UN-Habitat is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.
Aisha Bibi carrying a drum of drinking water from neighbor’s house
At a fragile age of 70, Aisha bibi can be seen fetching water in a drum on her head or in her hand, water that she got herself from a hand pump set in a neighbor’s house. This is an everyday sight in Kareemabad, Union Council 6, Mochi Basti, Jacobabad, where many old ladies have to fetch water as a daily chore.
Aisha Bibi lives with her widowed daughter, Mai Sukhan, who is about 35 years of age and has a son. It is her daughter’s earnings of 100 Rupees per day which provides them with daily sustenance. During Household survey for willingness to pay, the survey team visited her home and in response to queries about drinking water, she replied that she has no drinking water facility at house and she cannot afford to purchase water from donkey carts as it is unaffordable considering the meagre income of the household. Aisha Bibi is old and tired of her daily routine, commenting on her duties as a mother she says, “It is very difficult for me to pump and carry 30 liters of water daily, but I do not have a choice, I have to fight with my age and fetch drinking water every day for the sake of my family.”
Aisha Bibi and Mai Sukhan are both aware of water-borne diseases but they do not know how they can improve their conditions. No access to safe drinking water has marred their lives and their family is exposed to all sorts of water-borne diseases. With just 100 Rupees per day, they have to compromise on a lot of daily necessities. Especially when anyone in the family falls sick, the earnings disappear in health expenditures, further reducing the disposable income and directly impacting the nutrition level of the family.
Copyright UN Habitat Pakistan 2019