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

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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,
Broghil

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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Chitral

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

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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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Chitral

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Chitral as part of their Royal Tour in Pakistan

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Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Chitral, Pakistan
PHOTO CREDITS: WIREIMAGE

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge flew from Islamabad to Chitral on their third day of Royal tour in Pakistan. This is the first royal tour of Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton to Pakistan.

The two were welcomed with traditional Chitrali Pakol, a traditional Chitrali cap, and Chitrali Chogha, a traditional long coat in often presented to dignitaries, at the Chitral Airport.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Chitral Airport
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Chitral Airport where they were presented with traditional Chitrali cap and Chitrali Chogha. Photo: WireImage

The royal couple had landed in Islamabad on Monday evening as part of a 5-day long royal tour in Pakistan. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a busy first day in the capital where they had a meeting with Prime  Minister Imran Khan. Earlier, the royal couple visited Islamabad Model College for Girls, a government-run school in the capital city.

Later, the British High Commissioner for Pakistan Thomas Drew hosted a reception for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Pakistan Monument in Islamabad. The royal couple arrived at Pakistan Monument in an auto-rickshaw.

Duchess of Cambridge in Chitrali Cap
The Duchess of Cambridge at Chitral Airport wearing a traditional Chitrali cap and Chitrali Chogha.

The Duke had spoken of the challenges Pakistan faces from climate change at a reception at Pakistan Monument in Islamabad.

“Tomorrow we will be seeing some of these impacts first hand and meeting some of the communities adjusting to the new realities and new challenges that climate change has brought to their towns and villages,” he said.

He further added:

“I hope to learn what more we all can do to help prevent and mitigate this impending global catastrophe.”

William and Kate are also expected to visit Gilgit-Baltistan and the historic city of Lahore as part of their royal tour.

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Coronavirus Statistics

Pakistan Stats

2,421 Cases
34 Deaths
125 Recovered

Global Stats

1,015,877 Cases
53,218 Deaths
212,992 Recovered

COVID-19 Precautions

Follow these steps to help slow the spread of the virus and to reduce the risk of infection:

➡️ Wash your hands with soap and water regularly and thoroughly; this means for at least 20 seconds

➡️ Cough or sneeze into your elbow or into a clean tissue, then throw the tissue in the bin

➡️ Stay 1.5 meters away from others. If you are sick, stay home

➡️ If you’re feeling sick or showing symptoms of coronavirus, you should call your designated numbers in your city for advice.

➡️ For more information and tips to help improve your safety and wellbeing, visit the Federal Government’s official website

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