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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agakhan Foundation and Agakhan Culture Support Programmes amongst partners in development

Norwegian partners meet at Lok Virsa

ISLAMABAD: The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Islamabad organised a partners in development meeting at Lok Virsa. The objective of the meeting was to communicate with the partners and the latest development in the Norwegian development cooperation policy and management practices, to get feedback from the partners and to promote networking among the development partners. Norwegian Ambassador to Pakistan Robert Kvile opened the meeting with the welcome address. The participants were Lok Virsa, UNESCO, UNIFEM (UN Women) Pakistan, Aga Khan Foundation, Devolution Trust for Community Empower, Pak-Norway Institutional Cooperation Programme, ACD Head-Poverty Unit UNDP, Iqbal Academy, ILO, Governance Institutes Network International, Aga Khan Culture Support Programme, SAFMA, SPDC, Ajoka Theatre, Right to Play-Pakistan AGHS Legal Aid Cell, Aurat Foundation and Mahbubul Haq Human Development Centre. staff report\01\14\story_14-1-2011_pg11_8
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WASEP - Aga Khan Planning and Service, Pakistan
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Habitat Risk Management Programme
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

39 Community Representatives Trained
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Chitral -- EDO Health Department, Dr Sher Qayum Chitral, has said that availability of safe drinking water can eliminate many water borne diseases in the society. He said this while speaking on the certificate distribution ceremony at the conclusion of two day workshop of training programme organized by Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan, (AKPBSP) Chitral office for the representatives of Water and Sanitation Management Committees of drinking water projects funded by KFW at a local hotel here, Chitral. Dr. Sher Qayum talked on the importance of clean drinking water and appreciated the efforts of AKPBSP, for working in partnership with the communities to provide clean drinking water to the people in far flung area of Chitral. He promised for sending specialist doctor to talk to the community representatives on the importance of drinking water and elimination of water borne diseases in future.

The skill training workshop was attended among others by presidents, managers, treasurers, Water and Sanitation Operators (WSOs) and Water and Sanitation Implementers (WSIs) from 8 villages, which included Gaht Bala, Gaht Paeen, Junali Kuch Bala, Junali Kuch Payeen, Loan and Uchu Goal. The themes covered in the two day workshop were: Water and Sanitation Related Diseases, Importance of Health and Hygiene, Record Keeping, Project Management Cycle, Operation and Maintenance, Community Contribution, Responsibilities of Water Committee and Causes of successful and Unsuccessful Projects. The workshop was facilitated by Raja Safdar Social Organization Coordinator from Gilgit, Mr. Noor Alim, Training Officer Chitral and other staff of AKPBSP, Chitral Office.

At the end of the workshop, Chief Guest, Dr. Sher Qayum distributed certificates among 39 participants of the workshop. Area Manager, Muhammad Karam thanked the Chief Guest, facilitators and community representatives for their participation in the workshop --CN report, 08 Feb 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Japan grants US$ 203,671 for sanitation projects in Hunza

ISLAMABAD, Feb 17 (APP): Japan has decided to grant financial support of US $ 203,671 (approx. Rs. 17.0 million) to the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan (AKCSP) for environmental sanitation and water supply projects in Hunza, Gilgit-Baltistan.The agreements for the two projects were signed here on Thursday between Chihiro Atsumi, Ambassador of Japan, and Akbarali Pesnani, Chairman of the AKCSP,said a statement issued by the Japanese Embassy.

The Environmental Sanitation Project is meant for the Improvement of Community-based Environmental Sanitation, in Altit, Hunza in Gilgit Baltitan.

Around 237 households (1,820 individuals) including IDPs, who have migrated after Attaabad landslide disaster, will be benefitted from this project.

Local labour will be trained and employed during the execution of the project which will help them to get new jobs in future to support their families.

The Water Supply Project is aimed at the Renovation of Water Supply Scheme in Karimabad, Hunza.

The grant will be utilized for the renovation of pipelines and water tanks,which were previously funded by Japan in 2004 and were damaged due to landslides during preceding years.

It would ultimately help in preserving the existing facility which is the present ‘only drinking water source’.
This project will benefit 450 households (around 3,600 individuals) in this area.

At the signing ceremony, Ambassador Atsumi stressed that improvement of water supply and sanitation is one of the priority areas in Japan’s assistance policy towards Pakistan.

