Talk About Shit at Global Phlantropy Forum – Sanitation for all

 Here are few of the notes from my talk about Sanitation for all at Global Philantropy Forum 2014 2014 in Redwood City, USA.

Digitizing the Sanitation

Sanitation is one of the least talked about topic in today’s world and especially in places where poor sanitation is one of the biggest challenge. Probably, one of the reason to this is if sewerage network is underground – it is hidden- and if this is above the grounds – it affects the senses to get rid of this challenge.

But i am here to bring another perspective. We correlate sanitation with slums and villages — but the situation on ground is different. the world’s mega cities in developing countries lives in cities s do not have  adequate sanitation infrastructure. it means  and more than half of the people living in these cities do not have access to proper sewerage network.

Take the example of Delhi in India– The second largest city in the world – 45% of the Delhi is not connected to the  sewerage system. connected to proper sanitation. Rawalpindi, the fourth largest city in Pakistan – 70% of the city did not have any sanitation network in 2004. Still after ten years the situation remains same. the city has no sewage treatment plant. The result is that 85% of the water is not safe for drinking. More than 30% of the deaths are caused directly due to contaminated water.

37% of the India is connected to a piped sewer system.

What does poor sanitation means. It means diseases – that can be avoided. — it means really poor quality of life – worst of all it means – no dignity in life in the millions of people.

I have spent some time in Rawalpindi – where my project SaafPindi was born. In addition to the extreme poor living conditions – smell- insects –   – all the food is prepared / sold /  directly above open drains.  More than 65

Poor sanitation creates two havocs.

1. Diseases – very high death rates and water crisis.
2- The existing water you have becomes un-safe for drinking. And the additional water you get through rains is completely wasted and drained into to sewage drains.

Citizens and Government are the two stakeholders of this problem. The citizens and market conditions have led to the scenario – that we call Africa is mobile first – Villages are becoming motor cycles first – cities are becoming cars first – but we have not adopted the

Same lies with the Governments – If we go through Governments budgets a negligible amount is spent on sanitation and power infrastructures. for commuter science this makes a perfect exercise to build a search engine to search it from budget documents. The Government have recognized – clean water a basic right –  in my view basic rights means go and get it yourself.

The solution is —  4 way.

A strong demand from citizens for proper sanitation.
A Governments agenda to move ahead from wonderful written documents and reports and actually start spending on improving sanitation.
A market approach where – solutions and tools to solve the sanitation are traded. And measuring the sanitation in some quantitive terms and move away from qualitative terms. This is where digitized open data of sanitation is important and we in Pakistan work in this direction in Pakistan.


Moved to blogger…

The standard version of the wordpress is too basic to use. I found out this, as I wanted to use advanced features like uploading videos etc. So, look for latest updates at

The additional information about myself is at

LinkedIn Profile:
TED Fellows Program: TED Fellows Program
Profile at TED: TED Profile
Company Blog:

Journey Towards TED. Islamabad to LA..

After a lot of preparation to travel, and winding up of work days it started a journey towards attending the TED conference on 28th Jan, 2008.

I started my journey from Islamabad leaving behind my 4 years old daughter who will remain sad through these 25 days while I am away.

Islamabad air port is one of the air ports where internet is free in very well designed public kiosks. Wifi was also available but i did not test it. Just checked emails and connected with a few TED attendees in 2 hours of waiting time in the lounge.

Border between India and Pakistan…

While entering India from Lahore you can see from airoplane lights on the boarder bar between India and Pakistan in the night. Its nothing straight line. So are the relations between the two neighbors. The border line is the right physical representation of the relations between the two countries.

Street Lights…

At around 5:00 in the morning while passing over Thailand, you see a wonderful view down with beautiful roads with all street lights lid up. Something missing in our country where electricity and good public infrastructure is a rarity to be found and this public facility is only available to only the streets going to power houses of the country.


Patrajaya airport is a long and big, but you can see very few people managing all the stuff. Everything is automated. Thai people have learned how the things work with minimum human interaction, and this is the secret of the success. This is why everyone wanting to visit Asia starts from Thailand. This is how they showed minutes by minutes accuracy. Flight departures a few minutes before the scheduled time and arrived a few minutes before. I am surprised because this is first time happening with me on travel.

Arrival in LA..

We landed on LA airport at 7:15 pm local time. This is really a city of lights and wonders. I have heard horrible stories of immigration to USA. But the immigration staff was so friendly and nice that wanted me to not worry at all at any stage.

The nice immigration guy says good bye to me and adds go go go.. enjoy enjoy. go to Los Vegas…

The Start of Change. TED fellowship

TED is all about Technology, Entertainment, Design described by the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives.

For me this is not just attending a conference, visiting a country or meeting people but its a complete change of my life, thoughts and future actions. The story starting now will cover the change in myself.