Digging in to fight safe water shortage

18 Jun,2016


Dhaka, BdChronicle:

The government will set up 63,000 water sources in rural areas to ensure safe water and sanitation system for all by 2020.

Some 952 ponds will be re-excavated, while 200 new ones will be dug to increase the use of groundwater, Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (LGRD) Minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain told UNB.

He also said every house will be brought under sanitation system, while safe water will be ensured for all across the country.

The minister also said the water supply coverage in both rural and municipal areas will be increased to 100 percent. Besides, the current safe water source and sanitation coverage will also be increased to 100 percent across the country.

Sources at the ministry said 14,77,729 water sources have already been set up in rural areas. Among those, the number of shallow tube-wells is 86,4893, while tara shallow tubewells 2,137, Tara-2 shallow tubewells 2,137, deep tubewells 301,077, tara deep tubewells 41,823 and others 58,897.

According to the sources, 13,665 water sources and 6,643 Wasa blocks will be set up to ensure safe water in government primary schools across the country.

MD Waliullah, chief engineer (in-charge) of Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE), said the activity of setting up different types of water sources, water refineries, water supply through pipelines and setting up low-cost latrines under 13 projects of the DPHE is underway which will cost around TK 55,072.00 lakh.

He also said that the process for increasing water supply and increasing coverage of sanitation system under sustainable water supply and sanitation project is underway, particularly in haor, char and hard-to-reach hilly areas.

The chief engineer also said water supply and sanitation improved across the country of late. Besides, the number of waterborne diseases has decreased and the life standard of people has developed which is a great achievement for the country.

The DPHE sources also said some 2,14,150 arsenic-free safe sources of water have been set up in different parts of the country, while water supply system in 85 villages has been established through pipelines.

In 2009, there was a government source of water for 91 people and now the ratio has decreased to 88. Currently, the water coverage in rural areas has increased from 82 percent to 88 percent.

The DPHE sources also said the department has chalked out a master plan for water supply and developing sanitary systems in 160 new municipal areas.

The number of sanitary latrine user families has increased from 86 percent to 97 percent across the country due to the distribution of 5,82,000 sanitary latrines and 3,427 community latrines at a lower cost.

Khandaker Mosharaf said they had taken the master plan to ensure safe water across the country. "There'll be no water crisis in the upcoming days.  We'll do whatever we need to ensure safe water and sanitation systems for all," he added.

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