He also emphasized that these projects would help more in improving the living standards of the inhabitants of the vicinity and also encourage the tourists in this valley which have very precious natural scenery and historical places.

He expressed his hope that the current projects would further strengthen the existing friendly relations between the peoples of Japan and Pakistan.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aga Khan Cultural Services Paksitan participates at the roundtable conference on ‘Role of Media in Defining Urban Outlook in Pakistan’

Seminar urges media role in creating civic sense

* Speakers at roundtable conference on ‘Role of Media in Defining Urban Outlook in Pakistan’ suggest proper training of city reporters, media managers to spread awareness on urbanisation in its true sense

By Shabbir Sarwar

LAHORE: There is a dire need of citizens’ capacity building on civic sense through media as well as proper training and education of city reporters and media managers to spread required awareness on urbanisation in its true sense. This conclusion was reached by speakers at the end of a roundtable conference on “Role of Media in Defining Urban Outlook in Pakistan,” held at the Alhamra Hall on Friday as part of the five-day Pakistan Urban Forum 2011 activities from March 1-5.

Speaking on the occasion, Vandana Mehra of the Hindustan Times, said the issue had remained a crucial one in India as initially no newspaper ever wrote on an urban issue like sanitation.

“I was the first to support the idea of coverage of sanitation issues in the city of Delhi that has 6 million newspaper readers,” she said. Vandana suggested building partnership between media and government institutions to promote civic sense among citizens. She also highlighted various media issues.

Renowned TV anchor Mubashar Luqman, while speaking at the occasion, said that media should not be blamed for all curses in society. Media was not a teacher but a mirror of society as it reports what is happening around us, he stated. Mubashar said that the national media cannot highlight community-level issues as it was the responsibility of metro journalists. He said it was a big problem that religion was being linked to governance in Pakistan.

Prof Dr Mujahid Ali Mansoori, the chairman of the UMT Media and Communication Department, said that the media was not the true mirror of society because it had ignored the major segment of the country that was the rural population.

Dr Mujahid said media had been primarily focusing on events’ reporting and it lacked the capacity to change the peoples’ behaviour. There was a dire need of establishing community and metro media to address community interest and local issues, he said, adding that national TV channels cannot give much space to local issues as they focused on key national issues.

Urban Forum Project Director, Dr Nasir Javed, speaking at the occasion, said that majority of the country’s population was youth but there was no proper coverage of youth and children issues in the mainstream media

Ahmed Ali from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said that media anchors shouldn’t act as judges and the media and government being two pillars of state must be accountable for their wrongdoings.

Rafih Alam, a renowned lawyer, said that media should focus on an issue until its solutions.

28 stalls had been established at the Alhamra Art Gallery where visitors were educated on various environmentally friendly and recycled product used in urban areas. Some prominent stalls included those of the Asian Development Bank, Agha Khan Cultural Services Paksitan, Beaconhouse National University, Child Protection Bureau, Punjab Municipal Development Fund Company, Lahore Waste Management Company, Traffic Network Management and Water and Sanitation Programme-South Asia.

The five-day Pakistan urban forum 2011 would conclude today (Saturday).\03\05\story_5-3-2011_pg13_9
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PPAF sets up wind turbines, solar panels for power generation
Monday, 07 March 2011 16:09
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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), in partnership with Aga Khan Planing and Building Services- Pakistan (AKPBS-P), has set up wind turbines and solar panels to provide environmentally friendly electricity to approximately 6,500 people in 29 villages of district Thatta in Sindh province.

According to PPAF sources, the AKPBS-P, with the support from PPAF, the World Bank and the contribution by the village residents in the form of unskilled labour, installed 29 wind turbines, 29 solar panels and streetlights in various villages located in Thatta, which were without electricity for decades.

The immediate benefit of electrification is improved lighting, which is much brighter, cheaper and safe than that provided by kerosene lamps, the sources added.

They said that by utilizing local and renewable energy resources instead of diesel for power generation, not only protect the environment but also stimulates economic benefits for an improved quality of life.

