1.33 lakh char families achieve hygienic sanitation

1.33 lakh char families achieve hygienic sanitation

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Over 1.33 lakh char households have achieved hygienic sanitation and pure drinking water facilities to improve their health status reducing water borne diseases in the remote char areas in 10 northwestern districts.The laudable success has been achieved by the extremely poor families with assistance of the comprehensive Chars Livelihoods Programme (CLP) in the hardly reachable riverine char islands on the Brahmaputra basin since 2004.As a result of achieving sanitation and pure drinking water facilities, health index of the char people, who already won over extreme poverty with the CLP assistance, has marked a significant improvement with reduction in the neonatal, maternal and child deaths.Earlier, poor sanitation caused ill health to the parents, especially to mothers, affecting child health directly through spreading water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery and jaundice afflicting people in many ways in the char areas.Under the programme, 1.33 lakh targeted extremely poor households living in island chars of Kurigram, Bogra, Gaibandha, Sirajganj, Jamalpur, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Pabna and Tangail are enjoying sanitation and pure drinking water facilities now.The UKaid through the Department for International Development, Australian Government through Australian Agency for International Development and Government of Bangladesh are funding CLP implementation.The Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives has been sponsoring implementation of the comprehensive programme with the management through Maxwell Stamp Plc.The comprehensive CLP activities are aimed at eradicating extreme poverty of the have-nots group char families through income generations to improve their livelihoods, life standard and health status to change socioeconomic conditions by 2016.Livelihoods Coordinator of CLP Dr. Mahbub Alam told BSS that the multi- dimensional CLP activities are being implemented by the local partner NGOs in the riverine char islands to achieve the goals.More than 5.17 lakh people of targeted 1.33 lakh extremely poor char households are being benefited now under the CLP phase-I during 2004-2010 and phase-II during 2010-2016 periods to improve livelihoods as well as overall life standards.The CLP has been working with char households to improve their livelihoods through providing package supports for animal husbandry, assets, hygiene, sanitation, pure drinking water and raising plinths for income generations under adverse situations.Head of Programme Coordination of RDRS Bangladesh, one of the CLP implementing organisations, Monjusree Saha said the char people lacked minimum sanitation facility even a decade ago basically sheltering sick mothers, kids and a bleak future.“But, now spread of water-borne diseases reduced to the minimum following successful campaign conducted under CLP activities and having sanitary latrines and pure drinking water by the char households as a precondition for keeping them healthy,” she added.According to CLP sources, these distressed families have set up sanitary latrines and tube wells in char villages with the money they saved from their incomes earned from various activities as CLP beneficiaries with the assistance of local NGOs.Like other areas, the CLP beneficiary women have achieved the success in the remote char villages of Dhushmara Char on the Teesta bed in Rangpur and Kawniar Char on the Brahmaputra bed in Kurigram improving their hygienic facilities.CLP beneficiaries Anwara Khatun, Rita Khatun and Anju Ara said the other char people are following their footsteps now in improving their sanitation and hygienic situations for building a healthier char community to drive away various waterborne diseases.Halima Begum, Farida Begum, Rohiton Nesa and Jholmoli Begum said possibility of recurrence of waterborne diseases have been reduced to the minimum since they started using sanitary latrines and drinking safe and pure water.CLP beneficiary women Noor Nahar, Parul Begum, Aklima Khatun, Rahela,Ayesha, Delwara, Shakila and Nazmun Nahar of different char villages also narrated their success stories in enjoying hygienic sanitation and pure drinking water facilities.Chilmari upazila chairman Shawkat Ali Sarker, Bir Bikram, lauded the CLP efforts and suggested all char people to follow the success to make sanitation programme successful in the process of building a middle income and healthier nation. -BSS, Rangpur

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