GRACE received a grant from the Government of Japan for a water supply project to provide safe drinking water through the provision of a water supply system to residents of Astana Bala, Astana Paeen, Gultri colony and Brolumo Colony in Skardu. The US$90262 grant for the project 'Female Social Empowerment through 4 Kilometers Potable Water for Displaced People Astana Skardu' was received under the Government of Japan Official Development Assistance program 'Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects'. The agreement was signed between H.E Mr. Chihiro Atsumi, the Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan and GRACE Chief Executive Officer Wazir Shamshad Hussain in the Japanese Embassy in Islamabad on November 4, 2009.
The overall objective of the project is to improve the quality of life of the displaced population, particularly women and female children, by providing clean drinking water to these villages. This project will install 4 kilometers main pipelines that will fulfill the water need of the entire population of 12,750 living in the target villages. The provision of safe drinking water at the point of need will considerably reduce the workload of women and girls who currently spend some 5-6 hours every day manually bringing water from other locations. The anticipated outcome include:
Consumption of safe drinking water will also have a positive impact on community health, reducing the incidence of water-borne diseases, infant mortality and morbidity.
At the signing ceremony, Ambassador H.E. Mr. Chihiro Atsumi expressed his great appreciation for GRACE `s efforts to improve the living standards of disadvantaged communities in remote areas of Pakistan and showed his interest to continue working with GRACE in the future. He emphasized that this project would contribute to further strengthening the friendly relations between Japan and Pakistan. The founder of the Grace Association Pakistan, Mr. Khadim Hussain, and Mr Wazir Shamshad Hussain, GRACE CEO, expressed their gratitude for Japanese assistance in community development activities in Pakistan, especially in particularly disadvantaged regions like Baltistan. The Ambassador accepted an invitation to visit Skardu at a later date.
Note: The Government of Japan also provided financial assistance for the construction of the GRACE Public School, Skardu, in 2008.
GRACE endeavours to empower and improve the quality of life of the marginalized and vulnerable communities in the least developed parts of Pakistan through welfare, participatory research and development, capacity building, promotion of best practices and partnership building, advocacy, and by launching sustainable and replicable innovative projects.