A key reason why this village has not yet benefited from an electric grid connection is its geographical isolation that offered an extremely low return on investment made in grid extension. This challenge required a local and cost-effective solution which was provided by PPAF.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prince Karim Aga Khan appreciates government’s efforts for poverty alleviation

ISLAMABAD, Mar 11 (APP): In a letter to Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, the spiritual leader of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, Prince Karim Aga Khan has appreciated efforts of the government for undertaking projects for poverty alleviation and human resource development. He acknowledged the seriousness and dedication of the government in the rehabilitation of the flood affectees.
Prince Karim Aga Khan highlighted the close collaboration between the Agha Khan Development Network (AKDN) and the government of Pakistan.
He specially mentioned various projects in Gilgit Baltistan and the walled city of Lahore, besides cooperation in development of tourism and support in human resource development.
Mentioning the significance of the cooperation between governments of Italy and Pakistan on a project for the development of the odd city of Multan, Prince Karim informed that General Manager of Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) Luis Monreal will also pay a visit during this month in this connection.
He will assess and prepare a detailed report about possible assistance in the Multan project by AKTC. He hoped that AKTC would be able to identify resources for the Multan project.
Aga Khan thanked the Prime Minister for his keen interest and extending full support in the development activities being undertaking by AKDN in Pakistan.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KfW Funded Drinking Water Project inaugurated in Lone Chitral

Chitral: A long-felt desire of the people of village Lone Markha in Chitral became a reality today with the inauguration of a safe drinking water supply and sanitation scheme in their community. The scheme was inaugurated by Dr. Ann-Christine Janke, Director KfW in Pakistan and Mr. Ferdinand Jenrich, 3rd Secretary German Embassy. Speaking on the occasion, Dr, Ann-Christine appreciated the role of Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) for its role in the development of Northern and Chitral. She also appreciated the beneficiary community which completed the scheme in harsh winter. She said that the availability of safe drinking water would decrease the water borne diseases in the community, particularly among women and children.

Talking to a big gathering of women and men from the community, Mr. Ferdinand said that the German government would extend its progrmme in future. He urged the community to maintain the clean drinking water project, so that they could benefit from it continuously. The Chairman of Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan, Mr. Hafiz Sher Ali thanked the German Government and funding agency, KfW for providing funds for drinking water projects in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. He also appreciated the role of the community in completion of the scheme in time. Among others who attended the inauguration ceremony were, Dr. Karim Pervaiz from KfW, Mr. Karim Nayani and Mr. Ahsan Paracha from Aga Khan Foundation, Pakistan, Mr. Hadi Husani Programme Director, Javaid Ahmed, Raja Safdarand Yasmin Ansa from KfW project

Lone Markha, located at an altitude of more than 8000 ft above sea-level, is one of the remote villages of Chitral. The water scheme constructed here is part of the many initiatives planned under the Water and Sanitation Extension Programme being implemented in the Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral region of northern Pakistan. This Programme, which will provide safe water and sanitation to more than 100,000 people in 150 villages, is being implemented by the Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan, with financial assistance from the KfW Development Bank of Germany.

The newly launched scheme in Lone Markha Upper Chitral completed at the cost of Rs. 7.98 million will provide safe drinking water and latrine facilities to more than 600 people in 76 households of the village. The project will play an important role in improving the overall health conditions of the region and especially safeguarding the health of the women and children by reducing the incidence of diarrhea and other waterborne diseases that are a major impediment to human development in rural Pakistan. The village members contributed local construction material and labour for building the scheme in difficult terrain and weather conditions. The village also contributed more than Rs. 200,000 for the operation, maintenance and repair of the scheme. (CN report 06 Apr 2011)
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

APBS arranged 2 days workshop
by G. H. Farooqui April 27, 2011

AKPBSP arranged 2 days workshop on capacity building of water sanitation Management Communities

CHITRAL: Agha Khan Planning and Building Services, Pakistan arranged a two days training of various community members on the subject of water and sanitation in a local Hotel of Chitral. It was held under Water and Sanitation Extention Program (WASEP) Kredietwstalt for Wadrafbaw (KFW) program funded by the Government of Germany through their development bank KFW.

Aim of the event was to provide training to the water and sanitation committee members, implementers and operators regarding their responsibilities in the implementation of the schemes under execution in their villages by WASEP-KFW program. They were also briefed about the social organization, engineering, health & hygiene and water quality components of the project.

Twenty seven community members participated in this training workshop.

At the end of second day, a concluding ceremony was held to distribute certificates among the participants including women fold representing women organizations of the area Other than the participants, Public Health Department Engineers, President Regional Council and Station Director Radio Pakistan Chitral also were present on the occasion.

