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KARACHI: Speakers at a conference on sanitation in Sindh on Thursday called for including strategies to provide safe drinking water, improving the existing sewerage system and provision of resources to the cities of the province in the Sindh government’s list of main priorities.

The first Sindh Conference on Sanitation was organised by the Sindh local government ministry in collaboration with USAID, HANDS and WASH sector partners at a local hotel.

The speakers at the conference urged that global agreements on water and sanitation system should be followed.

Oghale Oddo, USAID deputy mission director Sindh and Balochistan, said there was a dire need to work on sanitation in Sindh to improve the existing conditions.

He said sanitation problem should be removed with the collaboration of local communities.

Appreciating the HANDS’ effort, he said it reflected the future would be better.

Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro said the Sindh government had realised that millions of people had no access to safe water and sanitation facilities.

He said the Sindh government had taken up the issue as a challenge with the resolve to improve the sanitary conditions across Sindh.

Murtaza Baloch, special assistant to the chief minister on katchi abadis, said because of certain legal complications water and sanitation facilities had become a big problem.

However, he added the issue would be resolved soon with special focus on katchi abadis.

Fahim Junejo of the local government ministry said almost one-fifth (20.2 per cent) of the population of Sindh still defecated in open.

He said some 47.7pc of the rural population of Sindh had been provided with sanitation facilities. He said only 54pc of people in the rural areas wash their hands with soap before meals.

Published in Dawn, February 9th, 2018