Public Lavatories in Karachi

Low number of public lavatories irks citizens

By Jamil Khan | KARACHI

DESPITE spending millions of rupees to improve the overall water and sewerage condition of the city, the city government has not made any major allocation for funds to construct public lavatories in the last three years, Daily Times learnt.
A survey was conducted in the city’s nine towns by AC Nielsen for the Public Affairs Foundation, part of the Citizen Report Card (CRC), a project supported by the Water and Sanitation Programme South Asia (WSP-SA). It revealed that more than 19 percent of households in Karachi use public toilets located in parks, shops, plazas and mosques along with a number of lavatories constructed by philanthropists at major intersections.
The survey was conducted in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gadap, Saddar, Korangi, SITE, Bin Qasim, Gulberg, Kemari and North Nazimabad towns and covered 500 households in each town.
“Nearly one percent of the people interviewed said that they were very frequent users of public toilets while 10 percent categorized themselves as rare users. Most of the users are in Gadap (17.7 percent), Bin Qasim (16 percent) and Kemari (16.6 percent) towns,” the report said.
The report said that almost 70 percent of the households thought that the locations of the toilets were convenient, and 72 percent said that public toilets are generally safe. Only 14 percent said that water was rarely or never available in toilets, and 65 percent felt that lavatories were clean either most of the time or always. 40 percent reported that queues were rare, while 33 percent said that there are queues either most of the time or always.
The average satisfaction among households across Karachi towards public toilets was 6.64 out of 10 points. The residents of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town had the highest satisfaction level with 8.69 points while the lowest satisfaction level was in Nazimabad with only 5.70 points. While Gadap had an average satisfaction level of 6.97, Saddar 6.83, Orangi 6.75, Site 6.41, Bin Qasim 6.38, Gulberg 6.21 and Kemari 5.88.
The survey also collected general perceptions and opinions on the overall water and sewerage situation. Nearly 37 percent felt that water and sewerage services have improved over the last two years.
The CRC survey also attempted to find out about incidents of waterborne diseases affecting people in the sample households. They asked about the most common waterborne diseases that had been contracted and the number of people who had been affected in the household. In all nine towns, it was found that on average, two people in the house had been affected by typhoid, hepatitis, cholera or dysentery. Over 23 percent of the households had been affected by cholera, and Bin Qasim town was found to be the one most affected by cholera, as 19.4 percent of residents reported significant usage of water purchased from small-time street vendors.
Half of Bin Qasim town’s population is considered to be part of middle and low-income groups, as are the populations of the many villages are scattered throughout the outlying areas. Waterborne diseases disturb the monthly budgets of these families, expose the low number of government-run healthcare institutions and their lack of proper facilities in the town.
-Published in Daily Times | Aug 10, 2008

~ by jamilkhan on August 15, 2008.

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