Gilgit, 13th August: The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) and the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan led the ground breaking ceremony of the safe drinking water supply scheme in Danyore, Gilgit in the presence of Mr. Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehman, Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan. The ceremony marks the beginning of a critical development project for which AKAH has received a grant of PKR 300 million from the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan to provide access to safe drinking water to 6,000 households in Danyore, Muhammadabad, Sultanabad and Gujardass.
The ceremony was attended by representatives from the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan, AKAH and the civil society representatives including: Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, Minister of Public Works Department, Mr Farman Ali, Local Government and Rural Development, Mr. Asifullah Khan, Secretary of the Local Government and Rural Development, and Mr. Nawab Ali Khan, Chief Executive Officer, AKAH.
Speaking on the occasion Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehman, Chief Minister, Gilgit-Baltistan appreciated AKDN’s long-term commitment to improve the quality of life of communities in Gilgit-Baltistan. He said, “AKAH has done a commendable job in providing safe water to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. Their services are acclaimed at national and international level.”
The agreement builds on the success of the award winning Water and Sanitation Extension Programme (WASEP) and the strong partnership between AKAH and the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan to improve access to safe drinking water in Gilgit-Baltistan. Currently, AKAH is implementing a USD 2.7 million public-private-partnership project which was signed in October, 2016 with the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan to provide safe drinking water to around 2,700 households in Jutial. In addition, AKAH recently completed a public-private-partnership project providing safe drinking water to 54,000 people across Gilgit-Baltistan.
Explaining the vision of AKAH, Nawab Ali Khan, CEO, AKAH, said that, “Our aim is to complement the Government’s plan for the provision of safe drinking water to the people of Gilgit Baltistan. After successful completion of over 70 rural water schemes under public private partnership mechanism we have embarked into peri-urban and urban areas under the award-winning WASEP approach. The project will contribute in ensuring that the residents of Gilgit-Baltistan are able to consume safe drinking water and improve their quality of lives.”
This year, WASEP also marks its twentieth anniversary. Since its inception in 1997, it has provided safe drinking water and sanitation facilities to around half a million people in over 600 villages in Pakistan.