By: Ramzan Chandio | Published: December 06, 2011
KARACHI – Most of the MPAs are unaware about the recently approved ‘Sindh Sanitation Strategy 2011’ prepared by the Sindh government to deal with the sanitation problems.
Even, some of the ministers as well as MPAs from ruling PPP have no knowledge about any policy recently prepared by their own government through Local Government Department, which runs under its minister Agha Siraj Durrani.
The Sindh government had recently approved the ‘Sindh Sanitation Strategy 2011’, which was prepared by the local government through consultants of foreign aid agency. The officials concerned claimed that strategy was approved after holding series of consultations with provincial departments, district government officers, civil society organisations and other stakeholders. But according to lawmakers, who are the main stakeholders in the process, they were not taken on board during the process of finalising this important strategy which actually relates to them as they are directly connected with the people.
In this regard, MPA Heer Soho of MQM while talking to TheNation expressed lack of knowledge about the existence of any sanitation policy. “Bureaucracy does not consult with them during finalisation of important policies such as water and sanitation strategy. I will take up the issue in the provincial assembly as even Sindh Sanitation Strategy 2011 was not shared with the lawmakers,” she added.
However, Nusrat Sehar Abbasi of PML-F shared the same views and expressed her unawareness about any policy to deal with sanitation issues. Provincial legislator Nawaz Chandio of PPP said that bureaucrats prepared policies without taking lawmakers on board. Some ministers, who wanted not to be named, said that they had no knowledge about any sanitation strategy prepared by the provincial government recently to improve the facilities. The Sindh government has recently prepared the Sindh Sanitation Strategy 2011, in which Sindh’s sanitation sector is divided into larger/smaller cities and villages (secondary towns, Hyderabad and mega city Karachi) to implement the plan easily.
According to Sindh Sanitation Strategy 2011, which is also available with TheNation, the strategic interventions would be based on the directions set-forth by the relevant national policy guidelines and the findings of a comprehensive stakeholder consultation process to bring forth the issues and concerns specific to Sindh.
The strategy emphasises that sanitation services development should be based on comprehensive and strategic medium-term sanitation planning that follows the development of the current provincial sanitation strategy. This planning process is important as it may take years for cities and towns in Sindh to meet all the requirements of total sanitation services. In the strategy, it has been emphasised that an efficient and timely implementation of the strategy recommendations would require both consistency and enforceability of the relevant legal frameworks.
The Sindh sanitation plan observed that system of sanitary drainage throughout the Taluka areas is extremely poor and predominately ineffective in its requirements to collect, treat and safely dispose of human waste and surface water. Coverage of the system of piped underground sewers is very low and those sewer systems that exist are generally old and badly maintained, the report pointed out. The sewage treatment is absent in all talukas and where exists, it is Oxidation Pond process adopted for treatment before disposal in receiving body i.e Irrigation Canal/Minor.
It pointed out that the sewage is only properly treated in the case of Karachi in Sindh and even here the sewage treatment plants operate at 60 percent of their total capacity. The sewage in all other cities in Sindh is discharged onto land or water bodies.
The analysts said the Pakistan was already far from the UN’s MDGs, under which Pakistan made commitment of sustainable access to safe and improved sanitation and provide safe drinking water to 93 percent of the population by 2015. The government of Pakistan is recognising that there are clear links between sanitation, water, health and economic productivity has since then took significant steps by making policies and evolving strategies to achieve the commitments it made in UN and SACOSAN. But more steps yet are to be taken by the government to reach close to the world in providing improved sanitation and safe drinking water to the population, which are so far deprived of this basic right, analysts observed.
17 arrested: Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) have arrested 17 suspected persons in raids and snap checking during the past 48 hours.
This was stated by a spokesman of the Rangers in a statement issued here on Monday. It said that the Rangers conducted raids in various areas of Karachi during the last 48 hours. The areas included Manghopir, Gulshan-i-Maymar Gadap Town, Singer Chowrangi Landhi Town and Khayaban-i-Shujaat Clifton Town. As many as 17 suspected persons were arrested in these raids and snap checking. Seven weapons and a motorcycle recovered from their possession, the Rangers statement added.