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Assignment On: “Ensuring Safe Drinking Water in Bangladesh”

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  • 1. Southeast University Department of Law & Justice LLM Final) -Program. Course Title: Water and Policy Course Code: LMF 3221 Prepared For: Prepared By: Date of Submission: 30/08/2013 1
  • 2. Assignment On: “Ensuring Safe Drinking Water in Bangladesh” 2
  • 3. Table of Content: Serial No. Subject 01. Introduction 02. Background 03. Water management in Bangladesh 04. Arsenic Contamination 05. Cultivation of brackish water shrimp 06. Reduction in upstream flow 07. Excessive use of underground water in an unplanned way 08. Contamination of freshwater bodies 09. Natural disasters 10. Future increase in scarcity of saline free drinking water 11. Health, social and financial implications 12. Current policy for water advocacy and initiatives 13. Uttaran’s work on access to safe drinking water 14. The Water & Sanitation Crisis: 15. Case Study: 16. Disappearing groundwater 17. Responsibility for water supply and sanitation 3
  • 4. 18. Discussion 19. Self opinion 20. Reference Introduction: Drinking water here means always avoiding local tap water. This includes avoiding food that may have been rinsed in contaminated water, such as salads and raw fruits. For those who are cautious, consider using boiled or bottled water for alternate sources of exposure, like the water you use to brush your teeth or water used to wash glasses. Also, make sure that the ice in your drinks is filtered (has a hole through it) and in case of doubt, avoid ice. Store-bought mineral water is available in any of the convenience stores in the cities. Make sure that the bottles are in sealed, tamper-proof containers. Mineral water bottles from trusted brands include “Mum” and “Fresh”. Properly boiling tap water is considered the most effective method for water purification. In order to do so, maintain a rolling boil for at least one minute and leave the water on the stove for 6-8 minutes after the water has been boiled. Another method of water purification is commercially available iodine or chlorine tablets which kill bacteria and viruses, but are ineffective against some protozoa (like cryptosporidium). Some water purification tablets available outside Bangladesh are Globalize, Potable-Aqua, or Coughlin’, and can be found in pharmacies and sporting goods stores. In Bangladesh, a 4
  • 5. popular brand of water purification is called Halo tab and is available in pharmacies in Dhaka and Chittagong. Drinking water in villages from the tube well is safe, as long as tube wells contaminated with arsenic is avoided Background: The southwest coastal region of Bangladesh is the home of large numbers of poor, small and marginal farm families and shrimp workers. A large part of Bangladesh is formed by the siltation process of three rivers: the Ganges (Padma), Brahmaputra (Jamuna) and Meghna. In the monsoon the river basins flood resulting in a disruption of human habitation, agricultural land and pollution of drinking water sources. The period between November and May is considered as dry season. During this season only 22% of the total annual rainfall takes place in the country and the evaporation rate is four times higher than the amount of rainfall. This result is a scarcity of water because of the decline of water flow in the rivers and the drying up of large numbers of water bodies. Prior to the 1950’s communities in the rural areas of Bangladesh followed a practice known as ‘the ethics of commons’ that governed the uses of ponds and dug wells designated for drinking water. Poverty and rapid population growth, combined with the tradition of drinking water from open ponds and poor sanitary habits, contributed in the 1960s and 1970s to a high level of water-related morbidity and mortality. The Government of Bangladesh (GoB) has since installed more than 1.2 million hand pump tubewells in rural areas and six times as many tubewells have been installed by private individuals, NGOs and other agencies. In rural areas tubewells changed peoples practices and most of the traditional dug wells and ponds have been neglected. That degraded the condition of these sources of drinking water and eroded the practice of the ethics of commons. 5
  • 6. The introduction of drinking water through tubewells, some higher sanitation coverage and improved primary health has contributed to a significant drop in mortality from diarrhoeal diseases from 300,000 deaths per year in the 1980s to 150,000 in 1997. However, the overall situation is far from satisfactory. Mortality rates of infants and children under five years are 56 and 88 deaths per live births respectively. Water related diseases still continue to account for a majority of these deaths. Since 1995 the country has been facing a new public health challenge related to water supply with the detection of arsenic in large number of tubewells. A nationwide arsenic testing programme supported by the Government of Bangladesh and UNICEF found in 2006 that 20% of the shallow (dug) wells in Bangladesh were contaminated with Arsenic above the national norm. Poor sanitation