Freshwater Action Network South Asia (FANSA) Pakistan, Sindh Chapter took part in the World Walks for Water and Sanitation on 22 March with the collaboration of local member NGOs, Khairpur Rural Development Organization (KRDO) and Sukaar Development Foundation (SDF). We worked with school children in a remote village of District Khairpur Sindh, Pakistan and we had two different activities.
In Pakistan, there is no hygiene education in the government curriculum
and it is not taught iwidely n schools. The rural population has a low literacy rate, only 14% amongst males, and so there is less awareness of the imporatance of safe hygiene practices. Over 95% of the population practices open defecation in the area in which our Walks took place.
We organised hygiene education sessions in the school and taught the importance of handwashing, safe drinking water and the use of toilets and avoidance of open defecation. Over 200 girls and boys and several teachers joined in!
After the hygiene session, we organized a walk and rally to raise awareness amongst the villagers. Lots of students took part and their parents asked many questions about World Water Day and the World Walks for Water and Sanitation! We talked to the parents about the importance of safe drinking water and toilets to avoid disease. The village has a hand pump but no single toilet is constructed in any of the homes.
These activities helped to educate both students and teachers. The teachers have even asked to continue with hygiene education on a weekly basis and the students have promised to clean their teeth, body and clothes regularly! Parents of students will be helped and encouraged to construct toilets in their homes too!
FANSA-Sindh Chapter, Pakistan will continue with these kind of sessions and awareness meetings with the community and schools to raise awareness about to use the safe drinking water and improved sanitation!