Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), in collaboration with HANDS and Shell Pakistan, held a ceremony commemorating five years of integrated development initiatives in Goth Noor Mohammad, a settlement 25 kilometres from Karachi where the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation dumps 25 % of the city’s trash.
The chief guest on the occasion was Jeannette Seppen, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Five years ago, Goth Noor Mohammad was a settlement that lacked basic amenities such as running water, sanitation, school or a basic health facility. Its residents used to earn primarily through selling scrap collected from the garbage dump in the vicinity, which is the destination of about a quarter of Karachi’s waste. In 2010, PPAF and its implementing partner HANDS along with Shell Pakistan began working in Goth Noor Mohammad to help residents transform their lives for the better. As many as 133 housing and 34 sanitation units were constructed with the village divided into 51 clusters of two to three housing units while each cluster having a common kitchen, toilet and a water storage tank. Electricity and clean drinking water remained a major problem of residents so PPAF has recently installed solar lights in each housing compound while Shell Pakistan has installed a reverse osmosis plant in the settlement for clean drinking water.
Over the past five years, PPAF has spent Rs 27 million on housing, infrastructure, solar lighting, health and education facilities while Shell Pakistan has contributed additional Rs 14.3 million for housing and provision of clean drinking water. Residents in the area have also been facilitated in learning entrepreneurship skills through the Shell Tameer Program enabling them to capitalize on related business opportunities like recycling. With proper housing, drainage, access to clean drinking water, solar lighting, medical care and education, now Goth Noor Mohammad is very different from what it used to be. Qazi Azmat Isa, CEO PPAF, said, “Pakistan is going through very challenging times but hope continues to exist. It is only when people from different walks of life come together for the common good that magic happens”