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Korea, UN to build Pakistan’s capacity for safe water supply

By Jamila Achakzai
March 30, 2022

Islamabad : The public sector Korea International Cooperation Agency and the United Nations Office have agreed to enhance the capacity of the Pakistani government for the supply of safe drinking water.

With the financial assistance of KOICA, the UNOPS is working with the Ministry of Climate Change, Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources, and public health engineering departments to enhance the technical capacities of the Government of Pakistan to provide men, women, boys, and girls with access to safe drinking water.

In partnership with the KOICA, the UNOPS Pakistan will also help the Ministry of Climate Change strengthen the technical and coordination capacity of its WASH Cell to monitor drinking water quality in close collaboration with provincial governments.

Under the project, the KOICA and UNOPS will help the Government of Pakistan make progress on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 6: “clean water and sanitation for all”, providing people with safe drinking water and improving overall public health

In partnership with the KOICA, the UNOPS will utilise $4.4 million in funding to address the lack of clean water by procuring essential water quality testing equipment and upgrading the water-quality testing laboratories in Islamabad, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. The roll-out of a management information software will strengthen the water-quality data management at the provincial level and enable the Ministry of Climate Change to coordinate and monitor the drinking water quality in close collaboration with provincial governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The project is supporting the Sustainable Development Goals: 3 Good health and wellbeing; and 6: Clean water and sanitation, and it is aligned with the Pakistan Government’s Vision 2025 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Framework for Pakistan 2018-2022 specifically Outcome 3: Health and WASH.

Joudat Ayaz, additional secretary at the climate change ministry, said the government of Pakistan was committed to actions tackling WASH issues through the Clean Green Pakistan Initiative.

He said water management was a big challenge both in quality and quantity, and therefore, this project was a very timely and meaningful partnership and could contribute to improving water management in Pakistan.

Seok Woong Yang, country director of KOICA Pakistan, said Korea would continue supporting Pakistan in different sectors, especially in the water sector.

"I hope that this project will improve people’s quality of life by enhancing water quality and will help in achieving Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

UNOPS country manager for Pakistan Marysia Zapasnik said access to adequate and safe drinking water is a human right and monitoring the quality of drinking water was the first step toward its management.

"In Pakistan, around 22 million people still live without access to clean and safe water. With generous support from KOICA, we are delighted to support the government of Pakistan and specifically the Ministry of Climate Change in providing the people with increased access to safe drinking water and improving their quality of life,” she said.