Fall Project Update – Mishtimba Sanitation Scheme

The Association of the Development of Pakistan funded the construction of up to 70 latrines in Mishtimba Village in partnership with Health Education Environment Development Association (HEED), whereby households benefited from access to WASH facilities and clean drinking water. The project also involved 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.

Over the last few months, HEED has been providing regular monthly updates. Significant progress has been made since the launch and as of September 2012, 90% of the construction had been completed. Despite the fact that the project entered a time period where general productivity goes down in the month of Ramadan and Eid, community members worked day and night to built latrines in their homes, schools and in the mosque.

Doors and water tanks have been set up. There is running water in the latrines now. For some of the latrines, walls have been temporarily set up but community members are being encouraged to complete the walls properly. With the passage of time, it is hoped that the latrine owners will improve and personalize the structure of their latrines in their own way. HEED is also working on compiling a picture report containing information about each beneficiary, and a ‘before and after completion’ picture of the latrines next to their owners.

In addition to latrine construction, community members of the village have also gained some site safety skills. A health and safety workshop in the name of ‘Working in Confined Spaces’ was organized by HEED in Muzaffarabad. Residents of Mishtimba were also present so they can apply some of the knowledge and skills gained from the workshop towards development of their village in a safe and sustainable manner in the future.

Below is a timeline of updates from HEED:

May 2012

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.

June 2012

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.

July 2012

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.

August 2012

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.

By Afshin Alaf Khan-