Grassroots Initiatives to solve Safe Water Crisis in Dacope Upazila of Southwest Coastal Region of Bangladesh  

Title of the project:Grassroots Initiatives to solve Safe Water Crisis in Dacope Upazila of Southwest Coastal Region of Bangladesh  
Project Area:107 villages of Dacope Upazila (sub-district) under Khulna district    
Project Duration:June 2007  December 2010  
Beneficiaries:Poor and marginal peoples’ of deserving 4500 households, 117 elected representatives of LGIs (Union Parishad-UPs) 

Short description of Project:

Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change. Southwest coastal region of Bangladesh has a rich biodiversity, geographical location has given it a brackish water regime of sedimentation, tidal and wind actions of the coastal rivers. Degradation of environment due to adverse impact of climate change and human interventions without considering its ecology, causing reduction of fresh water flow from upstream, obstruction of natural flow of tides, river erosion, silting up of river bed and increase of salinity.

Reason of unavailability of potable water and most of the water from shallow tube-wells contains excessive amounts of toxic metal and chemical. Hence, the problem of safe water As a result, environment and ecology degraded, safe drinking water crisis emerged and People’s lives and livelihoods become vulnerable.

In this context AOSED has taken initiative to ‘ensure the Right of “Safe water for all” through identification of local resources, their sustainable conservation, maintenance and distribution through participatory processes’with the cooperation of SIMAVI, Netherlands.

Objective of the Project:

To ensure the fulfilment of the needs of safe water for 4500 households by repairing and maintain properly with participation of LEBs. Rehabilitation and capacity building on sustainable conservation of existing safe water sources with the participation of local communities, Union Parishads and Civil Society Groups.

Key Activities of the Project:

Development of Database on safe water scenario in Dacope Upazila, Formation of PaaniAdhikar Committee-PAC (Water Rights Committee), Skill and capacity development for Grassroots Initiative, Awareness and Media Campaign, PromoteHardware support, Local resource mobilization,Developing Peoples’ Proposals and policy advocacy.

Achievement:

  • People have become organizedthrough 101PaniAdhikar Committees (PAC) of wards, union, Upazila and district level and enhanced their knowledge and capacity to conserve safe water resources,  conduct social mobilization and advocacy, and local resources mobilization.
  • Developed a participatory management system of water points;
  • Workload has been reduced to around 2352 household for water collection;
  • Political parties and allies have become unanimous regarding the safe water issue;
  • Legal action has been initiated by the government to prohibit leasing out and illegal occupation of water bodies;
  • Reduced commercial shrimp farming in saline waterby 80% in Dacope Upazila
  • Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) and relevant Govt. agencies become more sensitized  to addressing the safe water issue;

The project has gained justification for expanding into the wider coastal region

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