Social Behavioural Change Communication (SBCC) Strategies for Community Awareness, Mobilization and Participation for Adoption of Arsenic Free Water Consumption Practices -Pakistan
International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis
Volume 3, Issue 3-1, June 2015, Pages: 56-66
Received: Apr. 15, 2015;
Accepted: Apr. 16, 2015;
Published: May 12, 2015
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Islam-ul-Haque , Chairman Ecological Sustainability through Environmental Protection Services, Islamabad, Pakistan
Munir Khan, Human Resource Development Society (HRDS), Islamabad, Pakistan
Muhammad Shafqat, Human Resource Development Society (HRDS), Islamabad, Pakistan
Shahid Durez, Water and sanitation agency, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
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Arsenic contamination has emerged as a serious public health concern in Pakistan. Arsenic is an emerging serious issue at least in two provinces Punjab and Sindh where about 3% and 16% of water sources are contaminated with levels of arsenic over 50 ppb. The percentage of water sources with concentrations above the WHO level of 10 ppb is 20% and 36% respectively in Punjab and Sindh. Both shallow and deep sources have arsenic contamination and therefore testing of every water sources is necessary. A recent study on prevalence of arsenicosis confirmed presence of 40 cases in the study population giving a prevalence 140/100,00 for established and borderline cases. Keeping in mind its adverse impacts on human health, government with financial support of UNICEF launched various arsenic mitigation programmes and installations of various arsenic removal technologies, i,e household levels water filters, community based arsenic removal tank units and deep boring interventions. Unfortunately, all these interventions proved to be un-sustainable primarily due to devoid of community ownership. Lack of awareness, illiteracy and unfavorable socio-economic conditions make the end users in villages/rural areas, the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of any type of contaminated water. The overall increase in illiteracy rates in Pakistan, particularly in rural environment are the contributing factors which magnifies the mind set of arsenic affected communities to adopt safe drinking water best practices. Hence, there is a dire need to develop a sustainable and effective mechanism for Social & Behavioral Change Communication (SBCC), including the development of communication support materials, within the government structure such as health, education, and social welfare, with the support from print & electronic media and civil society. Though lot of efforts were made yet the current level of awareness cannot be regarded as satisfactory. Thus keeping view the importance of behavioral change communications, comprehensive communication behavioral change strategies, based on Knowledge , Attitude & Practices ( KAP) were evolved and implemented in the arsenic hit areas to ensure community mobilization, participation and ownership which is an important aspect towards post arsenic mitigation projects sustainability.
Behavioral Change Communication, Arsenic Effected Communities, Electronic and Print Media
To cite this article
Social Behavioural Change Communication (SBCC) Strategies for Community Awareness, Mobilization and Participation for Adoption of Arsenic Free Water Consumption Practices -Pakistan, International Journal of Environmental Monitoring and Analysis. Special Issue: Ground Water Arsenic Contamination and Action Plan for Mitigation.
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