Pakistani media hails UAE’s humanitarian effort restoring drinking water in KP villages

Islamabad: Pakistani press highlighted on Thursday the inauguration of the UAE-aided project that restored drinking water to 44 flood-hit Khyber Pakhtunkawa villages. The Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) transmitted a number of items on this project, which was handed over to the Pakistan authorities earlier last week. Several newspapers in Pakistan including Pakistan Observer, Pakistan Today and Nawa-i-Waqt carried news and features on the UAE financed project.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) financed project has restored drinking water facility to at least 44 villages in Khyber Pakhtunkawa under its on-going development plan for rehabilitating flood-hit people of the province where the infrastructure of basic amenities was washed away by flood in 2010, reported APP.

It is one of the many other projects being financed by the UAE which has rebuilt the infrastructure in educational and health care sectors like roads, bridges, provision of clean water in Swat and other districts to help the families affected by natural disasters, noted the media.

“The purpose is to improve their living conditions and enable them return to normal life”, stressed the press.

The media also shed light on the special ceremony which was organised in Sawat where the management director of the project in Pakistan, Abdullah Khalifa Al Ghafli, handed over water pumping stations in the said villages to the provincial authorities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The ceremony was attended by Major-General Zahir Shah, commander of the GOC 45th Engineers Division of the Pakistani Armed Forces, local officials and the UAE team.

According to an estimate, one-third Pakistanis have no access to clean drinking water and over 46 percent of them do not have proper sanitation facilities, Pakistani media said.

The newspapers also highlighted the remarks of Project Director Al Ghafli, who said that UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan had given directives to give priority to the provision of potable water by drilling wells and extending water networks.

This is being done under a programme that envisaged provision of potable water to 64 villages in the northwestern areas. Of the 64 villages, 44 have been provided with the facility whereas 20 other projects will be carried out and completed in South Waziristan shortly, noted APP.

The UAE’s development projects in Pakistan focused mainly on extending basic needs such as clean drinking water and sanitation to ward off life threatening diseases like hepatitis and malaria in the area.

The people of the area were desperately awaiting start of their normal life after the flash floods and were keen to see their children return to schools, receive health care and clean water to drink. The residents of Swat expressed their thanks to the UAE’s initiative for undertaking this project to assist Pakistan, noted the press.

They expressed their appreciation to the UAE leaders for supporting Pakistan in a difficult time, the media added.

Quoting the villagers APP said that they were indebted to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of modern UAE, for his noble development work in Pakistan as he had left behind a lasting legacy in form of the social welfare projects that stood in various cities and villages across the country.