ISLAMABAD - Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA) has successfully completed 40,000 rain harvesting schemes in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with a cost of Rs 550 million.

Project Director Syed Zaheer Hussain Gardeizi submitted project completion details in recently held weekly progress meeting chaired by Deputy Chairman ERRA Maj Gen Azeem Asif here at ERRA headquarters.

Sharing the details in the meeting Syed Zaheer Gardeizi said that October 8, 2005 earthquake not only killed thousands of people but also damaged houses, infrastructure including 4700 water supply schemes, said a press release.

He said that ERRA water and sanitation directorate reconstructed and rehabilitated all damaged water and sanitation schemes well in time benefiting more than 2.7 million people of AJK and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa earthquake affected areas.

He said rainwater harvesting project was completed in 20 union councils of earthquake affected districts and installed 40,000 systems at vulnerable houses and public buildings. The prime objective was to lessen miseries of the womenfolk whose precious time consumed for fetching water from the meadows, was also injurious for their health, he added. He informed the meeting that first ever rooftop rainwater harvesting projects in public sector of Pakistan has not only improved the livelihood but also their health. After earthquake, ERRA initiated this project for conserving water for household for daily use and flora and fauna.

About the strategy, he apprised the meeting that more than 3000 local volunteers were trained to install the rainwater harvesting system.  In this regard awareness campaign also carried out to motivate inhabitants of the hilly area to alleviate their miseries.Gardeizi said that taking the precedence of ERRA the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has principally approved to launch similar projects in Galiyat Development Authority areas with technical assistance of ERRA.

In his concluding remarks Deputy Chairman ERRA eulogized the commitment, dedication to complete this project which brings relief for hilly areas families.

It is encouraging that womenfolk who consumed almost six hours for fetching water have been now relieved off from this depression.