It is one of the top five countries worldwide in improving access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. But despite this impressive progress, 22 million people still have no choice but to drink dirty water, and more than two in five people don’t have a decent toilet.

Tough landscapes, from arid deserts to remote mountain ranges, combined with unsettled politics make reaching the poorest people difficult. People are moving to towns faster than in any other South Asian country, straining already limited services. Add in natural disasters like floods, and the obstacles are substantial.

But we are tackling these challenges, and making water, toilets and hygiene a normal part of daily life. We are supporting local communities with the tools they need to claim their rights to basic services. We are helping the Government, our local partners, and service providers build facilities that will withstand disasters, so improvements will last whatever the future holds.

We are showing communities the important links between health and good hygiene practices such as handwashing, and encouraging them to build and use proper toilets. And we are working with schools and the media to spread these messages as widely as possible.

Together we can challenge conventional thinking, inspire action and build the momentum needed to change lives for good.

22 million people lack access to clean water close to home

79 million people lack decent toilets

Nearly 19,500 children under 5 die each year from diarrhea

Water

Pakistan is facing severe challenges related to water; industrialisation and the demands of agriculture, depleted and increasingly saline groundwater, rapid urbanisation and drought have all taken their toll. The disparity between rich and poor becomes clear: while nearly all of the country’s wealthiest have access to clean water, this applies to only 79% of its poorest.

Pakistan has reached 44 million people since 2000 with water – yet we see that while almost all its wealthy have access to clean water close to home, one in five people living in poverty do not.

WHO/Unicef Joint Monitoring Programme (2017) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, 2017 update and SDG baselines. Available at: https://washdata.org

1.5% of people do not have access to clean water close to home.

Sanitation

Pakistan’s towns and cities are growing so fast that by 2050 it is estimated that more than half the population will be urban. People are moving to towns faster than in any other South Asian country, straining already limited services. And natural disasters present further obstacles to development and the sustainability of sanitation services.

Despite this, Pakistan is making great progress on sanitation. It was the sixth best country for improving access to decent toilets, increasing coverage by 27%, meeting the target for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and transforming hundreds of thousands of lives.

41.7% of people still lack decent toilets.

Hygiene

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40% of girls miss school during menstruation:

that’s losing over a month of schooling every year