environmental sciences

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Non Governmental Organization Roles In Pakistan Environmental Sciences Essay

NGO is a body/institution/organization that was established on voluntary basis, initiated by interested persons which has no direct relationship with government institutions nor was created in terms of any statutory provision (Cameron and Stone, 1995). Development is “a process by which members of a society increase their resources to produce sustainable and justly distributed improvements in their quality of life consistent with their own aspirations” (Davids, 2005). The five development objectives of these type of organization are; First, They are not established by legislation but through initiative; Second, They surrender services to communities in society; Third, The support services are rendered and directed at uplifting people and communities; Fourth, The services are similar to those normally rendered by governments and Fifth, They are important role players in the policy-making process ( Toit and Waldt, 1998).In Pakistan some NGOs have played an important role in creating awareness of issues such as infrastructure development, basic health care, water and Sanitation, and employment opportunities to underdeveloped areas among various NGOs. A large number of NGOs are working in Pakistan under different development strategies these NGOs could be more fruitful for remote rural areas that often remain unattended by the Government (ADB, 1999). National Rural Support Program (NRSP) is one of the leading NGO working on link roads and Sanitation projects are part of a long-term effort to implement physical improvements in communities. That portfolio of Community Physical Infrastructure (CPI) schemes includes drinking water supply schemes, communication (i.e. link roads and small bridges) schemes and agriculture-related projects (many based in improving the supply of irrigation water) in addition to sewerage and drainage schemes. There have also been 268 Sanitation projects implemented by NRSP with funds from other donors, including the Barani Village Development Project, Islamic Relief, Action Aid and the D. G. Khan Rural Development project. These have benefited almost 75,000 households (Bajwa, 2005). Hyat.K.2005. The Balochistan Rural Support Program focuses on improving the quality of life in local communities by providing opportunities to develop small infrastructure. With guidance from the BRSP, the residents of Raik formed a local community organization that would identify and prioritize the areas where Raik needed the most assistance. The villagers identified the unhygienic environment as the biggest problem in Raik and proposed that the most viable solution to their problem was to pave all of the lanes with concrete and provide solid drains for the safe disposal of wastewater. While the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) contributed Rs. 486,276 towards the project cost, the local community raised the remaining Rs. 130,654. In September 2002, the engineers at BRSP prepared a design and the community set to work. Guided by the technical assistance provided by the PPAF and the BRSP engineers, the villagers completed this challenging task in 6 months. In March 2003, the villagers walked on clean paved streets instead of the unhygienic wet lanes of the past. Bahram admits that while the physical conditions of the village have improved, there is also a positive change to be seen in the people of Raik. The people feel that they can rise above the challenges they face and secure a better future for themselves.

Mulgunji (1990) revealed that the problem of rural development cannot be viewed as a narrow technical problem of increasing output, but that of the development of appropriate organizations and institutions to mobilize and induce members of the rural society to greater productivity, to help them overcome the constraints in the way of utilizing available resources, and to enable them to distribute the results of their efforts justifiably among themselves. Consequently, past Governments have put an effort to develop the rural areas. Despite these efforts, the condition of the rural people is still below the acceptable level. It is however, consoling that the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), through their private initiatives, have supplemented government’s efforts towards ameliorating the poor conditions of the rural people.

Nwagha-Ngeri (1995) explored the NGOs are better equipped for rural needs by virtue of their simplicity, the proximity to the grassroots, their ability to identify felt needs of the people and their efficient and cost effective mode of operation. NGOs, owe their existence to the work outputs of their employees within the context of administrative and policy structures provided. to achieve their set goals, there must be material and human resources (work/force) on deck and working effectively and efficiently too.

Mustafa and Grunewald (1996) worked on the concept and approach of community development and have been tested in Northern Areas of Pakistan and this principles and experiences have been replicated in some other parts of the country by NGOs, different national and international government projects and programmers. The need for conceptualizing a realistic framework for collaboration between government/other development agencies and community organizations engaged in pursuit of both social and economic goals is imperative for an equitable and sustainable development.

ADB (1999) Asian Development Bank reported that NGOs in Pakistan are more numerous and most active in the traditional social sectors emergency support, rehabilitation, health, education and infrastructural development. Other areas include income generation, poverty reduction, vocational training, nutrition and food security, and maternal and child health and family planning.

AKRSP (1999) Agha Khan Rural Support Program is an NGO, which support community based grassroots development to build capacity of the local people to sustain and improve the quality of their lives. It is funded by a number of international donors. Its major programmed components include social organization, women’s development, natural resource management, and development of productive physical infrastructure, human resource development, enterprise promotion, credit and saving services and monitoring, evaluation and research. The main approach of AKRSP has been to focus on helping small farmers to farm Village Organizations (VOs), which are broad-based multi-purpose structures through which development activities are undertaken. A total of 3,557 VOs have been formed that included 1,258 women organizations up to 1998 (3). This covers 84 percent of rural households under the VOs. Savings play a key role, and through these VOs are able to obtain credit from AKRSP. Total savings of Rs 414, 45 million and Rs 1,131.24 million credit had been disbursed among 538,052 households up to 1998. The loan to saving ratio was 0.76 up to 1998. Training of village representatives in various skills is a third key principle. The total development cadre of village specialists/activists was 22, 796 up to 1998.

