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‘22,000 children die every year due to poor sanitation’

ISLAMABAD: Salman Sufi of SS Foundation, owner of ‘Saff Bath Project’, recently had a meeting with Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change headed by Senator Sitara Ayaz. The meeting was held at at the Parliament House.

While addressing the meeting, Salman Sufi briefed that Over 22,000 children die annually because of preventable diarrhea with 79 million Pakistanis still lacking a decent toilet facility. He said that Pakistan had fifth highest number of people practicing defecation in the open.

Besides, 53pc of Pakistani women do not have access to proper sanitation, and lack of public toilets costs Pakistan $2.5 billion per annum, Salman added. He said that this project was designed to provide clean toilet facility to public. The project provided sanitised container toilets, which were managed, maintained and cleaned by dedicated staff.

Earlier, he said according to a report published in 2017, almost 820 latrines need to be constructed per day to achieve an open defecation free Pakistan by 2030.

He told the Senate committee that women and girls were the hardest hit by shortage of toilets, and girls also commonly miss out on education if schools have inadequate sanitation and hygiene management facilities.

Salman highlighted another important issue was safety of women at public toilets where harassment cases were common.

Mr Sufi said diseases spread through unhygienic condition, adding that the National Sanitation Policy of 2006 needed to be revised. He said the country`s tourist sites had almost no toilet facilities.

The committee members and State Minister for Climate Change Zartaj Gul assured their full support to Mr Sufi and said the committee would take all possible steps to assist him in providing toilet facility to people of the country.

-MN Report

February 22, 2020

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