Regional Coordinator WASEP-KFW program in Chitral, Maqbool Hussain thanked the guests and participants for their presence in the training and the function. He presented an overview of the WASEP activities in Pakistan and details of the KFW program. He also offered WASEP’s assistance to NGOs and government organizations.

President of the Regional Council, and head of Professional Development Center of Aga Khan University Dr. Mir Afzal Tajik particularly emphasized upon participation of communities in such programs and urged the participants to motivate their fellows on the same pattern.

Engineer Zahirullah of Public Health Department showed commitment to work with AKPBSP in solving the people’s problems related to the water and sanitation facilities.

At the culmination of the ceremony, Raja Safdar Khan Social Coordinator of WASEP-KFW program offered the closing remarks and certificates were given away to the participants by honorable guests. The speaker highly hailed this workshop regarding sensitization about potable drinking water and sanitation system. They said that your wash room and kitchen must be well sophisticated and hygienically clean so as to save you from infectious diseases because 70% diseases are spreading due to contaminated water. They also criticized some plan that 75% of developmental schemes were failed due to non ownership and no participation of the local community. A large number of people belonging to several relevant organizations including women folk attended this workshop and demanded for continuation and expanding its tenure for sustainable development.

G.H. Farooqi PO Box No.50 GPO Chitral Pakistan

Community Reps workshop held in Booni

Chitral -- Amir Afzal, President Aga Khan Regional Council for Upper Chitral has said that availability of clean drinking water would play a tremendous role in reducing the water borne diseases which are found in the rural population. He was speaking to the community representatives of EC funded drinking water project in Booni at the conclusion of two day workshop on safe drinking water organized by Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan at a local hotel. He appreciated the role of AKPBSP for providing fund for drinking water project in Booni. He urged the participants to share the information learned from the workshop on health and hygiene with the members of the village organization and women organizations.

The presidents, Managers, water and sanitation operators (WSOs)and water and sanitation implementers (WSIs) from six selected villages of Booni participated in the skill training workshop. The topics covered in the workshop were: Water and Sanitation related diseases, Importance of Health and Hygiene, Record Keeping, Operation and Maintenance and Responsibilities of President and Manager. The staffs of AKPBSP, District Engineer Zaiullah, Senior Engineer Nasir Ali, Senior Social Organizer Syed Nizar Ali Shah, M&E Officer Inayat Rehman, Water Quality Analyst Altaf Hussain ,Finance Officer,Muhammad Siyar and Health and Hygiene Officer, Niyat Bibi facilitated the workshop

Among others, who spoke on the occasion were: Sardar Hakim, President Aga Khan Local Council Booni Muhammad Karam, Area Manager, AKPBSP, Chitral. Mr. Ali Akber and Mr. Sher Wazir also spoke on the occasion and represented the participants. At the end of the workshop, certificates were distributed among the participants and the District engineer Ziaullah thanked the guests and representatives of the community for their participation in the workshop..--CN report, 05 May 2011..

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Date: 2011-03-31
Story belongs to: Nauon Jeeyapo March 31

In this interview hear from Dr Farrukh Bhambro, a medical officer for flood relief and nutrition project of Agha Khan Foundation. He says that malnutrition in pregnant women will result in weak children, the AKF program addresses this issue by providing nourishment plans to children up to the age of five. He says that if the mother is not lactating, the child can be given supplemental milk feed from animals. AKF community health workers and LHW's call regularly to monitor progress.
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pak project selected for Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy

KARACHI: A Pakistani project has been selected as a finalist for the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy 2011. A statement here on Tuesday said that the finalists will compete for more than pounds 120,000 prize money. It said that the winners would be announced at a ceremony to be held in London on June 16. The statement pointed out that the Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan’s innovative programme BACIP (Building and Construction Improvement Programme) has been selected as one of the finalists for the awards. app\05\18\story_18-5-2011_pg12_14

Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan (AKPBS,P) for an innovative programme providing families in remote mountain villages with access to affordable, energy efficient technologies which warm their homes, heat their water and reduce their consumption of fuel wood.
The programme tackles deforestation and climate change by saving 100,000 tonnes of wood a year and preventing emissions of around 160,000 tonnes a year of CO2. AKPBS,P aims to extend this approach to other Himalayan countries, which face similar challenges and reach another 17,000 homes by 2014.
Shabana Abbas, Marketing
T: 0092 2135361802-804
M: 00923222379072
E: shabana.abbas@akpbsp
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clean Energy Pioneer AKPBS Receives Prestigious Environmental Prize for BACIP Programme in Pakistan


