Water and household sanitation, Pakistan

Environmental Health Team of the IRC CS WASH Fund project run information sessions in a village in a Pakistani village

This story from a Pakistani mother and wife, Mrs S, describes how her children have increased school attendance and her husband’s work capacity has increased; both the positive results from reduced family illness. These educational and economic benefits are thanks to sanitary improvements to their home water and wastewater management, which happened with the assistance provided by International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) CS WASH Fund project.

Mrs S is a resident of village Landay Kanday upper, Peshawar District. She has five children under 10 years of age and her husband works casually for a daily wage.  The Environmental Health Team from the IRC CS WASH Fund project met with her and observed that two of her children were ill. The team observed that the water collection source at her house was not adequate.

“I used to collect water from a pipe inside my house from the Public Health Education Department water supply scheme. There was a pond of stagnant water around that pipe which used to be filled with wastewater from bathroom, latrine and kitchen. After every three to four days, we used to drain that water with a bucket. During spring and the monsoon season, when the pond was full with wastewater, my house was full of mosquitoes and flies and my whole family fell sick with diarrhoea. My husband is a casual worker so when he got ill there was no-one to support our family. My elder son was also absent from school due to diarrhoea.”

“The Environmental Health Team came one day and undertook a sanitary survey.  After completing the survey, they advised me to fill the pond and construct a pad around the water pipe to protect it. The team arranged a detailed session the next day for me and other women on the impact of wastewater on our health and how wastewater affects domestic hygiene, particularly drinking water and food.”    

“After the session, I discussed these problems with my husband and convinced him to fill in the wastewater pond and protect the water pipe. He agreed and we started saving money for construction materials. After two months of saving, we were able to buy all the materials needed to construct a pad around the tap. We filled in the pond and now we have a clean home with no flies and our water pipe is safe. No one in our family has been ill since. ”