Kohl (2003) stated that participatory budgeting example illustrates the argument that one NGO route to large-scale alternatives is through influencing the interventions of other actors, both through direct engagement and by providing alternative models of intervention.

Bajwa (2005) argued that NRSP’s mandate is to alleviate rural poverty, it is central to NRSP’s philosophy that the economically-marginal have the right to decent sanitation systems in their communities. It is an operating principle at NRSP that any physical infrastructure project, including wastewater management and sanitation schemes, must benefit the majority of households in a village and must include the poorest community members. NRSP has implemented 143 stand-alone drainage and sanitation projects with funding from the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund. These projects have benefited 11,241 Households, and cost a total of Rs 58,466,366 (USD 974,472).

Hyat (2005) reported that village of Qila Ladal Barri is located 47 km from Pallandari in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The only link to the nearest metalled road is an unpaved path. It takes 35 minutes by foot to reach the village. The village comprises 46 households (368 persons) in two settlements/mohallas, Qila Ladal Barri and Ladal Barri. The nearest drinkable water source were springs located more than a kilometer away from the village. Fetching water for domestic use as well as for watering animals was the responsibility of the women of the village. Every woman from the village spent an average of more than half of her working time in acquiring water. The situation became worse during the summer when the flow of water from the spring reduced and water requirement increased. In June 1998, a National Rural Support Program (NRSP) field team made a number of visits to the village. They introduced the local community to the NRSP program. The women were the first to form a Community Organization in both the settlements. Difficulty in acquiring water was common to both the Communities. The Community Organizations discussed the problem with each other and with the NRSP staff and identified provision of drinking water as their top priority. The men from the village however, were not so supportive about the scheme. They were not happy to see women taking such an active part in Community Organization meetings, discussing their problems openly and undertaking development initiatives.

NRSP (2005) progress in achieving the outputs of the rural road component was highly satisfactory. The Project was designed to upgrade about 175 km of rural roads. At completion, 389 km of road had been upgraded. The increase in scope was approved by ADB at the request of the Punjab government halfway through the Project, given the low road-to-population and road-to-area ratios in the target area, and the need to cover the appraised target population of 1.3 million. The construction specifications for the roads were upgraded under the Project to meet the higher specifications required for durability and minimum maintenance, as envisaged at appraisal. This subcomponent cost $23.4 million, compared with $14.3 million estimated at appraisal. The increase in cost was due mainly to the increase in the scope of the component. The cost per kilometer of road was significantly lower (by 28%) than the appraisal estimate.

ADB (2006) which was provided US$8.5 million to area-based rural development programmed: the Lachi Development Programmed cofounded with the Department for International Development (United Kingdom), which aims to develop innovative approaches to improving the livelihoods of poor people using a bottom-up approach; the Area Development Programmed in Baluchistan, co funded with the World Food Programmed (WFP), which involves communities in needs identification, planning, design and implementation.

Annual Report (2006) NRSP began soon after the disaster to rehabilitate damaged drinking water schemes in District Bagh and Tehsil Rawalakot. NRSP Engineers from the head office and from the regional office in Rawalakot conducted a detailed assessment of all 47 schemes, completed and in process, implemented by NRSP in Bagh prior to the disaster. They found that 22 of the 29 completed schemes (drinking water supply and link roads) needed only minor rehabilitation work. Four schemes had sustained minor damage but were still functional and 3 had been rendered nonfunctional because the water supply has been blocked. The fact that the schemes were well constructed with high quality materials accounts for the small amount of damage the schemes sustained. In some situations surrounding buildings were severely damaged.

NRSP (2006) The Government of Pakistan launched 5-year “National Program for improvement of water courses in Pakistan”, allocating more than Rs.66 billion to line 86,003 watercourses. Of these 86,003 watercourses, 30,000 are located in Punjab. To achieve this, the Government of Punjab, through its Agriculture Department, engaged PRSP and NRSP to line 2,000 watercourses (bricks and cement). This includes operational costs 9.63% of the grant from the Government of Punjab in 28 Districts (19 PRSP Districts and 9 NRSP Districts). Of these 2,000 watercourses, a minimum of 1,600 were to be lined in canal irrigated areas and a maximum 400 in rain-fed areas of these Districts. Based on the number of unlined watercourses located in the operating Districts of PRSP and NRSP, it was agreed that in canal-irrigated areas, PRSP would undertake to line 916 (57%) of the watercourses and NRSP would be responsible for 684 (43%). In the rain-fed areas, both will make efforts to meet the target. Later it was also agreed among Government of Punjab Department of Agriculture, PRSP and NRSP that: a) PRSP and NRSP would line another 1,000 watercourses in the remaining Districts (300 in 3 PRSP Districts and 700 in 4 NRSP Districts) and the Department of Agriculture will provide funds to PRSP/NRSP for undertaking more than these Projects.

Annual Report (2009) The project was a joint effort of Government of Pakistan and USAID. The negligence in water and sanitation sector is evident from the number of household without access to safe drinking water. The NRSP planned to install 6000 water filtration plants across Pakistan to reduce child mortality. The project was executed in 31 districts including AJK. The project focused on improving the health and well being of millions of Pakistanis by involving local community members. Program water filtration plants were installed in each Union Council of the project area.


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