Winners personally congratulated by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales

Please also see: Ashden Video (1 minute and 5 minute), Speech by Princess Zahra Aga Khan and Photographs

London, 16 June 2011 - The world’s most prestigious green energy awards tonight announced that the Aga Khan Planning and Building Service’s (AKPBS) innovative Building and Construction Improvement Programme (BACIP) has received the Award for Avoided Deforestation at this year’s Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Head of the Social Welfare department of the Aga Khan Development Network, accepted the award on behalf of AKPBS at a ceremony in London tonight addressed by Rt. Hon. Gregory Barker, UK Government Minister for Climate Change. Winners from India and Africa were also announced.

The Prince of Wales, Patron of the Ashden Awards, who personally congratulated the international winners in a meeting earlier today, said: “The Ashden Awards show what it is possible to do now in saving resources and cutting emissions. They remind us how, as individuals, we can make a huge difference to the world in which we live. In a nutshell, they remind us that acting locally is, in fact, acting globally.”

(Download photos:

The Ashden Awards showcase practical solutions to combat climate change and meet the energy needs of the poor, rewarding outstanding and innovative clean energy schemes across the developing world and in the UK.

Princess Zahra Aga Khan said: “We hope that this initiative will help lift thousands of families out of the vicious cycle of poverty.”

The Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan (AKPBS) was awarded £20,000 for helping families in remote mountain villages save energy and enjoy warmer and more comfortable homes by installing a range of energy-efficient products. The programme was inspired by a speech made by His Highness the Aga Khan in which he remarked that “…the visual, physical and emotional impact of a decent home can light the spirit of human endeavour. A proper home can provide the bridge across that terrible gulf between utter poverty and the possibility of a better future”.

The programme has developed over 50,000 fuel-efficient products that have been installed in 27,000 households, benefiting almost 240,000 people in over 300 villages of the Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral regions Pakistan. The products not only cut energy costs, they also significantly reduce diseases, deforestation pressures and the workloads of women and children, while enhancing disposable household income.

Sarah Butler-Sloss, Founder Director of the Ashden Awards and chair of the judging panel, said: “The initiative of AKPBS is a perfect example of how by combining a seemingly simple set of energy-efficient technologies with a clear and well thought out marketing strategy, it is possible to improve the lives of thousands of families and successfully tackle the major challenges of deforestation and climate change. And the good news is that it is highly replicable”.

Summary of the work:

AKPBS’s BACIP products – fuel-efficient stoves with chimneys to remove smoke, water heaters, roof-hatch windows to cut down draughts and wall and floor insulation – are built by local carpenters and metal workers and then sold to local families by village-based agents. Not only do they make the homes warmer, cleaner and less smoky, they also help families save hundreds of dollars a year by reducing the need for fuel wood.

Homes in the Hindu Kush and Karakoram mountains are cold in the harsh winters and very smoky due the large amounts of wood used for heating and cooking. Deforestation is also a major issue, both at a local level, due to the dangers of flooding, and nationally, because the region is the watershed for much of the country.

AKPBS developed its programme as a way of tackling some of these major environmental challenges and in order to improve conditions for people living in the region. The programme directly tackles deforestation and climate change, saving 100,000 tonnes of wood a year and preventing emissions of around 160,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. Over 240,000 lives have been transformed by the efforts of AKPBS.

“For a working woman like me it’s great. I can go to the market in the morning and there is hot water when I get back. It means I can spend more time on farming and looking after my children,” said Bibi Safina, a local woman who has benefitted from the programme.

AKPBS aims to extend this approach to other Himalayan countries facing similar challenges and aims to reach another 17,000 homes by 2014. The United Nations has identified AKPBS programmes as “Good Practices to Achieve Millenium Development Goals”.

