Kingdom to help Pakistan rebuild water networks
27 December 2011
By GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN - ARAB NEWS - RIYADH: Saudi Arabia signed an agreement in Riyadh on Monday with the local chapter of UNICEF to rebuild a massive water supply network in Pakistan devastated by ravaging floods.
The move follows an instruction from Crown Prince Naif, deputy prime minister and interior minister, who authorized Saudi officials to finance the repairing and renovation of some 76 potable water networks to ensure a clean and regular water supply to flood-hit families in the country’s Balochistan province.
“The cooperation agreement was signed by Saeed A. Al-Harthi, advisor at the Ministry of Interior; and Ibrahim Al-Ziq, UNICEF representative to the GCC,” said a statement released by the ministry.
The statement said this support from the Kingdom comes within the framework of the ongoing King Abdullah's Relief Campaign for Pakistani People (KARCPP), which has so far raised more than SR400 million to help people affected by floods in Pakistan.
Crown Prince Naif, who is also the KARCPP's general supervisor, has ordered the implementation of the water project, which will cost more than SR6 million.
Clean drinking water is not available in flood-hit areas even today because the entire water supply network was destroyed during the floods, said a Pakistani embassy official. “The water safety situation in Balochistan worsened as a result of the flooding and this also resulted in existing water sources being contaminated,” he added.
A month of incessant monsoon rains in the provinces of Balochistan and Sindh left at least 7 million people affected and claimed more than 400 lives recently. It was the second year running that disastrous flooding hit Pakistan and many of this year's victims had only just begun to rebuild their lives.
Balochistan is one of the five provinces of Pakistan. With an area of 347,190 square kilometers, it is the largest province of Pakistan with about 9 million people and constituting approximately 44 percent of the total landmass of the country.
Saudi Arabia has been at the forefront of efforts to help the people of Pakistan. The Kingdom was the largest donor to Pakistan's flood relief effort.
As part of the campaign, Saudi citizens and Pakistani expatriates cumulatively raised more than SR80 million in a separate campaign. Saudi Arabia was also the first and the only country to set up two field hospitals to Pakistan to provide medical services for flood victims there.
The Kingdom has also contributed about SR60 million to UNICEF to support polio eradication in Niger. The funds will be used to purchase oral polio vaccines and other accessories to allow the government of Niger and its partners to immunize up to 3.77 million children.