Consultative Workshop on 4th Sacosan Held
A provincial level consultative workshop and follow up on the fourth South Asian Conference on Sanitation (Sacosan) was held at a local hotel here on Wednesday.
The workshop was sponsored by Integrated Regional Support Programme (IRSP). Yousaf Jamal, secretary of the Public Health & Engineering Department, was the chief guest and a large number of people from the government and non-government organisations participated in it.
On the occasion, Yousaf Jamal emphasised on the importance of cleanliness and sanitation and appreciated the role of IRSP for organising the workshop. He highlighted the United Nations report on cleanliness, which says one should spend one dollar on cleanness to avoid spending three dollar on health. He asked the NGOs to come forward and work on the important issue of sanitation.
He said he would provide full support on behalf of the government to the NGOs and organisations working on sanitation issues. IRSP Executive Director Shah Nasir highlighted the role and function of SACOSAN. He said the SACOSAN was formed in Dhaka, Bangladesh in October 2003 and working for improving sanitation and hygiene issues in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, i.e. Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
He said these countries were highly populated and the people were relatively poor and uneducated. The people of these countries give little importance to sanitation and cleanliness issues and as a result they spend high portion of their income on healthcare. He disclosed that since the last meeting of the organisation held in Colombo, Sri Lanka from April 4 to 7, 2011, more than 0.75 million children had died in the region of diarrhoea, which is linked to poor sanitation.
Shah Nasir said the western countries had declared sanitation as a basic right, while in the SAARC countries only Nepal has recognised it a necessity.
He asked the government, NGOs and media to raise awareness among the people on this important issue.