Solid waste project being implemented in secondary cities

June 20, 2015 Off By Web Desk

KARACHI: UN-Habitat, in close collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the Ministry of Climate Change, is currently implementing a project on ‘Pro-poor and sustainable solid waste management in secondary cities and small towns’, says new Pakistan Economic Survey.

According to the survey, the project contributes to this goal by setting up an Integrated Resource Recovery Center (IRRC) in Islamabad that will enable the city to turn waste into resources through composting, recycling and bio digestion, thereby diverting solid waste from landfills or open dump sites. In the medium term, it is envisaged to replicate this model to cities across the whole country.

This project is being carried out through a multistakeholder approach, the participation of the Ministry of Climate change is instrumental in the successful implementation of this model, as well as in capitalizing from the climate benefit of setting-up decentralized solid waste management systems, through the IRRC.

Sanitation is one of the basic necessities of human life as it saves lives, resources and let human being live with dignity. Poor hygiene and sanitation not only harms the human health but also gives birth to multiple socio-economic Environment 267 and environmental concerns including contamination of perennial water sources in the country.

This disease burden leads to high child mortality and huge economic burden on people as well as on the government. Pakistan has a high under five years mortality rate of 72 per 1000 children, ranking second highest in South Asia. Pakistani children suffer diarrhea. This also affects physical and mental growth of children under five. Lack of safe water and sanitation facilities is also one of the contributing factors in the spread of polio virus.

The sanitation and hygiene situation in the country remains at a crises point as just 48 percent of the population has access to improved sanitation and more than 40 million people continue to defecate in the open. Only 24 percent households of Pakistan have access to underground and covered drains. 42 percent have access to open drains and 33 percent live with no system. The current expenditure on sanitation and hygiene is very limited. The rural households spend around 20 percent of their monthly income Rs. (410-20) on medical costs, largely due to sanitation & water borne diseases.

Pakistan is currently off track in meeting its sanitation Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target. A momentum to tackle this crisis needs to be built in line with the Millennium Development Goals, South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN) commitments and the United Nations call on sanitation.

In order to build the momentum and accelerate the progress on sanitation and hygiene in the country, Pakistan Conference on Sanitation (PACOSAN) was held in February, 2015 in collaboration with the key development partners working in the country. Pakistan government is committed to save its children from death, living with disabilities or not achieving their potential physical and mental growth to compete with other nations in the world.