facilities are another cause for the lack of safe drinking water. As of 2008, 40% of the population does not have access to sanitary latrines and the rest practice open defecation or use unhygienic hanging latrines. Although nearly 75% of urban population uses some kind of on-site sanitation, mostly pit latrines, the sludge from these latrines are generally discharged through open drains and into the rivers, ground water and nearby ponds creating a highly contaminated environment. Only the capital city Dhaka has a sewer system. Although groundwater is considered safe in terms of bacteriological contamination, studies show that about half the deep tube wells are contaminated with bacteria. The situation is believed to be similar for shallow tube wells. The level of contamination increases drastically in monsoon season. This contamination is mainly because of poor maintenance and sanitary protection of tube well surroundings. Water management in Bangladesh: Coastal embankment project of 1960s: River and tidal borne sediment concentration has formed the land mass of the coastal region. This process of land formation was disrupted by the implementation of coastal embankment project in the 1960s. Under this project 97 polders were constructed (37 in southwest coastal region) to free the wetland from saline water and to enable higher levels of agricultural production. The construction of polders has restricted entrance of river water to the wetland which resulted in elevation of river beds due to the concentration of tidal borne sediments on the river bed instead of the wetlands. The elevation means in some areas river beds are now higher than the adjacent wetlands and as a result excess water on the wetland can not pass into the river which 6
  • 7. causes water logging. The problem of water logging becomes more acute and prolonged when saline water enters into the wetlands during high tide. Reduction of the flow of river Ganges in dry season due to over withdrawal of water upstream: Ganges or Padma is the largest river that flow over Bangladesh. In dry season, about 175 hundred thousand cusec water used to flow on the river. In 1930s and 1940s this flow had been about hundred and thirty five thousand cusec. The Ganga water distribution Treaty, commonly known as Farakka Treaty made available of only 27500 thousand cusec water for Bangladesh during the dry period with the remaining amount being diverted by India. India diverts water through a feeder canal from Farakka barrage to the river Hugli to ensure proper navigation at Kolkata port. It is important to note that the feeder canal can divert 40 thousand cusec of water which is needed to maintain the required depth of the river Hugli. The reduction of fresh water flow of Ganges, because of the withdrawal of water by India, has meant an increase in salinity in the Balashsar and other rivers of Bangladesh. Arsenic Contamination: Lack of access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities are a significant barrier to improving the health and wellbeing and reducing poverty in the southwest coastal regions of Bangladesh. Salinity in ground and surface water, arsenic contamination of shallow aquifer, lack of aquifer and difficulties in extracting saline free water are some of the causes. The effects are negative health, social and economic outcomes for the local population. Underground water of this region contains arsenic. A study carried out by Uttaran indicated that 79% of the tested tubewells of the area contain arsenic beyond the acceptable limit. Lack of aquifer: Ground water occurs in permeable geological formations known as aquifers. For extraction of groundwater medium clean sand is suitable. This sand has considerable porosity and permeability and can store a huge amount of water. Fine sand also can store a considerable amount of water. However, as the position of the area is in the lower part of Ganges delta the sediments of the region have very low permeability and are not able to store water. As a result, the region lacks aquifer that fresh groundwater can be extracted from. 7
  • 8. Land Subsidence: Director of the Institute of Delta Research Institute of Dhaka University, has found in a study that most of the area of wetland is subsiding by 1-2cm each year. In the last 3-4 decades this continuous subsidence has meant land within the WAPDA embankment is gradually going down and the levels of saline water have increased. Cultivation of brackish water shrimp: In the southwest region shrimp cultivation is underway in almost all the wetlands. In most of the cases, salt water from the river is brought into the wetland for shrimp cultivation, which is increasing the salinity of the adjacent fresh water ponds and shallow aquifer through seepage. Reduction in upstream flow: In the past the southwest coastal region was rich in fresh water as the Ganges had flowed through it. However, the scenario changed following two disastrous events: the change of the course of the river Ganges and the closing of the face of the origin of the river Matha Vanga. This had a serious implication for safe drinking water available from ground water sources. The reduction of upstream flow deteriorated the recharge rate of the ground water table, reduced fresh water bodies and resulted in over extraction of groundwater for irrigation and use of water from fresh water ponds. Excessive use of underground water in an unplanned way: Since the 1980s vast land in the southwest coastal region, except the slight saline wetland, has been brought under irrigation for cultivation of Borro rice through extraction of underground water in the dry season. The lack of surface water for irrigation during dry season has compelled the farmers to exploit underground water extensively resulting in a lowering of underground water table beyond the suction limits of shallow tubewell, 8
