Hygienic sanitation facilities benefiting char people

RANGPUR Availability of hygienic sanitation and safe

drinking water facilities are benefiting thousands of char people living on

the upper Brahmaputra basin.

According to officials and experts, the health condition of char people

has improved following continuous improvement of their hygienic status,

preventing the spread of water-borne diseases.

The success has been achieved following successful implementation of

awareness building activities through GO-NGO collaboration, Chairman of

Rangpur-based research organisation 'Northbengal Institute of Development

Studies' Dr. Syed Samsuzzaman said.

The char people now understand well that sanitary latrine and pure

drinking water are essential preconditions to lead a healthier life free from

water-borne diseases.

Earlier, poor sanitation condition has been blamed for ill-health of char

people of all ages, especially pregnant and lactating mothers, spreading

water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery and jaundice in char

areas even a decade ago.

The char people had been lacking minimum sanitation facilities in the past

in char areas basically sheltering sick mothers and kids, Samsuzzaman said.

Successful implementation of the 12-year-term (2004-2016) comprehensive

Chars Livelihoods Program (CLP) with the assistance of donor agencies and

Government of Bangladesh (GoB) has made valuable contribution in improving

the living standard of people.

The Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives

sponsored implementation of the CLP comprehensive programme, aiming at

improving livelihoods and living standards of char people since 2004 under

adverse climatic situations.

Mamunur Rashid, Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS

Bangladesh, an implementation partner of the CLP, said some five-lakh char

people have access to hygienic sanitation and pure drinking water facilities

in riverine areas.

The CLP-beneficiary char families have set up sanitary latrines and tube

wells on their raised plinths with saved money they earned from various

income generating activities in ten riverine districts.

The beneficiary char households on island chars of Kurigram, Bogra,

Gaibandha, Sirajganj, Jamalpur, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Pabna and

Tangail are enjoying hygienic sanitation and pure drinking water facilities

now, Rashid said.

At the same time, the CLP-beneficiary char households also have easy

access to healthcare services, family planning and their children are now

healthy enough to go to schools with a dream of a brighter future.

Like other char areas, the CLP beneficiary households have achieved

success in many char villages in Rangpur, Kurigram and Gaibandha districts

improving their hygienic sanitation and drinking water facilities.

Talking to BSS, CLP beneficiaries Anjuara and Kobita of Gangachara upazila

in Rangpur said they have improved sanitation conditions freeing them from

waterborne diseases.

Charwomen Aklima Khatun, Sonabhan Begum, Farida Khatun and Shabana Begum of

Roumari upazila in Kurigram said waterborne diseases have been reduced

sharply since they had started using sanitary latrines and safe drinking


Additional Divisional Commissioner (General) Zakir Hossain lauded the

success achieved by char people in ensuring hygienic sanitation and pure

drinking water facilities to attain the SDGs by 2030 and build a healthy and

developed nation by 2041.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)