RAJSHAHI: Around 20,000 households are getting safe drinking water from dug-wells in some of the drought-prone high Barind tract where the existing shallow and deep tube-wells are yet to reach due to various reasons.
The villagers are not only using the water for drinking and other household purposes but also cultivating various less-irrigation consuming cereal crops and vegetables after the best uses of the surface water, reports BSS.Around 750 hectares of land have been brought under vegetable farming through operating 413 dug-wells which were installed on behalf of a four-year project titled “Extension Excavation of Dug-well in the Barind Area for Cultivation of Crops by Soft Irrigation”.
Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) has implemented the project in nine upazilas of Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts for boosting surface water use.
Ultimate goal of the scheme was to reduce excessive use of groundwater and develop an agro-ecological balance for addressing the adverse impact of climate change in the project area, said BMDA Executive Engineer Sibbir Ahmed.
Under the Taka 53.48-crore project, 420 dug-wells with equal number of solar power panels were installed bringing 33,750 people under safe drinking water supply coverage besides providing irrigation to 1,350 hectares of lands in 197 villages.
The solar pumps are being used to fetch water from those dug wells. As a result, farmers’ families are getting water through the water distribution installations and 1.5-inch diameter pipeline easily for irrigation and household uses.
The solar panels are also being used for lighting the pump house areas and as a funnel for harvesting rainwater which is also recharging subterranean water level. Engineer Ahmed added more than 2,250 farmers were imparted training on how to operate the pumps side by side with using and promoting soft-irrigation.Around 3,000 households in Char Mazar Diar village under Paba Upazila in the district have got a great chance of minimizing their problems relating to shortage of both irrigation and drinking water. “We have installed one Low Lift Pump (LLP) and four dug-wells at a cost of around Taka 82 lakh to provide the families with drinking and irrigation water in the village recently,” said another Executive Engineer of BMDA Nazirul Islam.
After lifting water from the river through the LLP the villagers can irrigate around 350 to 500 bighas of croplands. Besides, around 35 to 40 bigha of farming fields can be irrigated by each of the dug-wells.
He said both the LLP and dug-wells are being driven by solar power as the area is separated by the Padma River from the mainland.
The hard-to-reach villagers have already started availing the scopes of changing their fate after best uses of the infrastructures which are being adjudged as the effective means of lessening their long-standing pain.
Monwara Begum, 53, a resident of the village, said they had been suffering from water crisis for decades but now they’re having a dug-well and their suffering has abated to some extent.
She mentioned that the dug-well has become blessings for them. Before installation of the well, they had to fetch water from far away. She called for commissioning of more dug-wells in the area.
Jahangir Alam Khan, Coordinator of Integrated Water Resources Management Project, 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.
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 for aquifer recharge besides lessening the gradually mounting pressure on groundwater in the drought-prone area.