In March 2007, Darvish Yu, a member of the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball, established the “Darvish Yu Water Fund” in collaboration with the Japan Water Forum to supply safe water to those in developing countries who face lack and contamination of water. Since then, he has contributed to the Fund by donating JPY 100,000 at every one of his winning games during the regular season. The Fund has subsidized 14 projects in 11 countries so far.
Improving Water Supply and Hygiene in COVID-19 Affected Communities in Pakistan
This project is located in areas severely affected by COVID-19, where the water supply system had deteriorated and water was being lost. Multi-stakeholders have been working together to improve the water supply, encourage changes in behavior, and establish routine hygiene practices, such as hand-washing in order to prevent infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
After the project
Villages of Ghar Kalay & Pirano Dag, under the Daman e Koh Union Council, in Takht Bhai Tehsil, Mardan District, Khayber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan
2,250 households, 12,144 residents of the villages of Pirano Dag and Ghar Kalay
November 2020 to May 2021
4. Local partner
Integrated Regional Support Program （IRSP）
５．Water problems at the target site (before the project)
- Though a simple water system already existed at the project site, it had deteriorated. Water leakages had been detected in various places and the villagers lacked an adequate water supply. They also rarely practiced hand-washing.
- In these circumstances, COVID-19 had spread in the area around the project site.
- The local municipal administration had made temporary repairs to the water system, however they were unable to deal with the cause of the problems because of financial difficulties resulting from COVID-19. Water and hygiene conditions in the area were steadily worsening.
- The communities were highly vulnerable to infectious diseases, including COVID-19, and other problems because there still wasn’t an adequate supply of clean water and there was a lack of hand-washing essential for preventing disease.
The project was successfully completed on schedule in collaboration with the communities and TMA Takht Bhai. The activities included repairing existing waterworks, installing hand-washing facilities, and holding hygiene promotion sessions.
After completion of the project, repaired facilities were handed over to TMA Takht Bhai and it is responsible for carrying out repairs and maintenance on valves and voltage regulators. The local committees take care of the hand-washing facilities and provide soap. The committees play a role in minimizing illegal connections and ensuring that water bills are paid. It is expected that TMA will run the water scheme effectively. In the project duration the committees reported 11 illegal connections to TMA Takht Bhai and identified households are now paying water bills regularly.
（Right: Handing over Certificate to TMA Takht Bhai）
- Forming local committees which supervise and support the project, and improving existing waterworks in collaboration with the municipal administration and elected representatives
- Replacing valves that control water pressure and flow rate (four locations)
- Installing voltage regulators to ensure sufficient power for the pumps (two locations)
- Constructing hand-washing facilities and launching hygiene promotion programs
- Constructing public hand-washing facilities (two locations)
- Hygiene promotion: Organizing awareness-raising and education sessions on hand-washing, menstrual hygiene management, the importance of water and the role of waterworks. (78 sessions in total)
- Strengthening communities to improve sustainability of the waterworks
- Each household now has access to a sufficient supply of clean water.
- In addition to the above, popularizing proper hygiene practices such as hand-washing practice helps prevent infectious diseases like COVID-19 and improves villagers’ health. A decrease in diseases caused by poor hygiene (such as diarrhea and scabies) also reduces medical costs.
- The project is improving people’s lives and contributing to building resilient and inclusive communities.
◇ This project contributes to the progress towards achievement of the SDGs*. ◇
*The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a set of international development goals from 2016 to 2030, which was adopted by the UN Sustainable Development Summit held in September 2015.
⇒ Related SDGs
８．Voices of the beneficiaries
Mr. Mohammad Waseem (22 years old, a member of the village committee and a shop owner）
He is responsible for the provision of soap and water to a hand-washing facility which is located near his shop. After visiting the hairdresser or the market, the locals wash their hands and faces with soap. Mr. Waseem and other members of the community appreciate a unique feature of the facility: foot-operated taps that make it unnecessary to touch the taps with one’s hands.
Mr. Aurang Zeb（50 years old, head teacher at the primary school where a hand-washing facility has been installed）
He says that hand-washing with soap during COVID-19 is crucial. The stakeholders are discussing this, but practical steps have not yet been taken by all. Provision of a hand-washing facility complete with soap has enabled the teachers and students to wash their hands on a regular basis. He assures us that the facility will continue to be well maintained.
Before the project
During the project
The project was carried out by the IRSP in cooperation with the people of Tehsil Takht Bhai and stakeholders, by means of the Darvish Yu Water Fund, supported by Darvish Yu (a member of the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball) and many other donors.
We offer our sincere thanks for all of your warm support and cooperation.
▼For more information on the Darvish Yu Water Fund▼
(Reported by Shigenori Asai, Director, and Miyo Tabata, Assistant Manager)