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Comilla faces pure drinking water shortage

COMILLA, June 8: Due to arsenic contamination of groundwater, the people of five upazilas of the district are facing an acute crisis of pure drinking water, reports BSS.The ground water in the upazilas of Muradnagar, Chandina, Debidwar, Homna and Daudkandi has been contaminated beyond safe level forcing the people of the areas to survive on alternative sources.

Of the total 13 upazilas of the district, 12 were identified as the arsenic prone areas. Most of the tubewells, including deep tubewells in the areas were sealed as arsenic was detected in their water beyond the tolerable limit of human consumption. According to available statistics, as many as 350 people have been suffering from various complications in the district due to the arsenic poisoning. Different NGOs and offices of the government have been trying to provide pure drinking water to the affected people through different programmes. But, the efforts are inadequate against the requirement, said villagers while talking to BSS correspondent at village Putia under Daudkhandi upazila.

While visiting different projects in the district undertaken by local NGOs with the financial support of NGo Forum recently, this correspondent found that Centre for Community Development Assistance (CCDA), a local NGO is providing pure drinking water to the people through its BTU (Bucket Treatment Unit) and RWHT (Rain Water Harvesting Treatment).

The CCDA has so far distributed 200 buckets among 600 families in Nagarpur, Kaliganj, Putia, Adampur and Tampa villages and constructed 31 RWHT plants so far to ensure arsenic free pure drinking water to the villagers. Asked about the success of the programmes, Mr. Samad, Director of CCDA, said these programmes are very much scientific and we can get arsenic free pure drinking waters by applying the methods of BTU and RWHT plants.

He said the monetary involvement in the BTU and project is very minimum as we need only two buckets and some medicine, which are being supplied by CCDA for the purpose. ‘The awareness of the people is very much important in this regard as people are not conscious enough about arsenic contaminated water’ he said adding that some NGOs along with the government have undertaken massive programmes to make people conscious about arsenic poisoning.

Elaborating the CCDA programme, Mr. Samad said that they are going to set up ‘Community Managed Water Supply Scheme’ at a cost of Tk about four lakh at Putia in Daudkhandi upazila. (BSS)

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Rain water harvesting plant gaining ground in Barisal

from Our Correspondent

BARISAL, June 8: Rain water Harvesting Plant (RWHP) and Pond Sand Filter (PSF) plant are gaining ground all over the remote areas of Barisal region in recent times.

The people of the coastal areas amid fear of arsenic contamination in tubewells water across the country are resorting to these two systems to get supply of pure drinking water. The number of people for the two systems are increasing day by day. About 10,000 people of 1,524 families have already availed of benefits from these two systems. NGO Forum, a water and sanitation based non-government organisation has installed 24 PSFs at a cost of Tk 7,20,000 in the areas of six upazilas of Barisal region.

The upazilas are Nazirpur, Uzirpur, Mehdiganj, Babuganj and Agailjhara in Barisal district, Pathergatha in Barguna district and Mothbaria in Pirojpur district. The NGO itself has borne 80 per cent of expense and the rest 20 per cent money has been collected from the members of 1246 families, who are now using pure drinking water.

The setting up of Pond Sand Filter (PSF)is easy. The upper compartment of a tank having two compartments connected to each other is filled with bricks and sands. Water from the pond is poured into the upper compartment. The water getting filtered there falls into the lower compartment from where it is collected through taps. Within a period of short time, the NGO Forum has set up a total of 151 Rain Water Harvesting plants at Pathergatha, Mothbaria, Mehdiganj, Uzirpur, Agailjhara, Babuganj, Muladi, Jhalakathi, Sadar and Rajapur upazilas. About 1,500 members of 278 families are getting benefits from the plants. NGO Forum sources said, Tk 8,000 is needed for installation of this plant.

The Forum bears 80 percent of the expense and the rest 20 per cent is collected from the users as subscription. The setting up of RWHP is easier than that of PSF. A long corrugated iron sheet is attacked to the roof of a house and it is connected with filter. Rain water from the long sheet flows into the tank and after that the water that gets purified is collected from it. The collected water is sufficient for a family consisting of five members, who can use the water forfor minimum six months. ( The Independent )

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