Arsenic-free Safe Drinking Water for Schools and Hospitals in Climate vulnerable Khulna areas

Funded byDeutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Project budget 
Project duration 2017 – 2019
Project area4 Upazilas from Khulna, Meherpur and Pirojpur District

PROJECT BACKGROUND

Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world due to its geographical location and natural calamities. According to the estimate of Asian development bank (ADB) in April 2016, out of total 15790 million people of Bangladesh 31.5% lives below national poverty line. The available of safe drinking water, particularly in Bangladesh’s hard to reach areas, is expected to worsen as the country experiences the effects of climate change.

According to study by the world bank’s water and sanitation program, about 28 million Bangladesh or just over 20% of the population, are living in harsh conditions in the “hard-to-reach” that make up a quarter of the country’s landmass. People living in hard-to-reach areas are often vulnerable to natural calamities like flooding, riverbank erosion. As a result of climate change, salinity in Bangladesh’s coastal areas has increased a great deal, causing a lack of sweet water. Woman in costal and hoar areas has now reached over 20 parts per thousand, but the human body can only tolerate five parts per thousand.

The southwestern coastal region (Khulna, Satkhira and Bagerhat district) has been identified as the most climate induced, hazard-prone, hard-to-reach area of Bangladesh which is facing extreme difficult in accessing safe drinking water. The ground water of these areas in unsuitable for human consumption due to high salinity, where in place neither ground nor surface water is saline-free.

Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with more than 1000 people per square kilometer. Three quarters of the population live in rural areas, where running water and sanitary latrines are often considered luxury item. Access to save drinking water is limited due to wide-spread arsenic contaminated in millions of privately installed tube-well.

Some schools do not have latrines available for student to use. Those that do often lack the resource and awareness to keep them clean. Menstrual hygiene is problem for many adolescent girl and woman, who lack the privacy to properly wash and dry menstrual rags. In some rural areas, superstition and tradition means that rags are dried in the dark, away from meal view. Hygiene awareness and knowledge of the links between poor hygiene and disease are lowest among the typically poorly-educated slum dwellers.

‘Arsenic-free Safe Drinking Water for School and Hospitals in Climate Vulnerable Khulna areas” project is intended to ensure arsenic free drinking water for school and hospitals in Khulna area where the technical support provided by Harbauer India through water ATM installation. This initiative will contribute as an integral part to improve the living environment of the rural people through enhancing facilities of safe drinking water supply and proper hygiene practices.

DESCRIPTION OF BENEFICIARIES

1000 students from 5 schools and 1000 households from 4 Upazilas from Khulna, Meherpur and Pirojpur District will be the direct beneficiaries of the project make a total of 5500 will be the direct beneficiaries of the project.

OBJECTIVE

To increase the access to safe drinking water supply facilities in five villages and five rural schools through ensuring proper use and operation of five Water Bank treatment plants.

Supportive Objectives

  • To increase the access to safe drinking water supply in rural schools and villages of the project area through ensuring proper use and operation of 5 (five) water bank plant.
  • To enhance the knowledge and capacity of villagers and students to optimum use and safe storage of drinking water, proper hygienic practices especially among adolescent girls and students.

To develop participatory safe drinking water supply management and maintenance mechanism.

KEY ACTIVITIES OF THE PROJECT

Community Development: Major activities under this component of the project were group formation with community people in the project area, facilitator groups formation who are responsible for conducting courtyard sessions and classroom sessions, and formation of Water ATM Maintenance and Management Committee (WAMMC). AOSED always plans and implements its projects in community development approach in order to bring all the stakeholders under a common platform and disseminate a common message to them.

The group members were later coming to know about the safe drinking water issue, health hygiene practices, roles and responsibilities of WAMMC members to ensure the sustainability of Water ATM, planning and executing plans, relevant trainings etc. were some notable the parts of community development.   

Capacity Development: In order to achieve the intended outcome of the project which is to make the beneficiaries aware about the importance of using safe water in their daily lives, we have taken initiative to conduct courtyard sessions with community people and classroom sessions with school student on the said topics. For this, the facilitator groups were formed and trained so that they can efficiently conduct the sessions with the targeted beneficiaries.

Besides, AOSED arranged a learning tour in India for WAMMC members to demonstrate a first-hand experience of successful example of Water ATM maintenance and management.

Awareness campaign: Through conducting classroom and courtyard sessions, interactive popular theatre (drama shows), booklets on health hygiene, day observation (National Sanitation Month, World Water Day etc.), School Water Knowledge, and publishing case study and best practices, AOSED have strived to aware people on safe drinking water, health hygiene practices and other relevant topics.

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