AKPBS has been implementing its social and infrastructural development programmes with the help of local communities and village organizations as well as with the support of the Government of Pakistan and partners such as the Global Environment Facility (GEF); Japanese Social Development Fund (JSDF); Japan Counter-Value Fund (JCVF); The World Bank; The Alcan Prize for Sustainability; Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA); Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau (KfW); Embassy of Finland; Royal Netherlands Embassy; United States Agency for International Development (USAID); Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF); United Nations Development Program (UNDP-Pakistan); Climate Care Trust Limited; United States Environment Protection Agency (USEPA); European Commission (EC), Austrian Development Agency (ADA); Hundreds of Original Projects for Employment (HOPE’87); Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid); Aga Khan Foundation; SDC-Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation; World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Pakistan) and many other partner agencies.

For Information on all International Award winners:

For further information in Pakistan, please contact:
Salimah Shiraj
Aga Khan Development Network
Karachi, Pakistan
Telephone: +92 21 35861242
Facsimile: +92 21 35861272

For further information in Europe or elsehwere, please contact:
Sam Pickens
1-3 avenue de la Paix
Geneva 1202
Telephone: +41 22 909 72 00
Facsimile: +41 22 909 7291


Energy is central to development

Affordable renewable energy needs to be taken seriously as the crucial ingredient of sustainable development, and the Ashden Awards recognise this

AKPBS, Pakistan

Saving trees and warming homes

In North Pakistan, winters in the mountains are harsh and natural disasters are part of life. Wide-scale forest destruction causes damage from flooding and disrupts the country’s water supply because the region acts as a watershed.

Over 14 years ago, the Aga Khan Planning and Building Service (AKPBS) began a concerted drive to make homes in North Pakistan warmer, and reduce the use of wood. Based on the Aga Khan’s belief that: “A proper home can bridge that terrible gap between poverty and a better future” the programme is doing just that for over 240,000 people.

Today over 100 ‘resource people’ work in their own villages promoting energy efficient products. A US$80 package could include floor insulation, an efficient cook stove with a chimney to let smoke out, a water heater, and a roof hatch window that cuts out draughts and lets in light, also fresh air when needed.

AKPBS trains local people as artisans and entrepreneurs and has created over 360 new jobs. Over 50,000 products have been sold through word of mouth, tours and demonstration homes. Homes are warmer and families save money on fuel-wood and, by ridding their homes of smoke, they avoid respiratory problems too. And local trees and the environment are protected, with about 100,000 tonnes of wood and 160,000 tonnes of CO2 saved each year. Looking ahead, AKPBS hopes to attract carbon finance to extend this successful approach to other Himalayan countries.

Energy-efficient stoves clear Pakistan’s air
Published on : 24 June 2011 - 6:08pm | By Johan van Slooten (Photo by AKPBS)

Families in northern Pakistan’s Hindu Kush mountains – subjected to long, harsh winters – have found a better way to heat their homes and cook their meals: A new, simple but efficient cooking stove. It rids the homes of deadly fumes, reduces respiratory illness and even cuts deforestation.

It wasn't long ago that the people in the region were heating their homes with simple wood fires, filling the homes with almost permanent clouds of smoke.

“Later they began to use simple stoves, but they weren’t very efficient either,” says Hadi Hosseini of Pakistan’s Aga Khan Planning and Building Service (AKPBS), a division of the Aga Khan Development Network which aims to improve the lives of people in rural Pakistan.

“You simply couldn’t see across the room because of the smoke. People just didn’t know how to channel the smoke out. This lead to many respiratory illnesses among villagers, especially children, including cancer and asthma. Something had to be done.”

After seeing similar situations in Nepal, the AKPBS designed a new cooking stove. It contains two main elements – one to cook meals on and one to heat the room. It can also be connected to a water tank to heat and cook water faster than was previously possible.

Cold winters
“Women used to go down to the rivers to do their laundry,” says AKPBS’s Qayum Ali Shah, who comes from the region. “Especially during the cold winters, this was particularly dangerous, as they had to bring their young children with them."

"You can imagine what it was like to do your laundry in ice cold circumstances with a baby in tow. The women don’t have to do that anymore. They can now simply wash their clothes at home, using the heated water.”

The improvements also included a heat-efficient chimney and an opening in the roof which can be opened or closed to control airflow.

While the design and the benefits of the cooking stove seem obvious, it took AKPBS a while to convince the people to actually use it. “This is a very traditional population,” says Mr Hosseini. “Traditions, even domestic ones, go back centuries. To change them, you have to convince people that the new techniques will improve their lives.”

