SDPI HWTs Working Group holds its second meeting
ISLAMABAD, September 22, 2010: The second meeting of Household Water Treatments (HWTs) Working Group was held at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) which aims to promote cost-effective and easily practicable HWTs methods, especially SODIS in the country.
SDPI had formed this group in August 2010 in collaboration with Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for the promotion of Solar Water Dis-infection (SODIS) method and other HWTs and their incorporation into the mainstream drinking water and health programmes at the national level.
The proceedings of the meetings were formally initiated by Mome Saleem, deputy project director at the SDPI on SODIS project. Those who participated in the meeting included Imran Shaukat of Abtt Associates Inc., Mahmood A. Khwaja of SDPI, M. Ashraf of MEWS, former vice chancellor of AIOU Dr. Ghafoor Chaudry, M. Jahangir of FANSA, Humayun Iqbal Shami of SPARE, Amir H. Malik of COMSATS, Dr. Shaukat Farooq of SHELADIA Associates, Zaheer Gillani and Noorul Hadi of Ministry of Environment, SDPI project team Donald Carter, Faisal Gorchani and Sadia Sharif.
The members approved the Terms of Reference (TORs) unanimously, which included review of existing HWTs methods and increasing awareness of such methods among masses, technical advice on services for the awareness, promotion and implementation strategy aimed at preventing communities from vulnerability to diseases, close collaboration and networking with the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Special Initiatives, PCWR, Ministry of Science and Technology, Planning Commission of Pakistan and the media. The group will undertake a proactive role in Action Plan Committee, National Behavioral Change Communication Strategy and other committees and mechanisms set up by related ministries at the national and provincial level i.e. Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Health on issues pertaining to water-borne diseases and health concerns of the communities using unsafe drinking water. The group shall also act as a network establishment platform to help promote public-private partnership; ensuring implementation of HWTs through the Ministry of Health and local NGOs and CBOs at the national and provincial level.
Members of the group deliberated in depth and resolved that work needs to be done at the district level with a focus on WASA. They also reviewed the ongoing process of formation of website for the SODIS program which would provide a comprehensive data and information and would also include and e-library for the information from all the research processes on HWTs specially SODIS and work done by other institutions and partners. The website will include a research forum, training materials for SODIS technology, and other effective HWTs.
Further, the members also discussed the collection of information through international sources and suggested to have a comparative scientific test and data, literature review and experimental work on SODIS method in indigenous context. It was suggested that lab tests should be conducted to endorse the SODIS method and check its conformity with the Pakistani environment with the involvement and cooperation of relevant government ministries and other credible institutions. The members also discussed the possibility and need to expand the HWTs working group and to bring on board other relevant stakeholders.
Earlier, the meeting of technical sub-group was held prior to the working group meeting.