Energy Globe Award 2021

Amidst the backdrop of environmental challenges in Bangladesh's southern regions, AOSED stood tall as a beacon of hope, clinching the prestigious Energy Globe Award in 2021 for their groundbreaking project, "Arsenic-free Safe Drinking Water for Schools and Hospitals in Climate Vulnerable Khulna areas." In collaboration with GIZ Bangladesh, AOSED addressed the pressing issue of drinking water scarcity in the Khulna region, where groundwater-based water supply faced a multitude of challenges, including arsenic contamination, declining water levels, salinity, and the unavailability of suitable aquifers. The situation was particularly dire in the Rupsha Upazila under Khulna district, Meherpur, and Pirojpur district where alarming levels of arsenic in drinking water posed a severe health threat to the local population. The project focused on implementing sustainable and community-driven solutions to ensure the availability of safe drinking water. The geographical constraints, such as limited land for water technology installations and the absence of freshwater aquifers at reasonable depths, required innovative and adaptive approaches. Recognizing the inadequacy of previous interventions due to insufficient maintenance, management, and user ownership, AOSED implemented a comprehensive strategy to address these issues. Their efforts extended beyond the installation of Water ATMs in educational institutions and hospitals, the key innovation lay in establishing a self-sufficient community-driven mechanism to ensure the sustainability of these technologies. The challenges were complex, with industrialization exacerbating environmental imbalances, particularly in the Rupsha Upazila. Large-scale shrimp farming and salt manufacturing were limiting open water bodies for daily use, forcing locals to rely on water contaminated with toxic chemicals and metals from the industries. In the face of such adversities, AOSED's project emerged as a beacon of hope, providing arsenic-free safe drinking water to schools and hospitals in the climate-vulnerable Khulna areas. The community-driven approach, combined with innovative technologies and a commitment to sustainability, distinguished AOSED as a national champion in Bangladesh, earning them the esteemed Energy Globe Award in 2021. Their success not only alleviated the immediate water crisis but also set a precedent for effective, community-centric environmental solutions in the face of climate challenges.