ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has approved $442 million to help improve access to water and sanitation services for the most vulnerable rural communities in Punjab.
The ‘Punjab Rural Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Project’ will help upgrade water supply and sanitation infrastructure and services that ensure equitable and sustainable access to drinking water and safe wastewater management. The project prioritises rural settlements where water contamination and poor sanitation practices are more prevalent, causing high levels of illness and child stunting, the World Bank said in a statement. Dawn reported.
The project will cover 16 districts, with 50 per cent of districts drawn from south Punjab, and 25pc each from central and north Punjab, benefiting 2,000 villages and more than six million people in rural areas. It will also provide training of village councils and community caretakers, which will have complementary responsibilities for operations and maintenance, monitoring and evaluation and customer service.
On approval of the project by the board of executive directors on Friday, the World Bank Country Director for Pakistan, Najy Benhassine, said that the bank was committed to the government in improving sustainable water resource management. This project will support investments that increase climate resilience, including flood protection, rainwater harvesting and water conservation in these districts.