Best practice on participatory water point management in Radhakantpur, Meherpur

In recent years, groundwater-based water supply in this part has been experiencing various significant issues, principally arsenic contamination, getting down of the water level, salinity, and unavailability of reasonable aquifers. Arsenic and saline contamination make it difficult for supplying potable water to the underprivileged people of Bangladesh. To reduce the scarcity of safe drinking water in this (Radhakantpur) area, there have been several interventions by government and non-government organizations in this region. But due to inadequate maintenance and management and lack of sense of ownership of the users, most of the water technologies are out of order now.

In this context, the `Arsenic-free Safe Drinking-Water for Schools and Hospitals in Climate vulnerable Khulna areas` project was implemented.

For the mitigation of the severity of arsenic, the government and NGOs have established several Pond Sand Filters, Bio Sand Filters, and Reverse Osmosis-based water plants at the community level. The people of Radhakantpur are one of the villages of  Meherpur district were initially benefited from these water plants as they were getting safe drinking water free of cost. The sense of ownership regarding the management of the water plants has not developed among the people. In the process of implementing the project, AOSED`s prime intention was to develop a community-driven maintenance and management mechanism for the sustainability of the Water ATM installed in Radhakantpur Govt. primary school. To develop this mechanism, Water ATM Maintenance and Management Committee (WAMMC) has been formed with the participation of community people and the members of the School Management Committee (SMC) as the Water ATM is installed in the school premises. To solve this issue, AOSED under this project has organized several sharing meetings with the community people and WAMMC where the management committee has discussed how the fees from the community will contribute to sustaining the Water ATM. The demand from the community people was to get the drinking water at their doorstep.

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