National WASH Coalition
The WASH campaign in Pakistan has been actively coordinated since 2003 by the Pakistan Institute for Environment-Development Action Research (Piedar). The Pakistan WASH Coalition works closely with the Ministry of Environment, provincial and local governments, international agencies, civil society organizations, and 166 partner schools across Pakistan.
The coalition’s main objectives are to contribute to the development of a research-based WASH in Schools programme, to achieve the roll-out of the National Drinking Water Policy (NDWP), to firm up the National Sanitation Action Plan (N-SAP), and to develop a National Behaviour Change Communication Strategy for WASH. The coalition is also working on two cross-cutting themes: gender mainstreaming in urban squatter settlements, and the capacity-building of local government agencies for WASH.
Milestones and achievements
One of the main milestones in recent years has been the translation and adaptation of the International Federation for Hygiene (IFH) Home Hygiene Manual into Urdu, which contributed considerably to making sanitation and hygiene locally meaningful. It made pictures culturally acceptable, for example, and changed the emphasis according to local requirements. The manual was tested at community level and later launched nationally. It has proved an efficient training tool, especially for local people with limited English skills.
In 2010, the coalition will develop an Urdu resource book for WASH in schools, using approaches similar to the Home Hygiene Manual's for school sanitation and hygiene. It will be based on the experiences and programmes of Piedar, UNICEF and UN-HABITAT.
The WASH programme in the 166 partner schools, including education, training and research activities, has achieved very good results: well-maintained filter water dispensers, functioning and clean school toilets, more hygienically managed school canteens. This has resulted in improved health, leading to less absenteeism among children. The Center of Environmental Education through Participatory Action Learning (CEEPAL) is also working with 180 schools across Pakistan. It seeks to share best practices, strengthen conservation values for environmental care, and promote hygienic habits among children.
The WASH campaign focuses on advocacy and coalition-building at national and provincial levels, and on helping policy development. Two elements of the campaign have been the participation of the Government and civil society in the processes of preparing a country paper and studies for the third South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SacoSan III), and advocacy on scaling up sanitation and hygiene projects.
Water and Sanitation Partnerships enable partner communities to meet their water and sanitation needs, and to improve their health and environmental conditions. The coalition builds local knowledge and skills in training workshops, and has established support networks.
The urban management programme engaged citizen boards, union councils and municipal administrations in strengthening collaboration between communities, local governments and other stakeholders. The coalition has learnt useful lessons for national and provincial policy and programme design from working to improve access to primary healthcare, water, sanitation and solid waste management services through a rights-based approach.