Water and Sanitation Improvements in Informal Settlements (Completed)

Background and Objectives


This project aims at facilitating access to water and sanitation for urban women in six informal settlements, thereby improving their quality of life and freeing more time for women to engage in other social and economic activities. The project will target informal settlements in six medium-sized cities. Effort will be directed to enhancing the willingness and commitment of policy makers and water stakeholders and in creating the necessary institutional and human resource capacity to implement pro-poor and gender responsive policies and programmes.


The goal of the project is to improve health and sanitation within the informal settlement and empower women within the decision mechanisms at community level.
The overall objective of this project is to provide safe drinking water and sanitation facilities in selected informal settlements by gender mainstreaming and empowering local authority to improve public health and sanitation. The following are the specific objectives:

  • To identify and clarify issues related to women’s access to water in informal settlements;
  • To improve the capacities of the local authority to provide access to water for women in informal settlements, and to empower women in the decision-making process through gender responsive community based approaches; and
  • To improve policies and implementation strategies to access water in informal settlements toward being pro-poor and gender responsive.


  • Conduct poverty mapping, gender assessment and need identification of existing infrastructure supply and delivery systems in place on WATSAN facilities in all selected informal settlements with maximum participation of stakeholders and focus group discussion at local level.
  • Conduct a stakeholder analysis that includes: local government departments; small-scale water providers, both private operators and NGO/CBO run entities. As well as consultations with men and women, boys and girls on the issue of accessing water, such as roles in collecting water, uses, distances to access points, cleanliness of water and others.
  • Disseminate poverty mapping, gender assessment and required facilities to all stakeholders at each selected province.
  • Conduct in each selected informal settlement a community action planning process with local authorities taking the lead and ensuring the participation of men and women, boys and girls; Prepare water and sanitation implementation plan for the selected Informal Settlements.
  • Identify implementation options and alternative technologies for the viable priority projects.
  • For project implementation, reach consensus and agreements on the contributions, roles and responsibilities of stakeholders and implementers.
  • Orientate on Gender mainstreaming and WATSAN services to key officials from provincial government and local authorities to understand: (a) water sector reforms and water rights; (b) perspectives on gender, water and equity issues; (c) gender in the planning and implementation of programmes in the water sector.
  • Conduct training of trainers (ToT) to key water and sanitation staffs, community leaders and technicians from local authorities. Conduct training on community level water quality testing/monitoring, household water purification techniques, household level composting, rainwater harvesting, health, hygiene and sanitation options.
  • Based on the community action plans, the implementation options and the agreed consensus, prepare full low cost WATSAN projects with activities, implementation mechanisms, technical details, budget and timeframes for implementation.
  • Implement one or more water and Sanitation project for improved water delivery and access and improved sanitation in each selected informal settlement.
  • Establish mechanisms for transparent and participatory project monitoring and evaluation.
  • Establish management, operation and maintenance systems for water and sanitation projects.
  • Conduct community based water quality monitoring programme and household water purification campaign.
  • Campaign on Community Led Total Sanitation Campaign in all identified informal settlements to improve overall environment of community.
  • Train household members on household level waste management techniques.
  • Prepare, agree and launch public information campaigns in support of the improved access to water and sanitation.
  • Conduct awareness programme on Gender and hygiene concerns, particularly menstrual hygiene management.
  • Review the existing water and sanitation policies at local, provincial and national levels to identify gaps on gender, urban poor, technological options, financial mechanism and institutional setup on small and emerging towns and in particular those with IDPs.
  • Compile lessons learned from demonstration projects including: good practices, challenges, funding requirements, roles of stakeholders, technological options, processes and tools.
  • Conduct policy dialogue at city level and agree on policy improvements and strategies for up-scaling or replicating demonstration projects city-wide.
  • Prepare policy recommendations and implement strategy options that include funding mechanisms at local, provincial and national levels.
  • Conduct dialogue at provincial and national levels to agree on (a) policy improvements and (b) implementation strategies involving funding institutions to develop innovative financing mechanisms.


  • Eight motorised pumps have been installed in the informal settlements of Islamabad city. These pumps are being accessed by 240 households for safe drinking water.
  • Capital development authority (CDA) through the efforts of the implementing partner has appointed a local lady for collection of waste from the households and dumping it at a central collection point.
  • Through a process of competitive bidding two implementing partners have been selected to implement projects in Gilgit and Mohmand Agency. Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) for Gilgit and Nveed Khan Foundation for Mohmand Agency
  • Information Education and Communication (IEC) on WASH has been developed and printed, these have been distributed among the schools and at the community level.
  • School Improvement Plans (SIPs) have been developed in consultation with school teachers and School Management Committees (SMCs) and the process of their implementation has been initiated.
  • Through extensive consultations rehabilitation and improvement plans for two water and sanitation facilities have been developed by Tehsil Municipal Authority (TMA) and Public Health and Engineering Department (PHED) in Hyderabad city.
  • In Rawalpindi city Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) has been signed with Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) and Water and Sanitation Authority (WASA). The MoU with LGRD ensures O&M of eight rickshaws that were modified by UN-Habitat to be used in solid waste collection and the one with WASA is to cover the eight filtration plants rehabilitated by UN-Habitat.
  • Regular health and hygiene sessions are on-going at the level of the government, schools and community level.

Development Partners / Partners

Donor: MDTF (Spanish Funding)