  • 9. making millions of shallow tubewells dysfunctional. This over-extraction of groundwater is one of the possible reasons for the contamination of shallow aquifer by arsenic. Contamination of freshwater bodies: Water bodies of this region are being polluted due to disposal of industrial waste, human waste, domestic solid waste and waste of markets and bazaar etc. A study carried out by ICZM in Bagerhat district indicated that each household generated 2 kg of solid waste on a daily basis and a BUET study carried out in Morrelganj Upazila of Bagerhat district found nearly 89% of households do not dispose of their household waste to any fixed place and 61% dispose of it in nearby water bodies. The same study found that nearly 70% of household latrines are either constructed directly on water bodies (as hanging latrines) or are latrine pits connected to nearby water bodies through pipes. Natural disasters: The region regularly experiences natural disasters (e.g. water logging, cyclones, tidal surges, floods, river erosion, etc) which are responsible for the destruction of drinking water sources and sanitation facilities. During cyclone Sidr in late 2007 the majority of drinking water sources became dysfunctional and sanitation facilities were either damaged or destroyed. Under the Sidr rehabilitation programs water supply and sanitation facilities were restored by various government and non government agencies. However, the majority were again damaged by the recent cyclone Aila. Future increase in scarcity of saline free drinking water: The present problem of saline free drinking water in the region is expected to increase in the future due to global climate change and the Inter River Linking Project (IRLP) of India. It has been assumed that the effect of climate change on Bangladesh will be worse comparative to other countries. A large part of Bangladesh (14-17% of the total land mass) will go under the water. About 20 million people will not have a place to live. If the sea level increases by only one meter, 22.889sqm of the country will go under the water and 62% of greater Khulna will be submerged. The implication of climate change in Khulna, Satkhira and Bagerhat of southwest coastal region is already tangible. The last 3 decades have seen the sea level in the coastal 9
  • 10. region rise by 3 to 4 mm per year. The height of the ground level of the southwest coastal region is only slightly higher than the sea level and in the near future all the sources of fresh water may be completely destroyed as a result of the predicted one meter rise in sea level. The situation is going to be further aggravated by the planned IRLP of the Indian government. IRLP will be the largest infrastructure works ever undertaken in the world. Under the project, 30 links and some 3,000 storages will be built to connect 37 Himalayan and Peninsular rivers to form a gigantic water grid. It will cost $120 billion and handle 178 sq cubic kms of inter-basin water transfer per year. The project has raised concern in Bangladesh as diversion of water from common rivers through construction of barrages, particularly on the tributary and distributaries of river Bramaputra, would have severe implications for the availability of fresh water. Experts estimated that diverting just 10 to 20 percent of water of the Brahmaputra River in India could cause 100 Bangladeshi rivers to dry. This will further reduce the depth of the rivers in the southwest coastal region. Intrusion of saline water from the sea into the inlands will increase salinity and scarcity of fresh water. At present the Gari and Madhumati rivers are important sources of fresh water in the southwest coastal region. If IRLP is implemented the flow of fresh water from both rivers will be lost and the crisis of access to safe drinking water supply would be worsened. Health, social and financial implications: People in the region suffer from various diseases caused by drinking an insufficient amount of water and drinking water with high levels of salinity, impurity or arsenic contamination. Various skin diseases, intestinal diseases, dysentery, fever and diarrhoea are part of life. Other health concerns linked to a lack of safe drinking water include malnutrition amongst women and children, reproductive problems for pregnant women, skin turning black, physical weakness and anxiety. Women can be particularly susceptible to diseases (e.g. rickets) as they are expected to take less water than men. Women and girls face a number of rights abuses as a direct result of the lack of safe drinking water. In rural Bangladesh it is the women’s role to collect drinking water. The drinking water can be many kilometres from the home and there are frequent incidents of violence against women and girls for not fetching drinking water on time or not having meals prepared because of the 10
