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      July 03, 2013


Safe Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation projects inaugurated in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral

Chitral Times Report

Hunza\Chitral: A safe drinking water supply and sewerage project was recently inaugurated in Rahimabad-Aliabad in Gilgit-Baltistan by His Excellency Wazir Baig, Speaker, Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly. and Mr. Michael Sumser, Senior Project Manager, and Mr. Edgert Firmenich from KfW German Development Bank.

Supported by the German Government through the Federal Foreign Office, the project was administered by the Aga Khan Foundation Pakistan and executed by the Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan (APKBS,P), both agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The project was the result of a unique public-private partnership between the AKDN, the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan (GoGB) and the local community of Rahimabad-Aliabad.

The first phase of the project provides safe drinking water and an integrated sewerage system to 321 households (more than 2200 people). The project aims to particularly address the challenges posed by a growing population, sub-urbanization and lack of proper waste management systems which have been posing serious problems to the local environment. The water supply and sewerage schemes have been developed to limit the impact to the environment and to ensure long term sustainability while overcoming the greater challenges of water scarcity, high incidences of waterborne disease and to bring disparate communities closer together.

Speaking at the inauguration, Mr. Michael Sumser expressed his gratitude to the Aliabad community and said, “I am absolutely overwhelmed by the warm reception given by the community of Aliabad. I appreciate and admire the active participation and commitment that the community has demonstrated during the course of the project. With the completion of phase-I and the beginning of the second phase of the project, the responsibility of maintaining and sustaining the schemes lies upon your shoulders. I urge you to pass on these schemes as a present to your generations – a present for a healthy life.” Speaking to the community, he said, “the project is an exemplary model of public-private partnership between the government of Gilgit-Baltistan, AKDN, KfW and the community that can be replicated in other parts of the world as well”. He congratulated the AKDN for delivering high quality service to the communities with utmost dedication and commitment.

The Speaker of the Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly offered his heartfelt gratitude to the government of Germany for their support to the region and said, “I am thankful to the government of Germany and to the great people of Germany for their support and contribution to provide safe drinking water to the Rahimabad-Aliabad community. I am aware that the government of Germany is also extending assistance to the Pakistan government in various development initiatives undertaken in other parts of Pakistan and we are grateful to them”.

He also congratulated AKPBS,P and the community for the wonderful work they have done together. He said, “the Aga Khan Development Network and its agencies have indeed transformed the lives of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan”. He congratulated the community of Aliabad for playing a key role for the completion of the scheme. On behalf of the government of Gilgit-Baltistan, he assured full support and cooperation to the community and AKPBS,P in the coming years.
His Excellency, Minister Water and Power, Gilgit-Baltistan, Mr. Deedar Ali along with the KfW mission inaugurated the first urban water scheme in Noor colony, a suburb of the Gilgit city with residents who originate from across Gilgit Baltistan and represent varied traditions and beliefs. The project is expected to minimize key water related challenges faced by the community - those of water scarcity, water quality and distribution.

In a dinner hosted in honour of the German mission in Gilgit, Chief Secretary Gilgit-Baltistan Mr. Muneer Ali Badeni noted that, “In the future people will visit Gilgit-Baltistan to see the marks left by the Aga Khan Development Network”.
In Chitral the mission inaugurated the water supply scheme in Ghokheer village and visited the Chitral Town water supply project which will benefit 726 households in the Singoor, Dolomuch and Seenlasht villages of Chitral.

To improve drinking water supply and sanitation conditions in GBC, the German Government through the German Federal Foreign Office and the KfW Development Bank have provided a grant of Euro 9.4 million to the Aga Khan Foundation, Pakistan (AKF,P) for the implementation of the second phase of the Water and Sanitation Extension Programme, a programme implemented by AKPBS,P. About 200,000 people in 307 villages of GBC will have access to safe water and sanitation facilities through this project. In 2012-2013, 38 villages in GBC were provided with access to clean drinking water and hygienic sanitation benefitting more than 28,000 people.


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