Providing clean, safe water in Bangladesh
In northern Bangladesh, some of the poorest families live on chars – river islands that are vulnerable to floods and other natural disasters. Life for char-dwellers is extremely precarious. Thus, many do not have access to even the most basic or safe water and sanitation facilities. As well as leaving them at risk of deadly diseases.
The Madarganj and Sarishabari upazilas (sub-districts) of Jamalpur are particularly vulnerable to flooding and river erosion. Most of the population depend on farming and fishing for survival, while some work as day labourers. Access to safe drinking water is limited. Hygiene levels are poor. Moreover, episodes of diarrhoea are frequent. In addition, waterborne diseases like hepatitis E are widespread.
Alema’ Story with insuring safe water
Alema Begum, aged 42. She lives on a char in Tertapara village with her husband and two children in Balijuri union, Madarganj – an area particularly prone to flooding. Alema’s husband, Abdul Aziz, works as a day labourer. Thus, the family cannot afford to install a water point in their home.
“My mother and I had to fetch water from my neighbour’s house every day,” said Alema, recalling how she would have to collect water at least four times a day. “It was very hard for us, especially in the rainy season and during the month of Ramadan.”
International Waqf Fund constructed Alema pumping water from her tube-well.
In 2014, a Waqf-funded project helped increase access to safe water. As well as improving hygiene standards and halting the spread of disease in the area. We installed 200 flood-proof tube wells which are raised high above the flood-level to allow access to safe, clean drinking water, even during the monsoon season.
International Waqf fund held Practical hygiene awareness session for 2,000 locals on the importance of hand-washing and good hygiene, maintaining clean environments, drinking only clean arsenic-free water and keeping safe during disasters.In addition to providing Maintenance training and tools to 400 people selected as caretakers of the new wells, ensuring long-term sustainability.
When the tube well was installed in Alema’s home it not only provided her family with clean, safe water but also her neighbours who, as part of the agreement, have free access to the water point
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