The Water Institute at UNC Gillings School of Global Public health recently released a new Water, Sanitation, and Hygeine (WASH) Performance Index Report. The report looks at trends and changes over time, rather than absolute levels, with regards to: water access, water equity, sanitation access, and sanitation equity. It is important to note that the report focuses on changes in these categories, rather than on overall access. Though Pakistan ranks 5th overall according to the WASH Index, estimates still indicate that at least one quarter of Pakistanis do not have safe and reliable access to clean drinking water.
Jim VanDerslice, University of Utah Research Assistant Professor and member of the USPCASW Water, Sanitation and Health Working Group, sees this report as “Relevant for policy, like a big train that is hard to start moving and hard to stop. Whether it is a positive or negative flag for the country, this report gives a sense of how many resources will be necessary to start the train moving.” However, it is necessary to dig below the surface and look at the background data to find the precise “why’s” of the data. For instance, is the decreasing gab between Urban and Rural sanitation due to increasing access in rural areas, or are rural areas staying stagnant and while urban areas actually face worsening sanitation.
These trends do offer some exciting information to dig into for PCASW, as it will help show what work is needed right now in Pakistan. PCASW team members are excited to dig deeper in the data to inform curriculum and research development within the program.
Click here for the full report.
Special thanks to Jim VanDerslice and Tariq Banuri for their insight.
Jim VanDerslice, Ph.D. is part of Water, Sanitation, and Health Working Group, and Environmental Engineering Working Group for PCASW. Jim is also a Research Associate Professor in Health, Promotion and education at the University of Utah.
Tariq Banuri, Ph.D. is the Associate Chair of PCASW. Tariq is also a Professor (Lecturer) in Econmoics and City and Metropolitan Planning at the University of Utah. He is also a senior advisor for the Office of Global Engagement and the Sustainability office.