  • 11. amount of time it takes to fetch water. Fetching water means women do not have time to tend to their homestead garden, which is often their only source of productivity and income. There are other social crises associated with poor access to safe drinking water: the education of children is hampered; young children are often left unattended when their mother goes to fetch water; they are frequent incidents of child labour; the household has less time to socialise and develop social networks; women are teased and harassed on their way to fetch water; social stigma prevents girls getting married and leads to an increased rate of divorce; population migration; and local contentions and litigations related to water use have become a regular phenomena. Gathering drinking water means a significant amount of productive hours is consumed. Household expenditure increases to purchase fresh water to enable cultivation of crops. Cost of buying vegetables increases whilst the durability of houses is reduced and scarcity of food occurs. Maintaining livestock and poultry become difficult. Scarcity of organic fertilizer makes carrying out agricultural activities difficult. All these factors together constitute a major economic problem for the poor. Current policy for water advocacy and initiatives: Bangladesh is committed to achieving the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The government is in the process of preparing a cost sharing strategy for water and sanitation services. The National WSS Policy 1998 is the most significant policy for the sector. The Policy aims to change the traditional service deliver arrangement and to increase the capacity of the sector. It calls for decentralization and emphasizes the participation of communities in planning, development, operation and maintenance of water supply and sanitation facilities through local government and community-based organizations. The Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) was created in 1935 as a sector agency to promote public health through ensuring provision of safe drinking water and since 1954 also sanitation. It is the government agency responsible for ensuring access to safe drinking water. The Local Government Division (LGD) of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (LGRD&C) has overall responsible for the water and sanitation sector. The DPHE is under the administrative control of 11
  • 12. LGD. Union Parishads (UPs) are the local government institutions responsible for implementing all government policies and development activities including access to safe drinking water. However, UPs in the southwest coastal region often lack the capacity, appropriate knowledge and technology or the ability to mobilise local resources to effectively deal with the problem of lack of access to safe drinking water. Uttaran’s work on access to safe drinking water: Uttaran has been working to improve access to safe drinking water and sanitation in the southwest coastal region of Bangladesh since its inception and is at present implementing a number of projects to improve drinking water sources (e.g. pond re-excavation). Uttaran has facilitated the forming and sustaining of local level community groups federated under district level committee – Pani Committee (Pani – Water). These Pani Committees act as advocacy groups demanding community management of the tidal rivers of the Sunderban mangrove forest. They have been able to mobilize communities in region and are actively engaged with the issue of arsenic contamination, increased salinity and the acute crisis of safe drinking water in the region. The Water & Sanitation Crisis: Bangladesh’s water crisis affects both rural and urban areas, and is a matter of both water scarcity and water quality. While Bangladesh has made commendable progress in supplying safe water to its people, gross disparity in coverage still exists across the country. Latrine usage is very poor, averaging only 16% in the rural areas. Diarrhea diseases constitute a major health problem in Bangladesh, killing over 100,000 children each year. Thousands of episodes of diarrhea occur in children and adults each day. Diarrhea diseases have close biological and socio-economic links to the problems of malnutrition, poor maternal health, high fertility, and child survival. In the late 1970s, approximately four million wells were drilled to replace the traditional contaminated surface water sources. The projects made significant headway, and mortality due to water-related diseases declined. However, in 1993, high arsenic concentrations were discovered in the groundwater of several wells in western Bangladesh. Long-term intake of high concentrations of arsenic from drinking water gives rise to a number of 12
