Promotion of Social Well-being of Sanitary Workers (PSWSW) in Sindh
Status: On-going Start Date: Jul 2018 End Date: Dec 2019 Geographic Coverage: 2 Districts in Sindh Focus Area: Social Justice SDG Goal: 11 To ensure sustainable cities and communities Implementing Partner: SPO Funding Partner: Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)
SPO with the support of Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC) is currently implementing “Promotion of Social Well-Being of Sanitary Workers (PSWSW)”, a pilot project aiming to improve the well-being of sanitary workers. The project aims to implement Goal 11 which demands to build sustainable cities and communities.
Data suggest that there are 1 to 1.5 sanitary workers per 1,000 populations in major towns of Sindh. Only Karachi city, with a population of 20mn, has close to 11,000 sanitary workers, as the data suggests. While this reflects inadequate access to sanitation for the population of the province, it also highlights the stress on sanitary workers that have to deal with worst unhygienic conditions and health and safety risks in the course of their work. Sanitation workers face a fatality risk that is 10 times higher than workers in all other industries. This misery is compounded by outdated civic infrastructure and poor attention to workplace safety, indignity, discrimination and negative social attitudes, especially against non-Muslim workers.
While there is an understanding for the need to address the issues of the sanitary workers, there has not been much progress in developing a comprehensive plan to steer efforts in this direction.
Identifying the significance of such a measure, Strengthening Participatory Organization, Pakistan in collaboration with the Sindh Human Rights Commission has initiated a pilot project titled: “Promotion of Social Well-Being of Sanitary Workers (PSWSW)”.
The Objectives of PSWSW Programme are:
1. To minimize the social stigmatization associated with sanitary work and lobby with key stakeholders to ameliorate the well- being of sanitary workers in Sindh.
2. To provide sanitary workers the primary awareness on health hazards, importance of using safety kits along with provision of technical support.
The project is informed by a consultative process with sanitary workers around the key issues hampering their wellbeing at work and in general life. Key areas highlighted by these consultations include: Health hazardous, accidental death; absence of safety kits / equipment, job insecurity due to contract based employment, poor implementation of labor laws, poor socio economic conditions, discrimination on the basis of profession, caste, religion, low literacy rate and absence of voice among sanitary workers.