First Distribution in Pakistan of Personal Protection Equipment Kits for Sanitary Workers of MCI and Rescue 1122 Personnel

Date:   Thursday May 21, 2020

Venue: F-7 Cricket Ground Islamabad, near Flower Market, Jinnah Super

Interfaith League Against Poverty (I-LAP), a national civil society organization, carried out the first ever distribution of Personal Protection Equipment Kits for Sanitary Workers in Pakistan on Thursday May 21, 2020 in Islamabad. The distribution was carried out for the sanitary workers of the Municipal Corporation Islamabad and Rescue 1122 Personnel. The 1000 PPE kits comprised coveralls (washable), rubber gloves, heavy duty rubber boots, goggles, masks and helmets.

Speaking on the occasion Chairman I-LAP Sajid Ishaq said that Pakistan is undergoing a severe threat of Coronavirus where over thirty thousand people have tested positive. He said that we are fighting against an invisible enemy however if each one of us takes care of himself as well as of others by following the directives of WHO on hygiene and social distancing, we can certainly defeat this pandemic from creating further havoc in Pakistan. He said that we salute and hold in high esteem our Frontline Heroes such as doctors, paramedics, sanitary workers and civil society organizations that are reaching out to provide assistance during the pandemic.

Chairman Sajid Ishaq said that the Sanitary Workers are doing a tremendous job of working in highly volatile conditions where they collect hospital waste as well as solid waste around the cities during the pandemic which makes them susceptible to contracting coronavirus. He said that it was distressing that these Sanitary Workers have been working day and night in such dire conditions without any Personal Protection Equipment. He further said that he was grateful to the Supreme Court of Pakistan for recognizing the importance of PPE kits for the Sanitary Workers in Pakistan.

Nazia Ansari, Executive Director I-LAP, thanked the partners for their generous assistance which made the distribution of PPE Kits possible. She said that I-LAP would endeavor to continue working in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office, CDA and MCI for providing relief to the residents of slum areas. She said that I-LAP has in its pipeline to start a Cash-for-Work Project in the 11 main slum areas of Islamabad and other smaller settlements for engaging slum dwellers for cleaning their colonies by removing the solid waste from the water channels and alleys.

She also stressed on the need to provide COVID-19 Hygiene Training to slum dwellers of Islamabad as they live in extremely densely populated colonies. She said that by ignoring the importance of cleanliness and disinfection of slum areas we have overlooked the fact that the residents of posh areas of Islamabad cannot do without the services that these people provide for the city be it in the shape of paramedics, janitors, house maids, beauty parlour workers, drivers, plumbers, electricians, etc. She emphasized on the fact that these workers can play a major role in spreading the Coronavirus to residents of posh sectors, hospitals and commercial areas.

The Mayor of Islamabad Sheikh Ansar Aziz commended the efforts of I-LAP in providing the much needed PPE Kits for the Sanitary Workers. He assured I-LAP of continuous support of the Mayor’s Office in all future endeavors of I-LAP.

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