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October 30, 2018

Tribal districts benefit from community-driven water projects


October 30, 2018

PESHAWAR: The people in tribal districts are eagerly participating in drinking and irrigation water projects that touch their lives.

Launched under the umbrella of the government of Pakistan through international assistance, the projects are being implemented by the Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) in different parts of the tribal districts.

The community-driven principles being practised in other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have been blended with local norms to ensure active participation by the communities in these projects and at the same time ensure that egalitarian principles and inclusiveness were maintained.

Seven projects were completed this month and were formally inaugurated on October 7 at a ceremony at Mano Chela in South Waziristan tribal district. Six of these comprise of drinking water projects and one is an irrigation channel.

The drinking water projects were executed at Mano Chela, Sharkai, Sorakhel, Naekzankhel and Sararogha villages. Worth Rs98 million, the projects would benefit 449 households and over 3,500 population.

About Rs1.4 million has been spent on an irrigation channel in Keerkarai village, bringing water to 450 kanals of land. Inaugurating these projects, the Fata Disaster Management Authority Coordinator Said Rehman said the government was committed to changing the lives of the people residing in these remote valleys and bringing quality services to them. He thanked the German government and European Union for their generous assistance.

Two projects “Rehabilitation and Reintegration of TDPs” and “Aid to Uprooted People” are funding these projects. The representative of SRSP lauded the role of the security agencies for creating an environment in which people could now openly participate in development activities.

He said that communities were being trained to help ensure that proper technical and social systems were developed to sustain this effort in the future.Meanwhile, in Orakzai tribal district in Utmela Gabori village, 80 community activists participated in a dialogue on October 18 to initiate a drinking water project that would benefit 200 households and over 1600 people. The project would cost Rs3.2 million.

Gul Badshah, a local activist, said that women had to walk 2 km uphill to fetch water from a natural spring. Under the project, a surface water tank with a storage capacity of 10,000 gallons will be constructed, with three sub-tanks to support it which will have the capacity of over 700 gallons each. A pipeline of 4,850 feet will also be laid.

In the isolated village of Storikhel in upper Bara in Khyber tribal district, 40 community activists gathered for the initiation of a drinking water project by the community group called Burki Falahi Tanzeem.

The first instalment of Rs 1.2 million of the total cost amounting to Rs4.1 million was distributed to the community organisations. The project would rehabilitate 7,000-feet non-functional water pipes and in addition, build two water storage reservoirs holding 5,000 gallons of water each.

About 80 households with 640 individuals will benefit from the project. It will also benefit the neighbouring villages. One elder Abdur Rehman very excitedly interrupted the meeting to say that the project launched in building a road, education sector and cash for work programmes had for the first time brought communities and the government together.

Other elders expressed joy at the impetus development work was taking place in the region. Awlad Hussain, head of the SRSP for the tribal district, said work at the grassroots would hopefully build a strong base for the future local government in the region.

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