Pakistan National Polio Plus Committee was requested by Provincial Emergency Operation Center (EOC) Sindh to intervene in polio high risk areas for polio plus activities. In view of the dire need of safe drinking water especially in the areas where possibilities of polio virus exist due to improper sanitation and non-availability of potable water, it was suggested to install Solar Water Filtration plants to increase access to safe drinking water, decrease water borne diseases and increase creditability of polio partners in high refusal areas. Rotary in collaboration with CocaCola Pakistan and UNDP initiated a proposal for installation of Solar Water Filtration Plants in six polio high risk areas of Karachi and one in Peshawar.
Gadap UC-4 Karachi is one of the high risk union council and termed as polio reservoir in Karachi. The population of the area is predominant by Pashtun speaking population and in view of high priority union council; first Solar Water Filtration Plant was installed at Dost Muhammad Goth, UC-4 Gadap Town. The plant will cater 20,000 population of the catchment area.
An inauguration ceremony of Solar Water Filtration Plant held on 08 October 2016 at Dost Muhammad Goth UC 4 Gadap. The Plant was inaugurated by Honorable Mayor Karachi Arshad Vohra. He presented a Symbolic Key labeled with logos of all three partners (Rotary, Coke & UNDP) to the local community leader Habib Ur Rehman, responsible for operationalization of the plant. Prayers were also offered for betterment of the communities residing in the area.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by local stake holders, Zohare Ali, Shahzad Kalim from Coca Cola Pakistan, WHO,UNICEF and EOC representatives, polio Ambassador Salman Ahmed and Rotary was represented by DGE Ovais Kohari, DGN Irfan Qureshi, PP Masood Bhalli, Zonal Coordinator, PP Iqbal Alavi (DG Saleem Rao could not attend the event as he was out of town), other Rotarians and Rotractors, Shaukat Ali Project Coordinator and Asher Ali, Project Manager PNPPC.
A short briefing was given by Imtiaz Khan, Engineer of the Solar Plant. He elaborated the mechanism of the plant. Arshad Vohra, Mayor Karachi and National Chair started the solar by pushing the button plant and open the water taps to functionalize the system. They also drank a glass of filtered water to ensure quality.
At the event, National Chair, Aziz Memon, highlighted “It gives me great pleasure to inaugurate the first solar water filtration plant in Gadap Town of Karachi, in partnership with Coca-Cola Pakistan. It’s unfortunate that Pakistan is the only country besides Nigeria where waterborne diseases like poliovirus is still prevalent, but this partnership seeks to eradicate waterborne diseases from Pakistan. The project ‘Zindagi’ is envisioned to uplift the quality of life for the targeted communities of Pakistan, instilling a sense of hope for a healthier future. This is first of the seven solar water filtration plants under this partnership, and we are determined for the progressive deliverables of this project.”
Media and news reporters were also present at the event. After inauguration Mayor of Karachi briefed the media about the project and said water filtration plant will provide clean drinking water, reduce water borne diseases and improve health quality of women and children of the area. He praised the efforts of Rotary International and appreciated installation of solar water filtration plants in other five high risk union councils of Karachi. He also thanked Coca Cola Pakistan for their generous support. He committed to provide all supports needed to eradicate this crippling disease and make Pakistan a Polio free country.
The Mayor also requested National Chair to continue his support for betterment of society and he ensured his full support to plan other polio plus activities in high risk areas..
The Mayor was also briefed about the sustainability of the project. It was told by Asher Ali, Project Manager PNPPC that a number of community meetings were carried out before launching the project for optimal utilization of filtered water and maintenance of the plant.
The event ended with the vote of thanks from National Chair Aziz Memon.