Mishtimba Sanitation Scheme
The Association of the Development of Pakistan is funding the construction of up to 70 latrines in Mishtimba Village, whereby households will benefit from access to WASH facilities and clean drinking water. The project also involves community engagement to provide training and raise awareness on basic hygiene practices so that meaningful behavior change can be affected with regard to hygiene practices amongst the local community. The Mishtimba Sanitation Scheme is a follow-up project and aims to replicate the successful implementation of a similar sanitation project completed earlier at nearby Sokar village in Muzaffarabad.
Since the remote location of the village makes it difficult to access, development initiatives from both the public and nonprofit sectors have been limited in the past. Development of basic sanitation facilities has been neglected and the practice of open defecation is commonplace, leaving inhabitants vulnerable to the incidence of disease, particularly evident in terms of cases of diarrhea among children. According to the baseline survey conducted at Mishtimba in August 2011, 418 people (91 men, 101 women, and 226 children) will benefit from access to clean sanitation facilities.
HEED (Health Education Environment Development) Association was originally set up in 2003 working primarily in isolated communities in Kashmir through small scale local projects, and employs low cost, sustainable solutions to improve the lives of isolated communities in Pakistan administered Kashmir. The NGO has most recently completed work on a water supply and sanitation scheme at Sokar Village with support from ADP but is also well known in AJK for its involvement in larger projects.
HEED has previously constructed four water supply schemes in Neelum Valley to protect water sources from contamination in the wake of the August 2010 floods, thereby providing access to clean water for over 3,000 people. The NGO is also involved in a water conservation project to install roof-top rainwater harvesting systems in up to 6,000 houses in the areas of Dewal Mandal, Palak and Nathiagali.
Project success will be gauged in terms of whether targeted households are provided access to WASH facilities and whether significant behavior change can result from hygiene training so as to reduce the incidence of disease amongst the local population. These objectives will be measured in terms of the successful attainment of the following benchmarks:
- Number of families to receive fully constructed and operational latrines;
- Education of effective sanitation/hygiene practices;
- Regular use of latrines by over 75% of the community;
- Number of incidences of diarrhea reported in children under 5 over the medium term after project implementation.
Critical Need: Morbidity rates related to sanitation are significant in areas where open defecation is the norm. Parasitic infections arising from poor sanitation include dysentery, cholera, typhoid, schistosomiasis and trachoma.
Social Return: Family latrines will help address the problem of the community’s lack of basic sanitation; it will help decrease morbidity rates and improve the quality of life. The project is cost-effective as there are little ongoing costs; labor will be drawn from the community, helping build self-sufficiency.
Measurability: Indicators include infection rates/incidence of sanitation related diseases as measures of the levels of hygiene.
Sustainability: Strong level of ownership on the part of the community will promote maintenance of the latrines. Training in the operation and maintenance of the latrines will be provided.
Why should the project be implemented in Mishtimba over any other village in the nearby area?
The village of Mishtamba was selected due to its similarities with Sokar Village in terms of geography, demographic composition and needs assessment. As the previous project had proven successful in Sokar, Mishtimba provided an opportunity to replicate this initiative.
Has the community in Mishtimba shown interest in building latrines? Why is HEED comfortable that every household that gets a latrine will use it?
HEED provided a water supply scheme to Mishtimba about 1.5 years ago. They have been asked by community members, and women in particular, for not only water supply but also latrines.
What is the rate of latrine failure in Sokar?
Latrine maintenance is regular and the break-down rate is low, based on prior experience on similar projects implemented after the earthquake.
Have septic tanks affected the water table? Are there any contamination issues due to the location of the septic pit?
The risks to contamination of the water source are minimized since water is pumped to the village via a system of sealed pipes and not from a fresh-water or ground-water source.
The project is almost near completion at this point in time. 90% of the latrines have been built. In addition to a sound structure, the latrines have running water as well, indicating that they are almost ready for use. For some latrines, the structure for walls is temporarily being done by the residents but HEED team is encouraging them to complete making the walls as soon as possible. Roofs and doors for the latrines, on the other hand, have been fully completed.
For more details, see the reports sent by Mishtimba and the project update by Afshin Khan.
Materials for the latrines have been fully distributed to the latrine owners by now. Further progress has been accomplished on constructing doors for the latrines, arranging water storage tanks, and installing roofs. Weekly inspection of latrines is being conducted to ensure the latrines are working properly. A picture report compilation is in the pipeline where a ‘before and after’ picture of the latrine next to the latrine owner will be made for each beneficiary.
Further progress has been made since May 2012 to construct latrines, make doors and install roofs. Despite the setbacks received in the beginning of the year due to snow in the region, it seems that HEED is well on its way of accomplishing its target within due time. In addition to the construction work, awareness posters have been placed in Mishtimba. However, more work needs to be done in training in the field of operations and maintenance. The community members are very excited about finishing their latrines and along with the HEED team, are working even in the darkness of the night to complete the latrines. HEED is encouraging women residents to get involved in the construction of their home latrines. HEED specialists in the field are making sure to inspect proper installation of water pipes and that the construction of latrines are up to quality standards.
HEED has transitioned into the second stage of the project. All necessary materials have been procured. Septic pits and latrine super structures have been constructed. HEED has started handing over wall materials to the latrine owners. Water storage tanks have been arranged and work is being done to construct doors for the latrines. Efforts are underway to continue to conduct weekly hygiene promotion sessions, so that the locals are educated about hygienic methods for using latrines. The team is also addressing latrines for the physically challenged people. Latrine numbers have been printed on penaflex and distributed to everyone.
Work on this project has started at an energetic pace with construction started on most of the latrines and HEED is confident that the project will complete on time. More information can be found on the update page and some great pictures can be found in this Facebook photo album.
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