Byline: Jenny zhou
March 22nd is World Water Day, which aims to emphasize the importance of fresh water for sustainable development. Water is also closely linked to global food security, which is about people's physical and mental health. The 2010 rainy-season floods affected millions of people in Pakistan. In order to avoid the raging floods, they once evacuated their homes; when they returned, the houses and crops were already devastated. What's more, the flood also contaminated groundwater.
As a result, UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) provided emergency assistance including safe drinking water, water purification tablets and jerry cans, and supported sustainable development, community-led safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene-related interventions. To avoid water-related diseases such as diarrhoea, the safety of drinking water is essential because these diseases can endanger the lives of young children. Sabahat Ambreen, a UNICEF expert on water, sanitation and hygiene, said, "Recurrent diarrhoeal diseases can cause children to be susceptible to other diseases and malnutrition. Diarrhoea is the leading cause of malnutrition in children under five years of age. Over time, there are serious health effecting for children, including growth retardation and mental retardation. A national nutrition survey conducted in 2011 showed that 46.3% of children in rural areas under 5 years of age were physically retarded and the rate of underweight was 33.3%.
The campaign has been very successful and the community has now passed certification to eliminate open defecation. Muhammad Ibrahim, a medical technician, claiming that the campaign has improved children's health. In addition, with the support of UNICEF and PRSP ( Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers), a water filtration plant has been built in the village. This filtration plant can treat groundwater to meet the needs of 300 households with safe drinking water in the village and surrounding areas. The local committee will manage the operation of the filtration plant and will be responsible for the related maintenance work after one year of operation.
In all parts of Pakistan, even in the most remote and impoverished mountainous areas, primary schools seem not to be lacking, and primary education in tribal areas can be generally guaranteed. However, the proportion of girls attending school is relatively low. The primary...