Pakistan: “I’m happy there is clean water” Installation of a Well in a Refugee Camp

Residents that Live in a Harsh Environment Lacking in Infrastructure

In the Nowshera District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province neighboring the border with Afghanistan, which is roughly 2.5 hours northwest of the Pakistan capital of Islamabad, close to 40,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) who fled from the conflict near the border live together with over 100,000 Afghanistan refugees. In a place that lacks basic infrastructure such as hospitals and water supply systems, many residents in the area are caught in an unforgiving living environment, aggravated by the large influx of both IDPs and refugees from outside the country,

In response, AAR Japan has taken major steps to improve the educational environment for children, implementing a project that involves supporting medical facilities and  maintaining water supply systems.

Nowshera District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province

Provision of Medical Equipment to 3 Hospitals in Nowshera
In Nowshera District, there are 3 general hospitals that accept critically-ill patients and provide high-level treatment. However, malfunctioning and shortage of equipment have made hospitals incapable of taking in patients in certain departments and fulfill their duties as major medical facilities. There have also been cases in which the hospitals had to transfer patients in critical condition to better equipped facilities, and the patients became worse or even died en route while being transferred. AAR Japan has provided various medical equipment to these 3 hospitals, including X-ray machines, EKG (electro-cardio) machines, ultrasonic diagnosis machines, and blood pressure monitors, among others. In addition, AAR Japan has trained hospital staff on how to operate such equipment.

February 10th, 2012 – Nobuaki SAWAI (left), staff member of AAR Japan Islamabad Office, delivers an X-ray machine to Nowshera central hospital.

“I’m happy there is clean water” Installation of 56 Water Wells

In a refugee camp in the village of Heshiki, Nowshera, roughly 300 households (approximately 2,400 residents) share merely 10 hand-pump water wells. To make matters worse, due to the 2010 massive flooding, the water in these wells contains nitric acid that is harmful to human health, making it unsuitable for the use in everyday life.

In the effort to secure clean water that can be safely consumed, AAR has completed the installation of 56 hand-pump wells in the camp and its surrounding areas. These new wells reach as deep as 55 meters below the ground, instead of the average depth of 20 meters of the existing wells. In addition, with the cooperation of the wells’ excavators, maintenance training was conducted for the residents, enabling community members to fix the pumps themselves in case they break and use them on a long-term basis.
13 year-old Majida, who attends primary school in Heshiki village’s refugee camp, spoke of having to travel 2km to the pump and bring water back home as an everyday chore. After the installation of the new wells, she told us with a beaming face, “Now I don’t have to travel far to pump water, plus the water is so clean and clear. I’m happy.”

February 10th, 2012 – Children crowd around the wells that were provided by AAR Japan. They are happy to be able to drink clean water at any time.

May 14th, 2012 – Majida lives in the refugee camp with her parents and 5 siblings. She began primary school at the age of 9, and is now in 4th grade.

March 20th, 2012 – Checking the newly built well with local children. The water is cool and refreshing. On the right is Tamayo HARAGUCHI of AAR Japan Islamabad Office.

* This project has been made possible thanks to a grant provided by Japan Platform in addition to generous individual donations.

AAR Japan Islamabad Office: Tamayo HARAGUCHI
After working as a nurse in Japan, provided medical assistance in the Marshall Islands as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer. Then worked in NGOs including AAR Japan, where she engaged in activities such as medical assistance and maternal-child health in Asia and Africa, as well as in former Yugoslavia. Has been working in her current position since April 2012. (Born in Kagoshima Prefecture)