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UNDP Pakistan names mountaineer Samina Baig National Goodwill Ambassador

Mountaineer Samina Baig has been appointed UNDP’s National Goodwill Ambassador For Pakistan on Monday.




UNDP names mountaineer Samina Baig National Goodwill Ambassador For Pakistan
UNDP Pakistan

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has named Samina Baig National Goodwill Ambassador to Pakistan. The first Muslim woman to climb Mount Everest was appointed as National Goodwill Ambassador for Pakistan during an event held at Islamabad Serena Hotel on Monday.

As the UNDP National Goodwill Ambassador For Pakistan, Samina Baig will lead efforts to build national awareness and partnerships around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those related to climate change, environmental protection and women’s empowerment.

UNDP names mountaineer Samina Baig National Goodwill Ambassador For Pakistan

Samina Baig poses with UNDP officials during the signing ceremony.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Pakistan, Neil Buhne said “Pakistan is amongst the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change. Preparing for its effects, and instituting environmental protections, will safeguard economic development for future generations.

He added “Moreover, half of Pakistan’s population, its women, are under-represented in education, the workforce and in decision-making. Empowering women to play their full role in society is not only an ethical imperative, it is essential for sustainable development.

Neil Buhne highlighted that UNDP’s National Goodwill Ambassadors are leaders in their societies and role models for all.

Samina Baig and UNDP Pakistan Country Director Ignacio Artaza

Samina Baig in discussion with NDP Pakistan Country Director Ignacio Artaza

UNDP Pakistan Country Director Ignacio Artaza highlighted the responsibilities of Samina Baig as UNDP National Goodwill Ambassador For Pakistan. “As the National Goodwill Ambassador for Pakistan, Ms. Baig will use her profile to shine a light on the issues that shape Pakistan’s future, and build the partnerships required to address them,” he said.

While talking to the audience at the signing ceremony Samina Baig said “With my brother, I have experienced a significant impact of global warming and climate change on our mother earth. I am honored to be the national goodwill Ambassador of UNDP to spread the voice to take a serious step to counter global warming and raise voice to empower young girls to climb the highest level within their field of profession.”

UNDP names mountaineer Samina Baig National Goodwill Ambassador For Pakistan

Samina Baig talks during UNDP National Goodwill Ambassador to Pakistan appointment ceremony.

Samina Baig was born and raised in Shimshal Valley in the Hunza district, Gilgit-Baltistan. At the age of 22, she became the first Pakistan women to climb world’s highest peak. A year after she scaled Mount Everest, she successfully climbed the highest peaks in every continent.

Samina Baig’s attempt to summit K2 was abandoned due to an unfortunate injury that left her in bed for several weeks.


Water for well-being in Chitral’s Broghil Valley – AKAH Pakistan




Broghil Women - AKAH Pakistan
Broghil women showcasing their woolen products for sale at a local festival. Photo: AKAH Pakistan

Broghil valley is home to more than 200 families, located around 260 kilometers from Chitral, the district headquarters in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Broghil valley lies at the border area and so is known for its remoteness, and limited accessibility through unpaved, vulnerable roads. Home to green fields, mountains, glaciers, and more than thirty alpine lakes, this valley has great tourism potential.

However, the lack of paved roads; harsh weather; snow for over eight months of the year; and a lack of water and electricity services are a few of the many challenges the valley’s inhabitants and visitors face.

Women and children must travel long distances to fetch water from rivers and streams. Not only does this result in lost time and labor but often the water is unclean, causing waterborne diseases.

Broghil Man - AKAH Pakistan
Mohammad Aziz, Member Water & Sanitation Committee, Garel, Broghil

“ A few months back, we did not have clean water to use. The women had to fetch it from
rivers in drums and jerry cans. This was done even when there were four to five feet of snow for eight months in winters. Also, the water was unsafe as it was contaminated by both humans and animals”.

Mohammad Aziz, Member Water & Sanitation Committee, Garel,

Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), Pakistan, with the mandate to improve human habitat across vulnerable areas, addressed this issue under its Water and Sanitation Extension Programme (WASEP).

Women are able to make these products using the time saved no longer having to fetch water from the river. experience and technical expertise, identified safe water sources; tested water quality against WHO standards; constructed water and sanitation infrastructure with community involvement and provided every household a water tap in their home.

Broghil Kid - AKAH Pakistan

With support from Pakistan Afghanistan Tajikistan Regional Integration Program (PATRIP) Foundation, local authorities and the community, AKAH completed water supply schemes in nine villages in Broghil, providing more than 200 households with year-round access to clean water at their doorsteps.

These households now have water in washrooms, improved hygiene conditions and a reduced incidence of waterborne disease. Women, in particular, are able to spend more quality time with their families and have more time for income-generating activities such as woolen handicrafts.

By providing safe drinking water and sanitation infrastructure, AKAH has helped improve the health and well-being of more than 2,000 people in Broghil.

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7 Photo-stories on World Water Day 2020 from Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral (GBC)




AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
AKAH Pakistan

World Water Day is celebrated every year on 22nd March as an observance day to highlight the importance of freshwater. The day is used to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

As part of the World Water Day 2020 celebrations, Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) shares these stories of people from Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral whose lives have been deeply impacted by water and sanitation-related projects in the region.

AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
Over half of the people across Pakistan lack access to safe and clean water and have no choice but to consume water from whatever source exists in their villages, regardless of quality. Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, aiming to improve quality of life, is implementing water supply schemes across mountain communities in Pakistan.
AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
In mountainous parts of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral, traditional wells are used as water reservoirs collecting the water coming from streams through canals. This water, coming directly from open sources, is unsafe as it is contaminated due to its exposure to both humans and animals. Without access to another source of water, people use this unsafe water for different purposes including drinking, cooking, and other domestic purposes.
AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
Clean drinking water has always been a huge problem for communities living in mountainous areas of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. Women and children are impacted the most as they must travel long distances to fetch water for cooking, washing, and laundry. AKAH’s work to connect each household to safe and clean with a water tap in their home enables women to keep their children safe from waterborne diseases, spend more quality time with their families, and also reduces time and labor lost to fetching water.
AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), with the help of communities, identifies water sources in the village, tests the water quality using its technical expertise, develops water infrastructure, constructs water reservoirs, and provides each family with a water tap in their home. More than 500,000 people across Pakistan now have access to safe drinking water in their homes, through AKAH’s efforts.
AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
Aga Khan Agency for Habitat’s WASEP model uses a community-based approach to help mountain communities get year-round all-season access to safe water. AKAH’s approach uses deep digging and other techniques to ensure that water does not freeze in the pipes despite the fact that these villages are covered in snow for more than five months of the year.
AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
“I enjoy taking freshwater from this tap in my home; you would say I am in love with it that’s why I stand here many times a day”.
AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, with its mandate to improve quality of life, is helping women and young girls across Pakistan enjoy a healthy life, by providing access to safe water in their homes, reducing their exposure to water-borne diseases, allowing them to spend more quality time with families.
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