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Pakistan: Health matters

Support poor urban communities to improve their health

 
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Support poor urban communities to improve their health.

Help poor communities influence local authorities and ensure they gain access to safe water and sanitation.

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Your donation can do something brilliant

Your support could help to train over 1,368 people who will act as representatives of their communities, raising important issues with the local authorities. We aim to ensure that slum dwellers experience better health, have increase awareness of their rights and their ability to influence government decisions, and ensure local authorities are more responsive to addressing the needs of the urban poor.

As a result of this project, we expect:

  • Slum dwellers to experience better health, with fewer cases of waterborne diseases.
  • Poor women and men to be made aware of their rights and be organised to influence government decisions and interventions for better access to safe water and sanitation.
  • Local authorities will be more responsive to addressing the water and sanitation needs of urban communities.

What your money can buy

£30 could support and train five people to represent their community and work with the local authorities to ensure their needs are addressed

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The citizens' groups allow community members to learn about their rights and identify key issues that they would like to tackle. In this example, a women's group has listed and ranked their priorities, which will be shared with local government officials. Photo: Oxfam.

A bit of background

Cities in Pakistan are growing quickly as people relocate in search of a better life. Rapid urbanisation, together with natural population growth, means that authorities have been unable to keep up with demands for water and sanitation facilities, and ensure adequate living standards. The government does not have an urban policy.

Poor people find themselves living in crowded, unhealthy conditions with open sewers acting as breeding grounds for disease. Clean water is scarce, which means that people drink contaminated water that frequently makes them ill. In recent years, cases of polio have been recorded in the project areas, Dadu and Muzaffargarh. [Polio is transmitted through water or food that is contaminated with infected faecal matter.]

Life is hard for families living in the slums. Many people are malnourished and a high number of young children die before their fifth birthday. The conditions in the slums are also affecting social relationships, and people say that domestic violence and insecurity have increased as people feel increasingly desperate.

How we're helping:

We will work closely with over 1,300 community members, linking them up with the local authorities to ensure their needs are met. 125,000 people from the target areas will benefit from improved access to services. This will be achieved through the following aims and activities:

  • Empower communities to influence the decisions that affect their lives
  • Enable community members to hold local authorities to account
  • Reduce the incidence of preventable diseases

Download more information about this project (PDF)

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Look how far your money can go

Bashiran lives in Union Council Four, Dadu City. In Dadu, most people have no official water supply and have to buy water, which is untreated, from street vendors. Bashiran witnessed hundreds of families arriving in her neighbourhood after the 2010 floods devastated people's homes and livelihoods. The increased population put pressure on the existing infrastructure in the city. Drainage systems overflowed, flooding the streets with raw sewage.

In 2014, Oxfam supported 20 local women to form a citizen's group and Bashiran was elected President. The group received training to identify and prioritise issues in their area, as well as how to influence others. As a result of the group's actions and persistence, the community now has access to a regular supply of water and the streets are being cleaned.

 The community is very happy. We know our rights and responsibilities. We thank Oxfam for helping us.

This project will help many more communities like Bashiran's. By joining people together, and connecting them to their government representatives, local authorities will have to take action, providing basic services like water and sanitation across the city.