey-carts.