--Balochistan Rural Support Programme Fights COVID-19
Every year, the World Water Day highlights a specific feature of water, its importance and management. This year’s theme proposed by UN-Water members & its partners; is “Ground Water-making the invisible visible” means drawing attention to the hidden water resource that has always been critically important but not fully recognized as a solution to clean drinking water. Globally, water resources are getting depleted due to the growing population, increase in urbanization, rapid industrialization, and an increase in food production. As a result, this whole scenario displays a global threat to human health and the ecosystem. In Pakistan, especially Balochistan’s vulnerability to natural disasters, climate change, external and internal migration due to human-made conflicts often affect thousands of people who need clean drinking water. According to the government sources, 85% of the population of Balochistan does not have access to clean drinking water. Similarly, about 9,247 government-run schools in Balochistan do not have access to clean drinking water, which is alarming and needs to be addressed immediately. Balochistan Rural Support Programme’s contributions in Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Natural Resource Management (NRM) sectors spans over two and a half decades. The organisation has implemented various projects in rural districts with the supports of Government of Balochistan (PHED, WASA) and international donors such as European Union, UNICEF, GIZ, KFW and the German Federal Foreign Office. BRSP has protected natural resources and promoted its sustainable utilization specifically water management. It has also raised awareness and educated communities on better consumption of water. BRSP under its Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) component has reached a total of 39,919 households and constructed 732 Irrigation Schemes including (spate irrigation, solar pump, storage pond, irrigation channel, and pipeline) which benefited a total of 34,461 households in Killa Abdullah & Pishin. Similarly, 141 Karezes were improved for drinking and irrigation purposes, which benefited 3500 households. BRSP has extended its services in water management through construction of 1367 water systems in Quetta, Pishin, Killa Abdullah, Killa Saifullah, Noshki, Jhal Magsi, Washuk, Sibi, Jaffarabad, Naseerabad, Zhob, Kharan, Khuzdar, Mastung and Loralai districts. Through Community Physical Infrastructure (CPI) schemes, BRSP has benefitted a total of 94,165 households and trained 94,900 individuals on Natural Resource Management including Integrated Water Resource Management and Operation & Management of solar panels for effective management of water.