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‘Task force on water, sanitation to be formed with PM’s approval’

ISLAMABAD: Advisor to Prime Minister on Climate Change Amin Aslam on Tuesday said a task force would be formed with the approval of PM Imran Khan on water and sanitation.

He said this in a meeting with a delegation of UNICEF at his office regarding water and sanitation situation in the country.

Amin Aslam said he would present the idea of forming a task force on water and sanitation in the federal cabinet meeting.

“This task force will be given a time frame to achieve the set targets,” he said adding that the former Punjab government started projects like Saaf Paani which could not be implemented.

He said the premier had highlighted issue of child health in second cabinet meeting which showed commitment of the present government in this regard. He also committed to discuss in cabinet meeting about establishing an independent authority to check drinking water.

He said that for the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government it was easy to coordinate and implement strategies because three provincial governments were aligning with the federal government.

Read more: Half the world’s schools lack clean water, toilets and handwashing

Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF Headquarters, New York, Shahida Azfar said that the UNICEF would provide a working paper to the task force to achieve targets.

She also said that 92% of population in Pakistan had access to water but not safe drinking water due to issues of open deification which contaminated water.

“We need to support provincial governments to reach sanitation targets,” she said.

Director UNICEF South Asia Jean Gogh presented a report on “Stunting and Malnutrition” which shoed that a child does not get proper nutrition in first two years of birth in the country.

Chief Water Sanitation and Hygiene Kitka Goyoi said that the government needed to create awareness among masses to stop open defecation.

“UNICEF can provide support to develop a campaign in this regard. It is a collective responsibility of public and private sector to achieve clean drinking and sanitation,” he said.

The advisor to PM assured them maximum support at government level.

The meeting was also attended by Director General Environment Irfan Tariq and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist UNICEF Pakistan Kamaran Naeem.

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