As part of his long-term project on water, American documentary photographer Mustafah Abdulaziz visited southern Pakistan with WaterAid in 2013.

The focus of his trip was Tharparkar in Sindh province, a desert area where WaterAid is working to improve access to water with rainwater harvesting technologies and to promote good hygiene practice in schools.

More than 70% of Tharparkar’s population has no access to safe drinking water. Instead, people are forced to rely on unprotected water sources outside the village, such as hand-dug wells or pools of rainwater. Women are usually tasked with finding and collecting water from these, walking several kilometres per day to do so.

WaterAid is implementing projects in Tharparkar with the support of the HSBC Water Programme. The five-year programme, running from 2012 to 2016, aims to reach more than 370,000 people with safe water and 600,000 people with sanitation in Pakistan.

This rainwater harvesting structure has been built by partner organisations to provide water for the community for up to 3 months.
With the help of local communities, Chalho Ponds have been built using traditional techniques. These rainwater reservoirs have been updated with sand filters to provide clean water to the people of Tharparkar.

The programme has been working closely with the local community, using traditional techniques to develop rainwater harvesting technologies. This is the best solution in an area where there is no surface water and groundwater is deep or inaccessible.

WaterAid and its partners are also improving the lives of local schoolchildren by building new toilet blocks, giving classes in handwashing, and holding water, sanitation and hygiene clubs for students.

Anil Kuma, 12, is seen here learning the various steps involved in handwashing at a WASH Club held at his school.
Anil, 12, learns the various steps involved in handwashing at his school.