WaterAid Pakistan



Region: South Asia

Country: Pakistan

Value: USD 7,853

Start Date: 2020-05-15

End Date: 2020-06-09


Team Members

Nasir Ali
(Assignment Coordinator)
Ameera Ehtisham
(Team Leader)

Project Description

During the situation of COVID-19 pandemic, one of the categories of workers covered under essential services is sanitation workers (dealing with fecal sludge; toilets, waste management, cleaners), whose role and job it is to keep towns and cities clean, especially during this pandemic. As WaterAid, it is important that the human rights of the workers who provide hygiene and are an important part of the delivery on safe sanitation are protected in terms of their health, safety, conditions for decent jobs, and required access to knowledge and information, especially during a pandemic.

In this backdrop, WaterAid hired services of APEX to conduct Rapid Assessment of Measures on the Safety of Sanitation and Waster Workers for Containment of COVID-19 in Pakistan. This study is intended as a rapid assessment of the situation sanitation and waste workers face given the COVID-19 pandemic in the South Asia region. The objective of the research is "to understand the knowledge, practices, and concerns of sanitation and waste workers regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on the risk of contagion" and "to find out the gaps and come up with recommendations to improve the health and safety of sanitation and waste workers during the pandemic".

Services provided by APEX

To assess the knowledge, practices, and perspectives of sanitation workers and solid waste collectors about COVID-19 pandemic a survey was carried out by APEX Consulting Pakistan in Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJ&K), and Gilgit Baltistan (GB). The research was initiated in May 2020 in all provinces of Pakistan. Information was collected from solid waste collectors, sanitation workers (employed at homes, private offices, and public department), and solid waste collectors at healthcare facilities. A total of 56 Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) were conducted with the first and second category of respondents, seven In-depth Interviews (IDIs) were conducted with solid waste collectors at healthcare facilities that are involved in COVID-19 testing and/or treatment, and 03 case studies were generated from the data to build a strong narrative around grassroots voices. The qualitative data analysis was carried out using the Pell Institute Evaluation Toolkit - Qualitative Data Analysis Approach. At the end of the research, assignment APEX delivered a detailed report on the current situation of sanitation workers, their knowledge and practices regarding hygiene management, and facilities available at the workplace to cope with the threat of being contagious with coronavirus.