1.73 lakh drought-hit people to get water supply in Barind

Around 1.73 lakh people and the poor and

marginalized ones in particular will be brought under safe drinking water

supply coverage for improving their livelihood condition in the drought-prone

Barind area.

To this end, Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) has started

implementing a project with an estimated cost of around Taka 32.19 crore,

said Abujar Masudar Rahman, Superintending Engineer of DPHE and Director of

the project.

The three-year project titled Community-based Water Supply in Lower

Underground Water-level Areas in Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj

districts will be implemented in 59 Unions under 12 Upazilas of the three

districts.

Main objective of the project is to ensure supply of safe water for both

drinking and other household purposes to the people residing in the project

covering areas where acute crisis of drinking water exists.

A total of 865 submersible pumps will be installed in all the project-

covering areas to bring 34,600 households under the water supply coverage by

around June, 2021.

Platform with overhead tank will be attached to each of the submersible

pumps. There will eight points in each of the tanks. At least five families

will get water supply from each of the points through pvc pipelines.

The beneficiary people will be given responsibility of proper maintenance and

function of the infrastructures routinely.

Engineer Rahman said the initiative has been taken to maintain round-the-

year drinking water supply to the poor and vulnerable villagers, where, power

supply is available.

He added that 850 of the pumps will be operated by electricity. Solar

panels will be installed to operate 50 other pumps in the villages remain

beyond power supply network.

Ataur Rahman, Chairman of Badhair Union Parishad under Tanore Upazila,

said there is a shortage of drinking water in the region during dry season

and the problem has become acute for the last couple of years.

The existing shallow water technologies become ineffective currently and

demand for deep tube-wells has increased in the area due to rapid decline of

groundwater level along with arsenic contamination in shallow aquifer in many

areas.

He said villagers cannot withdraw groundwater as the water level goes down

abnormally during every dry season.

Professor Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan of Department of Geology and Mining in

Rajshahi University said the existing adverse impact of climate change is

putting local people into trouble since the hand-driven tube-wells are not

functioning here in dry season.

The changed climatic condition has been posing a serious threat to the

overall public health in the vast Barind tract, especially Tanore and

Godagari upazilas in Rajshahi, Nachole and Gomostapur upazilas in

Chapainawabganj and Porsha, Shapahar and Niamatpur upazilas in Naogaon

districts.

Prof Sarwar Jahan, however, said the scheme will play vital role to

improve health condition of the beneficiary population through expansion and

development of the community-based water supply system that will supplement

the government efforts of achieving the sustainable development goals.

Tanore Upazila Chairman Lutfor Haider Rashid said the water-deprived poor

and underprivileged communities in the drought-hit area will get safe

drinking water privileges with the project intervention.

He added that the initiatives will contribute a lot to reduce the acute

crisis of drinking water in the drought-prone Barind area.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)