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Villagers’ self-help projects set example for others

November 10, 2014

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RAHIM YAR KHAN: The well for collecting sewage at Basti Tabu. – Dawn
RAHIM YAR KHAN: The well for collecting sewage at Basti Tabu. – Dawn

RAHIM YAR KHAN: Basti Tabu, a village having 60 houses, 14km north of Sadiqabad on the Jamal Din Wali Road, is an example for the rural areas as its inhabitants have taken it upon themselves to resolve their issues with the help of non-government organisations as well as the government.

The village has a couple of successful projects through which the community is working to raise its living standards. One such project is of the sewerage, supported by the Lodhran Pilot Project (LPP). The project was initiated by the efforts of a young man, Ilyas, who thought of utilising the water disposed of from the village houses for irrigation. He convinced the residents of Basti Tabu to provide 20pc funds for the project while the remaining 80pc were provided by the LPP.

Under the project, the sewage from houses, which have installed P-traps, is disposed of in the underground channels to be sent to a well where it is accumulated. Ultimately, the water accumulated in the well flows to fields to irrigate crops.

RAHIM YAR KHAN: Women get dairy farming training.– Dawn
RAHIM YAR KHAN: Women get dairy farming training.– Dawn

Under another project in the village, women, aged 16 to 49 are being trained for dairy farming besides they are being given education to raise the level of literacy. This project is mainly sponsored by the Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) while the LPP and other organisation have also provided support. A female teacher qualified from the University of Veterinary Sciences delivers a four-hour lecture daily to 22 women in the months long training course which will end in December.

The residents of Basti Tabu are looking for another project to solve the problem of contaminated subsoil drinking water. It needs clean drinking water as its underground water is not potable and it is causing kidney diseases and hepatitis C among its residents.

The nearest filtration plant is two kilometers away near Shahbazpur Chowk set up by Salma Gilani, stepsister of former Governor Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood. But the plant is not enough to fulfill the needs of the residents of many villages who have no other filtration plant in the area.

LPP General Manager Barket Ali said if the residents of Basti Tabu want clean drinking water, the LPP could provide technical assistance to them and he would try to get approval of funding for the project.

Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2014