Karachi: United Nations Development Programme’s National Goodwill Ambassador, Hadiqa Kiani visited communities of district Thatta of Sindh Province and interacted with village women, children, elders and other beneficiaries of UNDP support in restoring their socio-economic conditions with enhanced sustainability and disaster-resilience.
Hadiqa was accompanied by the UNDP team led by the Country Director, Toshihiro Tanaka as well as local implementing partner representatives from Health and Nutrition Development Society (HANDS), Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) Pakistan and Sindh Rural Support Program (SRSP).
The localities visited included Makli, Allahdino Khaskheli and Suleman Jutt village. Thatta is among the 29 districts affected by floods in 2010 where UNDP has implemented an Early Recovery programme through financial support from the Government of Japan, EU, USAID, AusAid, Government of Italy, Government of Kuwait and COFRA foundation.
Hadiqa visited the display centre for handicrafts produced by beneficiaries of Makli. The centre was established through HANDS for enhancing the linkages of local village women groups with the main markets of Thatta city.
Hadiqa and the UNDP team were also welcomed by the children, members of community and disaster riskmanagement committee of the village Suleman Jutt supported through SRSP.
One of the main objectives of the visit was to highlight the importance of linking Early Recovery interventions with climate change mitigation, adaptation strategy and disaster management at the community level.
In this regard, Hadiqa visited the biogas plants established through WWF which provide rural poor families with sustainable access to alternate renewable energy, which is clean and requires no running cost.
She also interacted with the staff of Disaster Management Center established by HANDS. This center has provided capacity building support to the communities and strengthened the preparedness and ability to respond to any possible disasters.
Addressing a community gathering, Hadiqa said, “I am pleased to meet all of you. I appreciate UNDP’s efforts in introducing environmental awareness and the ability to respond to any future disasters.”
She also underlined the importance of disaster risk reduction and environment. “I am impressed by the efforts of the communities which have shown resilience and cooperation in rebuilding their lives”.
Hadiqa previously led the campaign with UNDP to raise awareness about environmental issues.
“We are grateful to Hadiqa for her personal commitment and selfless efforts in helping the disaster-hit communities. She is a wonderful and admirable person and demonstrates a role model for Pakistani youth to follow,” said Toshihiro Tanaka, UNDP Country Director.
“In partnership with UN agencies, NGOs, donors and the Government, we will continue to give support to local and national capacity building in creating more resilient and sustainable society that adapt and mitigate climate change risks through community based disaster risk management and providing sustainable renewable energy.”