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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sanitation Systems on Brink of Collapse

There are 452 displaced people living in the classrooms of the Boys High School in Char Gulli and all are facing enormous problems because there is no working restroom at the school. As hygiene conditions deteriorate, diseases such as scabies and diarrhea continue to spread amongst the people taking shelter there.

Azeemat Khan from Kal Pari, Buner has been living in this school with his wife, four sons and six daughters for over a month. He explains how the lack of sanitation facilities has affected the health of his family.

When we first came to Mardan we stayed with relatives, but it was very difficult because there was not enough space or resources for all of us. It has been nearly a month and half now since we have moved to this school.

My brothers are also staying at the same school and two of my nephews are sick because of the poor hygiene conditions and because there is no sanitation facilities.

If there was a proper sanitation system in place I believe that a lot of these diseases would not be a problem here.

We are not used to living in conditions like this. We had a lovely house back in Buner that was well constructed and with all the facilities in it. We had enough money to live a good life and we never thought that we would end up living like this.

We are living here because we do not have any other choice at the moment. But the moment we know for sure that it is safe to go back to our villages we will not wait for a one single moment and we will leave.

Life here is all about stress, and our future seems bleak. If the situation remains like this for much longer then I have no idea what we will do, but I hope that someone will help us.

Islamic Relief is helping to provide sanitation facilities to displaced people and local families by constructing 1,500 sanitary restrooms, washing places and hand-pumps which provide clean water in schools where displaced people are sheltering in Char Gulli and Rustam. Work has already begun to build new facilities at the school where Azeemat and his family are living.


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