Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Department
Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Department is committed to provide safe water and sanitation services to its target population. WASH department consists of a series of projects, based on the foundation of field tested best practices and proven capabilities. The innovative models by HANDS WASH Department are low cost, durable, socially acceptable and environmentally friendly.
Provision of Drinking Water
Provision of drinking water is critical issue in rural areas where women have to fetch water from long distances. This best practice model offers construction of water supply reservoir, laying down of supply line, storage tanks and installation of shallow hand pumps as per requirement of the community.
PAUL filter designed by Department of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering (DSEE) University of Kassel Germany. It is a small membrane ultrafiltration unit. It operates with gravity and removes 99.9% bacteria and viruses and can filter 1200 liters of water per day, no chemicals needed and can be operated easily. HANDS has installed 52 PAUL water filters in Pakistan with the cooperation of different funding partners.
Communities of the focused areas are using the PAUL filter to make water safe from bacteriological contamination.
Open Defecation Free
In Pakistan 25 million people still practice Open Defecation and women are the one who are the worst affected. The death toll from diarrheal diseases show that 53,000 Pakistani children under 5 die annually from diarrhea due to poor water and sanitation. The women are exposed to not only health hazards but sexual abuse and violence every single day and especially after nightfall. Girls stop their education not for lack of desire, but for lack of sanitation.
- Working for the sanitation issues with the communities always could not be useful if you do not have solution to all the sanitation related issues arising in the community. End pipe solution has been always observed as a challenge especially in the rural communities, where latrines are not connected to public sewers. Although there are the communities living in the urban area who have installed the sewerage lines with their latrines but still, where does it end up?
- Wetlands clearly demonstrate a new approach to greening, beautifying communities while recycling wastewater and reducing water consumption. They use natural, ecological mechanisms and a minimum of machinery and electricity to solve problems with sewage causing bad health and environmental damage by generation of CO2 emissions.
- The machinery and high energy used in “conventional” Waste Water Treatment Plants are replaced with ecological processes copying natural mechanisms of purification so that constructed wetlands are not only more efficient and cheaper to build but also require little specialized maintenance. The system allows wastewater to be recycled for additional green zone creation or support, making more efficient use of available water in dry areas. The only visible element of the system is a green space that can be made highly attractive.
Solid Waste Management
Current solid waste management systems in Pakistan are strained and landfill space is fast becoming a rare commodity. Government is facing increasing costs of disposal – while public health and the environment suffers from the damaging effects of untreated solid waste. The growing need of solid waste management in Hyderabad city has led the demand for the establishment of Integrated Resource Recovery Centre (IRRC). This demand created an opportunity for HANDS to piloting IRRC model in Sadiq Livena, Hyderabad.
The land for the construction of the building IRRC plant was provided by HANDS as the contribution whereas the construction and IRRC establishment was borne by UN-Habitat. The whole process was facilitated by HANDS for effective and efficient implementation of this pilot initiative. The IRCC has the capacity to process 3 ton of waste per day. The collected waste is segregated into inorganic and organic waste. The segregated organic waste is treated through aerobic decomposition and processed for compost formation whereas inorganic waste is further segregated into recyclables and rejected material. The recyclables are sold out in the market and the rejected items are transported to the main collection point from where it is safely disposed of by Municipal Services Department of Hyderabad.
Where There is a will There’s a Way
The village Haji Pirani Phull, UC Daraza Sharif, Taluka Gambat, District Khairpur consists of 59 households. The main occupation of majority of the villagers is farming, mason and labour work.
Wazir Ali aged 30 years, resident of village Haji Pirano Khan, working as a mason is the only bread earner of his family. HANDS intervened in Haji Pirano Khan village, and conducted awareness sessions to stop open defection and informed of the diseases related with open defecation and they met many community members including Wazir Ali.
Village members formed the Village WASH Community (VWC) in order to support the community to keep an eye on the hygiene and health issues, Wazir Ali was part of this committee as a member. He started regular meetings with Community Resource Person (CRP) and other VWC members along with community. The meetings and awareness sessions were a chance to learn about hygiene which he never knew. ”I made a promise to myself to create a sustainable community. It was also important that ‘new practitioners’ fully understand how to use the toilet properly, and that they introduce systems of keeping the toilet clean and its maintenance, making them realize that fingers can be a means of passing on disease and how important handwashing is”, Wazir explained.
In the training of masons he learned the basics of water, sanitation, and hygiene issues, furthermore, he also learned how to construct adequate latrines at low cost, the proper disposal of excreta and wastewater management. After the training, Wazir Ali introduced low-cost wetland model latrines. He installed this model outside his house in order to orient the community and started to work on local capacities and skills. He always tried hard to gather all the villagers at one place and briefly described all that he had learned and how the present practice being done was harmful for them and their children. Initially his friend and relative in the village mocked him, but he did not give up and continued to talk and share his newly learnt knowledge with all at every opportunity, which slowly started showing results with people listening to him and then also gradually adopting the good hygiene practice.
The biggest reason cited by people for not adopting the new practices was poverty, and the villagers said that they can’t afford latrines, or if they construct latrine then there is no proper drainage system to properly dispose the excreta. Wazir then shared the pit latrine model, which had been shared by HANDS.
Wazir said, ” with the support of HANDS, I constructed a latrine plus prepared a model of wetland that would not only solve the waste disposal problem but also protect the environment.”
With the collaboration of VWC, HANDS WASH team members, and CRPs all the houses in the Haji Pirano Khanm village have now constructed the conventional latrines. Wazir Ali proudly says ” Now my village is one of the open defecation free villages because of HANDS intervention, we are all very thankful to UNICEF for their support and making us aware of our incorrect practices and also giving us affordable and sustainable solutions.”
Open Defecation Free – A challenge to Health, Equity and Dignity
Open defecation is a serious threat on sanitation health and dignity
In Pakistan, 25 million people still practice Open Defecation and women are the ones who are the worst affected. The death toll from diarrheal diseases shows that 53,000 Pakistani children under five die annually from diarrhea due to poor water and sanitation.