Project Name: Alternative Options for Access to Safe Water for the Costal Area.
Name of Client: DFID, CAFOD
Period: February, 2013 to February, 2015 (25 Months)
Description of Project: Four primary physical effects have been identified as key vulnerabilities in the coastal areas of Bangladesh: saline water intrusion; drainage congestions; extreme events; and changes in coastal morphology. The depletion of the groundwater table as a result of over extraction of ground water along with longer spells of drought in Northern part of Bangladesh is also affecting the water crisis. Challenges associated with water supply in Bangladesh include a) high population density; b) high levels of arsenic in the groundwater in many parts of the country; and c) high microbial contamination levels in the surface water. Existing coping mechanisms and technologies have limitations and ITN-BUET (Centre for Water Supply and Waste Management) and many stakeholders in county are calling for reviewing these and researching improved technologies. Two prime parameters are being considered in promoting mitigation measures to the current crisis: adaptive capacity and available resources, together with disaster resilient approach. Two CAFOD partners will explore alternative options for managing water resources that will compliment the current EC-CAFOD funded multi-partner DRR livelihoods programme (IFLS). As a Water Supply and Waste Management research institute, ITN-BUET is in a position to apply its research knowledge and expertise to address some of these challenges in an innovative way in the following areas. ITN-BUET will use their research expertise to construct community rainwater harvesting systems with solar and UV based purification systems, introduce desalination plant powered by solar energy, and modified Pond Sand Filters (PSF) to provide access to safe drinking water for large number of people, and also will modify some current sanitation systems. The establishment of a water management committee and awareness raising sessions on WASH, operation and maintenance of the system will aid in ensuring that these water resources are managed and maintained by the target communities. A total of 18,523 beneficiaries, 3,368 households, (approx 51% female and 49% male, of which approx 6% are children and 8% are adolescent) in five unions of the coastal areas of Bagerhat will be targeted.