Interregional learning: Pakistani impressions of WASH in Nepal
A week-long visit by young Pakistani journalists to Nepal has generated a great deal of inspiration for driving improvements back in Pakistan through the mainstream media.
FANSA supported the Pakistani team to visit projects covering a wide range of areas, including: ecological sanitation, schools, ecotourism, women’s participation, rainwater harvesting, traditional stone spouts revival, solid waste management, community water supply & treatment and a community radio station.
“Nepal is very much ahead in WASH sector compared to Pakistan so we have a lot to learn from community efforts in Nepal,” said Saif Ullah Khan, project coordinator at the Pakistan-based Integrated Regional Support Program (IRSP) and team leader of the Pakistani media visit to Nepal.
Journalist Mohammad Shahid Khan was impressed by how urine was being used in Darechowk. He said, “In Pakistan, we use chemical fertilizer containing urea which could be replaced by urine harvesting. If urine harvesting was carried out, it could bring a great revolution in farming and save our economy.” A fellow journalist Syed Kashif Shah thought urine harvesting was the most easily applicable method that could bring significant improvement in agriculture in both countries.
On observing local practices of rainwater harvesting and water management in Bandipur, Saif highlighted that, “People in Bandipur have utilized water properly. Pakistan is rich in water resources but its proper management is lacking. I am afraid it may lead us to disaster, if some day sources of water get dried up.”
After meeting women in Thecho, Syed Maaz Jan and Ajmal Khan were impressed at how hard working the women in Nepal are and how effectively they are working together with men. Ajmal said, “It’s great to see that women have driven sanitation campaign in their community.”
Team members felt that solid waste management in both the countries suffered a similar status but appreciated some of the programs launched by the Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City to manage solid waste. The use of safety equipment by the municipal waste workers also drew their attention.
The delegates learnt many things during their short visit and came away inspired and ready to spread the word about all they had learnt. Siddhipur VDC, Zia Ullah said, “People in Nepal are very laborious and they have contributed a lot in WASH, which is inspiration to me. Water treatment at Siddhipur looks very effective and this method can be applied to Pakistan to tap stream water instead of using underground water.”