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Govt and civil society stakeholders call for accelerated action to achieve universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene

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Government, civil society, community members and elected representatives have called for accelerated action, coordination and multi-sectoral efforts to achieve the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 6 (universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene) in the province of Sindh by 2030.  

A number of stakeholders got together in Karachi to take stock of Sindh’s current progress against the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 6 which aims to achieve universal access of clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene for everyone, everywhere by 2030. Multi-stakeholders roundtable was arranged by WaterAid Pakistan in collaboration with the Public Health Engineering Department.

Speaking with the participants Sindh Minister for Local Government and Public Health Engineering Department Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that the government of Sind has selected SDG-6 as one of the priority SDGs in the province. “Government is aware of the gigantic nature of the targets and we are running out of time to achieve the goals, therefore we are seeking support from international community, civil society and community stakeholders” he said.

He also mentioned that the government wants to develop holistic policies and programmes, implementation of which requires support from various stakeholders.

WaterAid Country Director Arif Jabbar Khan said that while Sindh has made some progress in achieving access to clean drinking water for more than 90 percent of its population, it is far behind in providing safely managed and contamination free drinking water. Similarly, access to basic and safely managed sanitation is not encouraging.

“With only 9 years to the deadline for achieving all SDG-6 targets, the current pace of financing, resourcing and implementation requires to be multiplied significantly” he said.

Convenor of the Sindh Assembly Taskforce on SDGs Pir Mujib ul Haq and Members of Sindh Assembly Jam Shabir Ali Khan and Muhammad Hassan Khan emphasising the role of parliamentarians said that they will work together to strengthen legislation and oversight function of the members of the Sindh Assembly. They said that they are working with WaterAid Pakistan in conducting a review of all existing laws related to water and sanitation and to introduce comprehensive improvements in the legislative frameworks.

Other speakers highlighted the need for removing ambiguities and overlap in policy and legislative frameworks, introduction of a holistic coordination and oversight body for WASH related initiatives and robust and timely collection and dissemination of data.

They included Bashir Ahmed Sheikh, Special Secretary PHED, Niaz Ahmed and Raheema Panhwar from WaterAid, Mumtaz Halepoto from SDG Unit of Sindh Planning Department, Khurram Arsalan from Local Government Department, Imran Shami from UNICEF, Nazar Joyo from National Rural Support Programme and others.

 

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