Submitted by Gul-e-Zhera, Pakistan Chapter of the Talloires Network
In an effort to solve a major problem of the rural population of Sindh, students and administrators at Pakistan’s National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) are taking action. NUST Community Service Club (NCSC), with the support of the NUST administration and the Association for Water, Applied Education & Renewable Energy (AWARE) organization successfully completed the installation of 16 water wells in the drought stricken region of Thar. An inadequate water and sanitation services to the people of Thar desert has detrimental effect on their living conditions, income earning potential, overall well-being, and increase their vulnerability to all kinds of water borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, shigella, meningitis, and hepatitis A and E.
All NUST faculty and students donated generously for the cause. In May 2015, two students from NUST belonging to Thar area visited the 16 sites and met community partners for a need analysis survey before initiating the project. In the past, residents had to pull out buckets of water from wells which were about 200 feet deep. Women and children carried this water home from far off areas which was physically very taxing.
The installation of these wells with water pumps benefited about 4500 individuals in 832 households. People had safe drinking water in 11 villages. Community was trained to look after the maintenance of these wells and water pumps to promote a participatory approach and sense of ownership.