80pc Dhaka water supply thru WASA pipelines contaminated
Published : Friday, 19 July, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 729
According to a recent study conducted by the Brac Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), it was found that about 80 per cent water in Dhaka reservoirs have become contaminated with coliform bacteria.
Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operative Minister Tajul Islam and Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority's (Dhaka Wasa) Managing Director Engineer Taqsem A Khan presented the report, titled "State of Cities 2018 Water Governance in Dhaka," at the Brac Centre Inn in the capital on Thursday morning.
According to the study, residents of flats in Dhaka consume an average of 310 litres of water per day - about twice Dhaka Wasa's estimated per capita demand. Slum residents consume an average of 85 litres of water per day. The researchers surveyed 768 Dhaka households for the study, and nearly one fifth of them reported that they suffered from diarrhoea last year.
Mohammad Sirajul Islam has conducted the lab tests, said only 20% of water samples from pump stations was contaminated with coliform bacteria.
He also mentioned that the water is safe at source, but gets contaminated while flowing through distribution lines due to illegal connections and uncoordinated development work managed by government agencies, which is damaging Dhaka Wasa pipelines.
He further said substantial contamination occurs due to improper cleaning and maintenance of reservoirs, while the use of suction pumps also leads to contamination as the pumps tend to extract mud and other contaminants along with water.
Dhaka Wasa is currently in the process of replacing its pipelines, Managing Director Engineer Taqsem A Khan said. According to Sirajul Islam, Dhaka Wasa has been supplying water to 650,000 people from low-income communities at a rate of Tk11.02 per 1000 litres, under
Dhaka Wasa's Community Program and Consumer Relation (CPCR).
The study further indicates that groundwater levels have dropped by more than 60 metres in the last 50 years, and may continue the decline to 110-150 metres within the next 50 years.
More than one third of water users are not provided with clear water, the study said. Syeda Rizwana Hasan, executive chairman of Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association, and Dr Md. Akramul Islam, director of the Wash Programme of Brac, were present as expert panellists, while Dr Imran Matin, director of BIGD, chaired the event.