Athletic

BMDA implements Tk 47.44-cr dug-well project

The Barind Multipurpose Development

Authority (BMDA) has been implementing a dug-well promotion project since

July 2016 for boosting surface water use for soft irrigation and safe

drinking in the high Barind tract.

At the preliminary stage, the four-year project titled Extension

Excavation of Dug-well in Barind Area for Cultivation of Crops by Soft

Irrigation is being implemented in Chapainawabganj and Naogaon districts

with an estimated cost of Taka 47.44 crore.

Ultimate goal of the scheme is to reduce excessive use of groundwater and

develop an agro-ecological balance for addressing the adverse impact of

climate change in the project area.

BMDA Executive Director Engineer Abdur Rashid said the project intends to

bring 1,350 hectares of land in 197 villages under vegetable and crop farming

through providing soft-irrigation.

It will also provide safe-drinking water to 33,750 households. The project

has provisions of providing training to 2250 farmers on how to use and

promote soft-irrigation.

To attain the cherished goal of the project, excavation of 450 dug-wells

is progressing fast side by side with installation of an equal number of

solar power panels and construction of 1.5-inch diameter pipeline.

As per directions of the agriculture minister, the BMDA has been

commissioning dug-wells in various areas where there is no access of deep

tube-well, said Engineer Rashid.

Moreover, solar pumps are being used to fetch water from those dug wells.

As a result, farmers' families have started getting water easily for the

purpose of their limited irrigation and house hold uses.

He also said 170 dug-wells have already been sunk and 140 of those have

been connected with solar pumps till June last.

The same solar panels are being used for operating pumps and lighting the

pump house areas and as a funnel for harvesting rain water which is also

recharging subterranean water level.

He expressed the hope that the environment friendly dug-wells will soon

spread the entire northern region and save the farmers as well as

environment.

He said an acute water crisis exists in the vast Barind tract resulting in

the untold sufferings of the poor and other marginalised communities.

Hamidul Haque, a farmer of Sihara area under Patnitola upazila, said

although there are some ponds and ditches in the area, water of those are

unfit for use and due to rugged underground soil pattern, no deep or shallow

tubewell could be installed there.

They were facing severe water crisis for decades but by dint of sinking a

dug-well in the area, 12 to 13 families are getting their daily drinking

water and also cultivating crops and vegetables with the same water.

Faridul Islam, another farmer of Lelengaha area of Porsha upazila, said

they were suffering from water crisis for decades but now they're having a

dug-well, their sufferings has abated somehow. He demanded commissioning of

more dug-wells in the area.

Ataur Rahman, chairman of Badhair Union Parishad under Tanore upazila, said

lifting underground water through deep tube-wells is becoming tougher day by

day. Options for surface water are also very limited.

Thousands of hand-driven tube wells remain lying out of use every dry

season due to the fall of the water level in the area. Millions of people in

the dried up areas are now dependent on deep tube-wells for drinking water,

though large numbers of hand-driven tube-wells were installed.

So, extension of dug-well technology and its proper uses can be the vital

means of mitigating the crises of water as the role of dug-well is important

in lessening the gradually mounting pressure on groundwater in the drought-

prone area.

Upon successful implementation by July 2020, the project will help

developing agro-ecological balance in its commanding area, Engineer Rashid

expected.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)