229 hand pumps installed under FRDP program in Thul


HYDERABAD:  Mumtaz Bozdar, a representative of Fast Rural Development Programme (FRDP) Pakistan) has said they had helped 340 families in nine villages of Jacobabad district by installing 229 small hand pumps in Tehsil Thul with the financial support of FRDP International so as to benefit the disadvantaged communities.


He said in a statement that they were careful about the process of selection of villages as individual donors had gifted those water pumps, dedicating to their loved ones to benefit the disadvantage people in the district.


Now women of these villages seemed happy after receiving safe drinking water near their abodes, he said. They have adopted participatory approach and put the community people onboard at all levels. The beneficiaries are mostly close relatives and they share the facilities agreeably and get water for their use without any problem.


Bozdar claims to have applied technology to conduct TDS test prior to installing each hand handpump to avoid any problem. In fact after the installation of the hand pumps, these families, both male and females have realized the importance of safe drinking water and are trying to use it sustainably.


Bozdar said they had motivated women-led households to develop kitchen gardens and cultivate vegetables at their homes to have chemical-free food. After having worked in Pakistan, the FRDP International is now passionate to tackle the root cause of poverty around the globe thus they support grassroots communities.


The women narrating their plight said lack of clean drinking water has always impacted badly on the health of children and the poor families have to pay more share of earning to cure the ailments. Some of these diseases have long term effects on human lives, they said.


In the wide area of the district, underground water is not potable and compelling people to purchase this precious commodity through donkey carts to quench thirst. Though newly installed hand pumps look precious gifts for the people, again it depends on them how to manage it sustainably. Because the reports show that depleting natural water reserves may leave the rural people vulnerable to face any untoward situation.


Community-led water safety plan termed only way out to avoid any adversity. Bhagul Kehar, residing in village Tarique Khan Khoso in Jacobabad district has a routine practice to travel long distance once or twice daily to fetch water from a watercourse. Belonging to a farmer family, Ms Kehar does not have any option other than traveling such a long distance to fetch water from a stream for domestic use.


“We take our children together for fetching water and sometimes get tired while carrying utensils on our heads,” she said. Traditionally, she loves to use time purposefully to fix tinny pearls with threads, which have attractive markets in the urban areas of Sindh and Balochistan provinces.


Majority of the village women, mostly belonging to agriculture and cap manufacturer families, have the similar practice to bring water from watercourses for domestic use. Recalling the good old days, the elderly woman said they had community wells accessible to all families to get water without any problem. Then they received hand pumps for getting safe water almost 30 years back.


After witnessing strange changes in the water quality, the villagers realized they were losing only the source of water but hand pumps as well. The reason of bad water quality was yet to be ascertained by the community and authorities.


Jacobabad district once has been the gateway for trade in the region via Afghanistan, Iran, Oman and other Gulf countries, engaging local traders, which had always benefitted the city and inhabitants in terms of providing better livelihood.


Zebul Kehar, another artisan woman, has the similar story of getting water from irrigation channels, situated near their scattered abodes in the same village. Besides working in agriculture field, she has also multiple skills to make caps and do hand embroidery for local market to earn little amount to ease her family.


These women in Jacobabad district have expertise in cap making and fine quality embroidery, which are popular in major urban markets of Sindh and Balochistan provinces. Due to water scarcity they always think about the water instead of their traditional entrepreneurship, which is important source of income for rural women.