2.65 lakh poor people getting safe water in Barind area

21 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

RAJSHAHI: Around 2.65 lakh people of 56,315 marginalised households are availing supply water with initiative of various government and non-government entities concerned in the drought-prone Barind area during the current scorching heat.

The infrastructures which were developed for ensuring safe drinking water for the poor and less-income group families have become boons for them because the region is characterised by decreasing rainfall and depleting groundwater levels,reports BSS.

Maity Saren, 48, wife of Dukhu Saren of Rahi village under Godagri upazila in the district, is now happy with the safe drinking water supply facilities.

“We had to face multifarious problems relating to fetching water for our four-member family,” said Maity while talking to this correspondent on Monday adding that the problem has now been solved.

Shyamoly Hasda, 40, wife of Sukhen Saren, also expressed her happiness over the water supply system. She is now getting requisite water for her seven-member family.

A submersible pump has been installed in the locality and water is being supplied to the households through commissioning pipelines and outlets.

Not only Maity and Shyamoli but also many others who are being benefited from the supply of water amid the present water stressed condition.

Around 71,712 people of 15,250 families including 14,468 ethnic minority ones have been brought under safe drinking water sources through commissioning 391 submersible pumps in the high Barind tract.

A total of 11 solar panels were installed to operate 11 pumps in the villages remaining beyond the power supply network.

The pumps along with 19,000 feet pipelines were commissioned with intervention of ‘Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) project’ being implemented since 2015.

DASCOH Foundation and Swiss Red Cross are jointly implementing the project in 39 Union Parishads (UPs) and three Pourasabhas in Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and Naogaon districts with financial support from Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation-SDC.

The beneficiary people took the responsibility of proper maintenance and function of the infrastructures routinely.

Majibur Rahman, chairman of Gogram Union Parishad under Godagari upazila, said the water-deprived poor and underprivileged communities in the drought- hit area are getting safe drinking water privileges with the project intervention.

He said the submersible water supply system has become a blessing for the drought-affected people.

IWRM Project Coordinator Jahangir Alam Khan said the scheme intends to supply safe drinking water in those drought-prone areas where acute crisis of drinking water exists.

Its main objective is to supply round-the-year potable water to all people in the targeted area.

Simultaneously, around 20,000 people are getting safe drinking water from dug-well in some of the drought-prone high Barind tract where the existing shallow and deep tube-well water technologies are yet to be reached due to various reasons.

The dug wells were constructed on behalf of a 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 four-year project in nine upazilas of Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts for boosting surface water use.

Under the Taka 53.48-crore project, 400 dug wells with equal number of solar power panels were installed in 197 villages bringing 33,750 people under safe drinking water supply coverage besides providing irrigation to 1,350 hectares of lands till June, 2020 last, said Engineer Sibbir Ahmed, director of the project.

Meanwhile, around 1.73 lakh marginalized people living in the water-stressed areas are getting safe drinking water as a result of implementing a project styled “Community-based Water Supply in Lower Underground Water-level Areas in Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts”.

The Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) has implemented the three-year project with an estimated cost of around Taka 32.19 crore.

SM Shamim Ahmed, superintending engineer of DPHE, said 865 submersible pumps were installed in 59 unions under 12 upazilas.

In the wake of inadequate aquifer recharge, groundwater level is declining alarmingly in the high Barind tract posing a serious threat to its living and livelihood condition, said Prof Niamul Bari of the Department of Civil Engineering of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (RUET).

He, however, said the initiatives will contribute a lot to reduce the acute crisis of drinking water in the drought-prone Barind area.