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Edotco, BRAC collaborates to ensure safe drinking water in Maheshkhali

An integrated telecommunications infrastructure services company, edotco Bangladesh, in collaboration with the country’s largest non-government organization- BRAC, has inaugurated reverse osmosis (RO) based water treatment plants in Maheshkhali recently.

The water treatment plants was installed to provide safe drinking water to over thousand families of the underprivileged community of the remote areas in Maheshkhali, said a press release.

During the virtual inauguration Country Managing Director of edotco Bangladesh, Ricky Steyn, BTRC Vice Chairman, Subrata Roy MAITRA, and Md Akramul Islam, Director of BRAC’s Communicable Diseases and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme were present among others.

Inhabitants in Maheshkhali, a distant island of Cox’s Bazar District, mostly rely on shallow wells, ponds, and streams, which are often contaminated both biologically and chemically beyond human consumption.

Water supply from these sources is also shrinking due to the constant intrusion of the saltine. This has made the lives of the lowest income groups difficult, especially the women and children, as they spend 4 – 5 hours a day fetching water from distant sources.

This task causes the women to lose out on productive opportunities while children forgo educational opportunities. These groups also suffer significantly from waterborne diseases due to use of unsafe water for human consumption which impact the high cost of health care due to illness. Waterborne diseases are widespread in this island, which fuels rapid transmission of gastrointestinal pathogens that can have disastrous impact on health and nutrition.

As a part of edotco’s social commitment to improving the livelihoods of the community, especially to the underprivileged community near the tower sites, edotco has installed two plants/projects in Uttor Meheriapara Jame Mosque and Kutubjom Model High School in Maheshkhali, impacting the lives of about 1000 poor and ultra-poor households under the Tower to Community (T2C) CSR initiative. To eliminate the scarcity of safe drinking water and improve the health of the community people, the project ensures the sustainable provision of safe drinking water for free or at a subsidized rate.

This partnership with BRAC WASH Programme will help eliminate the long inequities in water supply service provision in remote areas and raise awareness on using safe water and hand-washing, including COVID – 19 messages.

In this connection, Ricky Steyn, Country Managing Director of edocto Bangladesh said, “As a socially responsible company, edotco underscores the importance of such initiatives in remote areas of the country. Access to safe drinking water is a basic human right and it must be ensured to attain the country’s commitment to achieve SDG 6, supply of safe drinking water for all. We believe this partnership project with BRAC will allow us to ensure a significant impact in improving the health of the local community people specially the women and children.”

Md Akramul Islam, Director of BRAC’s Communicable Diseases and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme said “In an effort to ensure the welfare of communities in Moheshkhali, Coxs Bazaar, we have established facilities for the provision of safe drinking water, which will especially benefit the women and girls. We are thankful to edotco for joining our efforts to reach out to the people of these communities where water scarcity is acute. This initiative will help many families stay protected from water borne diseases but also from the havoc of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

Sharing experience, a beneficiary, Sufia khatun, mother of two children, said, “Before these water plants, we had no viable source of safe drinkable water. Life was hard. Like me, many women used to walk several hours every day to meet the daily necessities for their families. Despite this, our children and family members were prone to get affected by other diseases, including stomach ailments, frequently. We are grateful to edotco and BRAC’s joint initiative for making our lives easier.”

Source: United News of Bangladesh