  • 13. health problems, particularly skin disorders. Internal cancers have also been linked with arsenic in drinking water. In Bangladesh, many wells containing arsenic were closed. Once a well is painted red, signifying the water contains arsenic concentrations above the national standard, community members are no longer supposed to use it. When people lack access to a well or water point, the community must seek other sources for drinking water, usually returning to the traditional unprotected water sources such as ponds or ditches, or walking to distant wells. These practices dramatically increase the risk of acute bacteriological contamination, leading to greater outbreaks of water-related diseases. These diseases especially affect children who are especially vulnerable to diarrheal diseases. Case Study: Supreme Court High Court Division (Civil Revisional Jurisdiction) Present: Md. Abdul Karim J Syed Amirul Islam J Bangladesh Water Development Board....................Petitioner Vs. Zakir Construction and Co. and another.....................Opposite Parties Judgment November 16, 1995. Result: The Rule is discharged. 13
  • 14. Lawyers Involved: Tufailur Rahman with Md. Ferozur Rahman, Advocates - For the Petitioners. Md. Fazlul Hoque and Md. Ozair Farooq, Advocates - For the Opposite Party. Civil Revision No.1451 of 1995. Judgment Md. Abdul Karim J.- This Rule issued on an application under section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure is directed against the order dated 21-1-95 passed by the learned Subordinate Judge, 3rd Court, Dhaka, in Miscellaneous (Arbitration) Case No.79 of 1994. 2. Opposite party No.1 Zakir Construction & Co. Ltd. was the 1st party in Miscellaneous (Arbitration) Case No.79 of 1994 filed under section 11 of the Arbitration Act and petitioner Bangladesh Water Development Board figured as 2nd party in the said Misc. case. Petitioner Bangladesh Water Development Board through its Executive Engineer, O & M. Division-II, floated a tender for construction of 8 Vent RCC Pipe Sluice Gate at 13.65 Km of Greater Dhaka City Flood Protection Embankment in connection with flood protection of greater Dhaka City during 1989-91. A work order for Taka 1,75,00,000.00 was issued in favour of opposite party No.1. Subsequently a dispute about enhancement of rates for payment of bills arose and the parties agreed to settle the dispute through arbitration and accordingly, Urban Crisis: The size of the urban population is increasing at alarming rates. The poor from the rural areas continue to migrate to the urban areas with the hope of being able to earn larger wages to support their families. Many of these people find shelter in Dhaka’s slum communities. These squatter communities are the most densely populated areas in the country. The enormous quantity of people living in such close quarters causes people living in these slums to have very poor health. Most people in these slums 14
  • 15. live on less than US $2 a day, and many live on less than US $1 a day. Acute poverty, overcrowding, poor housing, and unhealthy disposal of waste all play major roles in the water and sanitation crisis in the urban areas of Bangladesh. Disappearing groundwater: Even in Dhaka, people have been reporting dwindling water supplies. for the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation, said groundwater levels in the city are falling drastically as a result of excessive extraction to meet its growing needs. Dhaka's underground aquifers are usually recharged with water that percolates underground in nearby districts, but the levels of underground fresh water in those districts have also dropped, allowing seawater to start seeping into the aquifers. If this continues, experts say, Dhaka's drinking water could become increasingly undrinkable. Rainfall across Bangladesh has halved and become more unpredictable over the past five years. That has led to problems including growing salinity in groundwater. "Salinity in the water of coastal areas has now reached over 20 parts per thousand, but the human body can only tolerate five parts per thousand," he said. The best option for drought- and saline-prone areas is to preserve rainwater in artificial ponds and distribute it to communities. He agrees with other experts that the government must turn to technology to provide drinking water. Filtration and desalination plants are expensive, but experts say they offer the only chance to avert a looming crisis. Suggests installing sand filter systems, in which hand pumps are used to suck water from artificial ponds through a filter that makes the water potable. For those living in hard-to-reach areas, the search for a solution has become a matter of urgency. "We now frequently face cyclones and flash floods which cause the swamping of croplands by saltwater and put us in danger," Responsibility for water supply and sanitation: 15
