This is supplemented by the provision of material and technical assistance, and construction management services for rural and urban areas.
AKPBS has developed a number of flagship programmes; the Water and Sanitation Extension Programme (WASEP); the Building and Construction Improvement Programme (BACIP); and the Habitat Risk Management Programme (HRMP).
WASEP was initiated in 1997 with an aim to provide integrated water supply infrastructure services and to help prevent water-related diseases through improved hygiene and sanitation practices for local communities in the high mountain regions of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral, as well as the coastal lying areas of Sind. Approximately 80 to 85 percent of the population in these areas do not have access to potable water and 60 percent of the population collects water from open channels, often requiring a walk of up to three kilometers several times a day. Women and children are responsible for collecting water for domestic needs, which can be time- and energy-intensive, drawing children away from studies and women from their household chores and other income-generating activities.
In 2003, WASEP was identified as a best practice by the WHO; subsequently in 2005, WASEP was named the winner of the prestigious Alcan Prize for Sustainability by the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum; awarded the Dubai International Award for Best Practices in 2009 for the transfer of community based water and sanitation technologies along with health and hygiene education; and awarded the National Energy Globe Award in 2010 for efficient water supply and eco-sanitation.
AKPBS,P’s Building and Construction Improvement Programme (BACIP) was set up in 1997 as a sustainable model for reducing the pace of deforestation and CO2 emissions in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral; reducing the incidence of diseases caused by indoor air pollution and improving the living conditions of target communities by reducing their economic burden through the development and supply of energy efficient and home improvement products and technologies.
As a direct consequence, BACIP also aimed to improve the health, and quality of life of these communities. BACIP has developed and tested over 60 products and technologies to improve living conditions and indoor environment in rural and urban areas. BACIP’s life cycle approach to household energy efficiency, market development and entrepreneurship have been recognised by local communities, public sector organisations, donors and international agencies alike, for having a visible impact on the lives of the community in terms of economic benefits, social improvement, and environmental conservation.
Over 70 different interventions have been developed. For its programmatic approach and application in contributing to improved socio-economic and environmental condition of local population in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral, AKPBS,P has received numerous accolades for BACIP, including the UN-HABITAT World Habitat Award in 2006; Energy Globe Award in 2008; PCIA Global Leadership Award; and the prestigious Ashden Award in 2011 for avoiding deforestation. BACIP has also been recognised by the United Nations Development Programme as a Best Practice.
In order to specifically address the issues related to habitat risk, the organisation initiated a comprehensive Habitat Risk Management Programme through a wide range consultation with stakeholders from all levels, particularly with communities at risk, with the ultimate goal of promoting sustainable communities through enhanced resilience and coping capacity in dealing with natural hazards. HRMP was initiated to create public awareness and develop affordable technologies to construct safe and disaster-resistant buildings (houses, schools and hospitals) for rural and urban areas.
AKPBS,P also contributes to relief and early recovery efforts following natural disasters. Relief efforts include the provision of temporary shelters, water supply and sanitation facilities, and skills development for affected communities and villages. A comprehensive reconstruction programme encompassing permanent seismic resistant housing, environmental health, community capacity building, and livelihood opportunities is underway in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral to assist flood and earthquake affected populations.