Aga Khan Planning and Building Services, (AKPBSP) established in Pakistan since 1980 as part of the larger Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is a registered non-profit and non-government organization in international development, and is recognized nationally and internationally as such. AKPBSP, through its various programs and projects, has been working in remote valleys of northern Pakistan and the coastal areas in Sindh for over two decades. AKPBSP has experience of successfully undertaking built environment related infrastructure projects and development programs, at the national and international level. AKPBSP has recently received the prestigious ALCAN Award for Sustainability 2005 (www.alcanprizeforsustainability.com). Also, AKPBSP-Building and Construction Improvement Programme (BACIP) very recently received the UN-HABITAT World Habitat Award 2006 (www.bshf.org) for its programmatic approach and application in contributing to improved socio-economic and environmental condition of local population in Northern Areas and Chitral through promotion and use of energy efficient and home improvement products and technologies. The BACIP program is internationally recognized as selected case study by GEF (Global Environmental Facility) amongst all the small grants projects developed worldwide between 1992 and 2003 (www.sgp.net.pk/docs/BACIPevaluation.pdf), significantly because of the success and effectiveness. Launched in 1997, BACIP address the rural household energy needs, indoor air pollution and associated health related issues through community-based action research to develop and test locally relevant Energy Efficient and Household Improvement (EE & HI) products and technology solutions.
More than 60 different energy efficient and living improvement products have been developed, tested and refined based on community feedback that include roof hatch window, house insulations techniques, fuel efficient stoves, water-warming facility, solar cookers, solar de-salinitor, HDGI wire wall reinforcement, light roofs, and bow-string composite beams etc. In the past few years, product dissemination process in few valleys of Northern Pakistan and Sindh comprised of demand generation and training of manufacturers and installers in few EE & HI products. Up to 2006 over 19000 EE & HI products have been installed on self-financing basis by 11,000 households in 135 village communities in 3-4 valleys in NA/C and Sindh. Documented benefits of these low-technology low-cost products include 50 % saving on fuel wood purchase for heating and cooking (about $35-45/ household/year), 25% reduction in health bills, 50% reduction in household repair expenditures, 50% reduction in smoke related diseases, beside reduction in women and children's workload and time spent in collecting fuel wood. These products are affordable, leading to housing well-being and increased disposable income, and have been replicated by local communities on self-finance basis.
Pakistan The AKPBSP program areas of Northern Pakistan (NP) and Sindh are amongst the most economically deprived, unattended, and poor areas of Pakistan. Living conditions in NP are harsh, with an average household income of EUR 0.46 per capita per day and unemployment-underemployment rate of about 70%. Approximately 4.5% of the housing stock in the area (about 1,000 housing units per year) needs to be constructed/ refurbished annually for the basic shelter needs. Poor quality housing and built environment conditions coupled with non-availability of skills and appropriate technology to improve thermal efficiency and overall living conditions causes increased economic, health and sanitation problems and aggravates the overall poverty conditions especially of women. Approximately 85% of all households in NP use fuel-wood for cooking and heating, where temperature in winters, in some areas goes down to as low as minus 30 Celsius. An estimated 16% of all household income is spent on maintaining a house, i.e. heating and repairing, as well as to tending to diseases caused by poor housing conditions. Also, it is estimated that an average household spends about 4% of its annual cash income (PKR 1,920/ EUR 30.5) on health expenses attributed directly to ill-designed and ill-constructed household interiors. Similarly, an average household spends about 9% of annual cash income (PKR 4,500/ EUR 71.42) on excess energy requirement due to lack of insulation and inefficient heating devices and cooking devices. These conditions further aggravate the overall poverty conditions of the communities of the area, and though affecting the entire community in general, have a greater negative social and economic impact on more vulnerable groups i.e. women and youth. Conditions of the coastal belt in Sindh are the same in terms of poor housing conditions, leaky and unstable structures, lack of access to basic amenities such as health facilities and clean water, and rapidly depleting natural resources, such as mangrove forests and local foliage. Approximately 75% of the local population uses firewood from local resources for household cooking purposes with wood also used for heating during cold winter months. Poverty in these areas, hence, is reflected in lack of access to clean water; health and education facilities; income generation opportunities; communication facilities; and depleting natural resources with increasing habitat risk. Both NAs and the coastal belt of Sindh are classified as being at greater seismic risk; being situated on and around active seismic faults. Deteriorating housing conditions with thermally un- insulated, leaky, structurally unstable, and congested housing lacking proper sanitation lead to serious health related problems such as indoor pollution related diseases like ARI and pneumonia for women and children, and injuries related to water and wood collection, which put women's safety at risk.
Our Experience And Interest In The Four PCIA Central Focus Areas
Yes, addressed through community particpation in development intervention to address these barriers and promote appropriate response.
Yes, local enrepreneurs and manufacturers are trained to manufacure and install these products in local household, with business start-up and mentoring support.
Various designs for various localities of different cultural and economic settings are standardized, for entrepreneurs to follow. Design quality assurance is part of the program implementation approach.
Indirect estimations (related to fuel wood burning) conducted in most village housholds on a sample basis. Scientific data based studies for direct observation planned.
Relevant Publications or Studies
Our Contribution to the Partnership
Exchange of information, learning of various options for reducing ARI in rural households, technology sharing and improvement, technical assisstance.