Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) spans a region of some 72,496 square kilometres of northern Pakistan. The area also serves as the principal water catchment for the Indus River. The region supports some 870,347 people of which, 453,221 are men and 417,126 are women (1998 Census) living in approximately 831 villages, which are administratively divided into 105 union councils, 24 tehsils and ten districts. More than 85% of the population lives in rural areas and less than 15% lives in urban areas as per current demography.
The Local Government and Rural Development Department Gilgit-Baltistan is accountable for planning and implementation of programmes for socio-economic uplift and development of rural infrastructure. Principally the Local Government & Rural Development Department Gilgit-Baltistan focus on provision of adequate access and availability of safe drinking water and improved sanitation to the Rural Communities of Gilgit-Baltistan on an equitable manner, health, and hygiene conditions, construction of rural infrastructure such as link-roads, footpaths, bridges, pony-tracks and buildings, identification, planning and utilization of local resources, awareness raising campaigns, organization of communities and local councils etc.
Currently, a number of projects are underway with the assistance of Government of Gilgit-Baltistan, Government of Pakistan and international agencies/donors e.g. UNICEF, KOICA, etc. For the effective implementation of rural infrastructure, Local Government and Rural Development Department has adopted participatory approaches. The beneficiary communities are involved in identification, planning, implementation and most significantly in O&M of the completed schemes. Social Development is part of all infrastructure development activities,
The Department’s vision is to provide basic facilities in Rural as well as Peri-Urban areas. The Rural area is mostly hilly and mountainous and population is scattered. The facilities provided by the LG&RD Department relates to the provision of adequate access and availability of safe drinking water and improved sanitation to the Rural Communities of Gilgit-Baltistan on an equitable manner, health, and hygiene conditions, construction of rural infrastructure,
Poverty reduction, good health and the improvement of socioeconomic conditions. The Local Government and Rural Development Department has sound background & enrich experience in working with the rural communities. The Department is working since 1956 with communities and the lesson learnt from previous experience is, that without involving communities in Planning and decision making process sustainable development could not be achieved as result oriented.
To enable communities to organize into Urban Councils & facilitate the formation & execution of integrated development plans, utilizing local & other resources to achieve prosperity/well-being.
The core objective of the LG & RD Department Gilgit-Baltistan is to improve the quality of life of rural masses by improving the rural economy and living conditions of the villagers by initiating various ambitious development programs.