The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved $442 million in financing to support Pakistan in improving access to water and sanitation services for the most vulnerable rural communities in Punjab province.
The Punjab Rural Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Project (PRSWSSP) will help upgrade water supply and sanitation infrastructure and services that ensure equitable and sustainable access to drinking water and safe wastewater management. The project prioritizes rural areas where water contamination and poor sanitation practices are more prevalent, causing high levels of illness and child stunting.
“PRSWSSP will help more than six million people in rural areas of the poorest districts of Punjab to reduce child stunting and address areas at high risk to droughts and water scarcity,” said Najy Benhassine, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan.
“The World Bank is committed to the government in improving sustainable water resource management. This project will support investments that increase climate resilience, including flood protection, rainwater harvesting and water conservation in these districts,” he added.
The project will implement tailored, cost-effective solutions for both large and small rural settlements, using scalable technologies that help facilitate solid and animal waste management at the household and community levels. It will also establish a water-quality monitoring system to ensure compliance with national standards for drinking water and wastewater. The PRSWSSP will promote safe water handling, hygiene, and water conservation practices at the household level, with a focus on maternal, newborn and child health.