Mr Hosseini and Mr Shah achieved that by simply travelling around the region, demonstrating the stoves' benefits.

“We’ve engaged the women, we’re working with local entrepreneurs, and we’ve been at roadshows. And the people that we managed to convince have subsequently come along with us to tell others. It’s been a word of mouth promotion.”

The benefits of the project go beyond the domestic improvements in people’s homes, Mr Hosseini notes.

“People use wood as fuel. Communities were gathering wood three to four times a week, which lead to massive deforestation in the region, which ultimately leads to a high risk of flooding. Using our stove, people have reduced their fuel wood consumption by 50 to 60 percent. So this simple stove is helping to improve their lives AND the environment.”

It’s this element that was noticed by the prestigious Ashden Awards in the UK, which gives an annual award to small scale sustainable energy projects. The AKPBS received an award earlier this month for improving homes and cutting the use of wood for fuel.

“It’s good to get this recognition,” says Mr Hosseini. “We go in with a multi-input program: health, education, rural development. The people there are getting a whole package of improvements. That's not delivered by many stand-alone organizations who only focus on one thing. I think that’s our benefit.”

“We’re offering simple and effective solutions which could also be used elsewhere, even in Western homes. Why not take a step back in our electronic and manufactured approach of cooking? People everywhere could learn a lot from these things.”

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PM for preparing comprehensive development plan for Gilgit-Baltistan


"The Prime Minister drew the attention of the participants that the Agha Khan Foundation had also shown interest in the development of the region. He asked the government of Gilgit-Baltistan to extend facilities in this context. "
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agakhan Foundation's initiative: workshop on ‘Needs of the Disabled Community’

Handi-capable: Helping turn disability into ability
Published: July 22, 2011

A diagram to explain just how high the ramp must go for wheelchair access. IMAGE: NOWPDP

Teaching physically challenged people how to use computers can help them support themselves and connect them to the rest of the world, experts stressed on Thursday at a meeting.

Roughly 70 representatives from non-profit, community and corporate organisations, donor agencies and the government put their heads together to suggest solutions for disabled people in Pakistan.

The participants also included people directly related to the problem. Their challenges ranged from physical, speech, hearing, visual, intellectual and learning disabilities and autism. The workshop on ‘Needs of the Disabled Community’ was held at the Marriott Hotel by the Aga Khan Council of Pakistan initiative, Network of Organisations Working for People with Disabilities in Pakistan (NOWPDP). The disabled need jobs employment, education, government support, facilities and care centres in urban areas but there is a shortage of funds.

Malik Tahir, who provides free legal aid to organisations affiliated with NOWPDP, highlighted the rights of disabled people in the country and donors discussed how disabled people could access their funds.

Adnan Sarwar, who is living with muscular dystrophy, felt that the most pressing issue was awareness followed closely by a lack of recognition of patient needs. Sarwar recommended computer literacy as an alternative to vocational skills training. “This will not only suit the needs of almost all disabled people but will also connect them to corporate firms where computer-based jobs or free-lance projects are available.” He believes that knowing how to operate a computer is better than education that does not help them support themselves financially later in life.

Annie told the gathering of how she hopes to raise awareness in rural areas but is hindered by the lack of support and resources.

Gallup Pakistan prepared a report from an interview held in 2009. They spoke to 2,709 people from both urban and rural areas of all four provinces and put together a review of the obstacles faced by disabled people. They focused on accessibility, care for disabled people, education, employment and vocational training and services in urban areas. They also explored how disabled children are locked away in their homes.

NOWPDP launched an innovative ‘Disability Services Directory’ at the workshop. The directory is an online website that allows users to retrieve and update information on services customised for people with disabilities across Pakistan. It is accessible via SMS, so people with impaired eyesight or without access to the internet or a computer can use it.

NOWPDP President Amin Hashwani said that the idea was initiated in 2008 after some organisations working for the cause felt the need to coordinate between each other. In its first phase, the organisation trained 500 teachers across Pakistan. It is working to create jobs, influence government policy and to integrate media for better coverage of the issue.

The organisation’s executive officer, Jeremy Higgs, added that NOWPDP is trying to convince organisations to employ disabled people. KESC, Artistic Milliners, Gul Ahmed and Hashwani group are already onboard while Telenor, Unilever, HBL and the British Council have shown their commitment to the cause.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2011
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