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PTI, PML-N manifestos focus little on water, sanitation issues

By Kalbe Ali 2018-07-13
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-iInsaf (PTI) and PML-N have focused little on water and sanitation hygiene (Wash)in their manifestoes while the PPP has a complete plan f or such i ssues.

The PML-N manifesto for the 2018 elections is primarily focused on issues concerning the top bureaucracy. The party has included a chapter on the environment titled Go Green and one on water which is called More for Every Drop which highlights the need for improving storage capacity, accessibility and conservation.

These chapters are focused on climate change and the impact of industrialisation on the environment and also include a plan for ensuring the supply of clean drinking water to the coastal areas of Karachi by setting up desalination and RO plants.

The PML-N has promised to adopt an aggressive approach towards the fulfilment of agreements and reforms already signed by the government during the next five years,if elected.

There is limited focus on the issue of open defecation caused due to poverty and a lack of services but also due to the traditionallifestyle in rural areas. According to international agencies, some 40 million Pakistanis do not have access to proper toilets and def-ecate in the open.

In its manifesto, PTI has acknowledged that social sector reforms need attention and the party has also focused on tackling the water shortage in Karachi.

Chapter 6 of the PTI manifesto, Revolutionise Social Services is in regards to healthcare for all and among other things, points to the need for providing clean drinking water for all.

While the party has acknowledged that poverty is rampant in Pakistan with 29.5pc of the population, or some 60 million people, live below the poverty line.

There is a strong correlation between the incidence of high poverty and poor public delivery.

`We will launch a special drive in the poorest districts to improve access to sanitation and clean drinking water,` the PTI manifesto says.

The party had also highlighted the need for reforms and social sector intervention in Karachi and has vowed to transform Karachi into a vibrant, competitive megacity.

PTI has said water is scarce in Karachi with only 55pc of the daily water needs being met due to the monopoly of the water mafia.

It says that approximately half of the city`s citizens have access to sanitation.

`The root cause of Karachi`s poor state is its poor local governance systems, which is neither empowered nor resourceful enoughto resolve these issues,` the manifesto says.

`We will launch a new city governance model for Karachi that empowers local elected officials and a city government,` it reads.

The party has said it will build dams and solve the water crisis with immediate steps to conserve and improve the management of water.

The PPP manifesto has said access to safe drinking water is a human right and dedicated a whole chapter to the issue, Water and Sanitation.

`We believe that it is a fundamental right for citizens to be able to access fresh drinking water and improved sanitation systems, irrespective of difference in the types of settlements they live in whether formal or informal, rural and urban,` the manifesto says.

The PPP has said potable drinking water is not available to 83pc of the population. The manifesto says the provision of clean drinking water and sanitation facilities has been the top priority of the party and highlights the importance of providing sewerage and garbage collection systems in slums and informal settlements.

The party has said the lack of the quality water is associated with nutrition for Pakistani children and can be a cause of many water borne diseases such as diarrhoea and malaria.