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Clean and pure: Potable water project kicks off in Hunza

GILGIT: A potable water and hygiene improvement project was launched in Murtazaabad in Hunza Valley to improve the general quality of life in the area. At least 3,500 people are expected to benefit from the project launched by USAID and the Aga Khan Planning and Building Service (AKPBS), Pakistan.

The project was launched to celebrate World Toilet Day which aims to draw global attention to the fact that 2.5 billion people worldwide lack access to adequate sanitation, Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) spokesperson Rizwan Jamil told The Express Tribune on Wednesday. “The initiative will install household and communal drinking water tap stands that meet World Health Organization standards.”

In Murtazaabad, the entire population accesses drinking water from open sources; most of which are believed to be contaminated. When temperatures drop below freezing in winter, getting water becomes an arduous and risky task. The village comprises five schools, other communal buildings and is home to 430 households. The average household income is said to be Rs3,000 a month.

According to Jamil, USAID Mission Director John Groarke is hopeful those who lacked access to clean water will be able to benefit from the initiative.

The G-B information department said AKDN officials held a meeting with the region’s chief secretary Tahir Hussain to brief him about the organisation’s initiatives.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th,  2015.

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