Southern Punjab has not been a privileged place in terms of facilities of health and hygiene for urban as well as far flung rural communities. Furthermore, the generations have been living below the poverty line to find themselves a solution to poverty and its evils. Not only this the particular said belt has been facing negligence on the part of infrastructure, education, health and hygiene, social well-being and other facilities. Health and hygiene has been specifically a marginalized sector for a long time now that has increased in number of deaths, diarrheal diseases, skin infections and hepatitis among people especially women and children. Other water-borne diseases are also common among communities.
As a part of its project Integrated Rural Wash funded by WaterAid, AGAHE has been raising living standards of 130 rural communities of Muzaffargarh through awareness raising campaigns regarding health and hygiene, water and sanitation by conducting awareness sessions, advocacy campaigns in schools and at district level. This has led to a mass level of awareness among local communities, in schools and overall communities know the importance of health, water and its usages and how personal hygiene can be ensured. Through strong community mobilization process, an intervention of construction of 135 low-cost pit latrines was completed in the areas based on community needs, set criteria and community consultations. The construction of these latrines was followed by a thorough process of health and hygiene awareness sessions nad messages through different mobilization techniques of PRA, practical demonstrations, seminars, installation and construction of hand-pumps and latrines model which areeffective and easy for replication.
- Bukhsh S/O Yaar Muhammad; a resident of village QittaBhinda in Union Council Mannah Tehsil KotAddubelongs to a poor family with hands to mouth earnings.He has been actively involved from the very beginning of project intervention in his community. Being conscious about health of his family, he started working with AGAHE mobilization team during all activities and participated actively which further sensitized him about safe hygiene practices delivered by SMT.
Soon after the construction of community level model latrine, Mr. Bukshadopted the model of AGAHE low cost demonstration latrine on self basis and constructed a Model latrine as per AGAHE model which was the actual purpose of demonstration latrine.
Mr. Buksh is happy with the intervention and expressed his joy with these words,
‘’My family is thankful to AGAHE as the latrine I constructed is a replication of their model. I’m happy because my children feel comfortable and protected now. They are less prone to any seasonal and/or water borne diseases that has ultimately reduced my expenditures of medical. This was one time investment that has saved us not only physical issues but social and psychological too”.