In Bangladesh, about 20 million people still lack access to safe drinking water. Since 1998, the World Bank has supported the government to enhance access to safe water. Built on the experience of two earlier projects, the Bangladesh Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project (BRWSSP) follows a community participatory and strong monitoring process to provide hygienic sanitation and safe water to 1.2 million people in arsenic hot spots and salinity prone coastal areas.
The project constructs piped water supply schemes and installs deep tube wells in rural areas where shallow aquifers are highly contaminated by arsenic, salinity, and other pollutants such as, iron, and bacterial pathogens. The World Bank has committed $42.2 million for the BRWSSP, which started in March 2012 and will end on 2017.
The project scales up piped and non-piped water facilities to provide safe water to villagers in 383 unions (lowest tire of local government) in 33 districts with acute arsenic contamination and low coverage for safe water supply. BRWSSP is also constructing 14,000 water points primarily deep tube wells along with pond sand filters, Arsenic Iron Removal Plants, and Rain Water Harvesting units, where piped water supply is not geographically or economically viable.
The project follows community participatory processes — the communities decide the mitigation options, installation sites and maintenance of the schemes, which are cross-checked by the Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE). The Union Parishads owns the infrastructure assets. The piped and non-piped water schemes, and the hygienic sanitation facilities, are implemented through local partnerships involving communities, local governments, non-governmental support organizations, local sanitary entrepreneurs, community-based organizations and private entrepreneurs, following a Public-Private Participation model.
Monitoring the Water Quality
Based on the lessons learnt from the predecessor projects, the BRWSSP has strengthened water quality monitoring protocols. DPHE laboratories test all water points following installation. DPHE also undertakes random Quality Check (QC) at 10% of installed water points within 3 months of commissioning of the new wells under the project. Water quality checks are carried out twice for installed water points. This enables the monitoring of water quality over a span of period so that consistency of water quality and reliability is ensured. The project has carried out surveillance monitoring of 300,000 existing tube wells to ensure arsenic safety. BWRSSP has also initiated third-party monitoring by independent entities like the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B).
The new drilling contracts encourages the drillers report on water quality, as their payment is no more tied with the water quality. If the water quality of a new well is found to be contaminated, an arsenic removal plant is added to ensure a safe water supply. BRWSSP also works with DPHE to introduce a registration system for private drillers to train and equip them to test for arsenic.
World Bank Group issued this content on 15 March 2016 and is solely responsible for the information contained herein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 15 March 2016 14:50:00 UTC
(Original Document: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2016/03/15/safe-water-for-rural-population-in-bangladesh-bangladesh-rural-water-supply-and-sanitation-project-brwssp-fact-sheet) – World News Reports