  • 16. According to a 2009 report by the UN Special Reporter on the human right to water and sanitation after a visit to Bangladesh, there is "an overall lack of monitoring and accountability" and "corruption continues to plague the sector". She also notes that standardized reporting processes and performance indicators to monitor utility performance were missing and that "there is no independent and effective regulation of the water supply and sanitation sector", making it next to impossible to ensure compliance with the numerous laws and policies in place. According to the UN report, the activities of the different ministries, the departments within the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and water supply and sewerage authorities need to be better coordinated. Discussion: The Bangladesh Arsenic Mitigation Water Supply Project analysed 25 deep tube wells water under the management of Rajshahi City Corporation and found that 15 out of those deep tube wells were contaminated with arsenic level above the WHO guide line value (0.01 ppm), of which 4 exceeded the Bangladesh standard (0.05 ppm). They recorded the maximum value as 0.170 ppm at Ramchandrapur pump .The present investigation also reveals that the maximum concentration of arsenic in the ground water is more close to the above finding. The concentration of iron, manganese and total hardness in tube well water of the study area were very high but the values of pH, soleplate, nitrate, phosphate and chloride Bangladesh had been greatly benefited from the International Drinking Water Supply & Sanitation Decades in terms of Water San coverage through the continuous initiatives taken by the government and the NGOs. But throughout the Decades and the days ahead, there have been various factors barring the country to reach the ultimate goals. Bangladesh has been fighting against water pollution & crisis, and to continue with its achievement of the highest coverage in safe drinking water supply among the South-East Asian countries. On the other hand, sanitation situation is yet much unimpressive leaving a long way to tread to reach the goal- 'Sanitation for All'. Presently hygiene promotion has been considered a priority area. The harmonized blending of safe water supply, sanitation and hygiene is being promoted in the country. But considering the geophysical and geohydrological situation and its geographical location, Bangladesh is quite vulnerable a country while the climate change phenomena have become the real hurdle on way to reach 16
  • 17. and sustain the universal success in the field of safe water supply, hygienic sanitation and hygiene practice, especially in the hard-to-reach areas. The geophysical context of char, haor, exposed coastal areas, flood-prone areas and drought-prone areas are diverse and it is distinctive from location to location. Each of these areas has distinct characteristics and livelihood pattern of the people. In such a diverse socio-economic condition the people of these hard-to-reach areas suffer the most and have very little service and facilities including water and sanitation. The hard-to-reach areas are also extremely disadvantaged in terms of accessibilities. Poverty and vulnerability are very high among the population. Again, there are also the absences of technological options that make provision of water supply and sanitation even more challenging in the hard-to-reach areas. The hard-to-reach areas are also distinctive by context, and water and sanitation in these areas need special attention. Responding to such vulnerabilities, the government, development partners and NGOs are emphasizing for providing supports to these hard-to-reach areas with special attention to climate change impact on water and sanitation. Keeping its commitments to the MDG targets, NGO Forum for Public Health and Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies have been facilitating the implementation of the project 'Promotion of Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene in Hard-to-Reach Areas of Rural Bangladesh' with the support of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The Project is under implementation covering 47 hard-to-reach unions under 5 agro- ecological zones in Bangladesh. Starting in December 2011, the Project is set to be continued up to November 2014. Opinion: Water supply in Bangladesh is predominately based on groundwater sources. In the context of very high prevalence of diarrhea diseases in Bangladesh, bacteriological quality received priority as a criterion for drinking water supply. Groundwater is free from pathogenic microorganisms and available in adequate quantity in shallow aquifers for development of low cost tube well based water supply for scattered rural population. Bangladesh achieved a remarkable success providing 97% of rural population with bacteriologic ally safe tube well water. This was considered as the largest population coverage by safe water supply in the region. Water is universal solvent and capable of dissolving almost everything to a certain extent but the possibility 17
  • 18. of having arsenic at high concentration had never been considered seriously in the past. Unfortunately, arsenic contamination of shallow aquifers in many parts of the country has made shallow tube well water unsafe for drinking. The study for different options for safe drinking water is urgent for the mitigation of the problem. Considering the geographic and topographic aspects, the water of the Padma was considered an alternative source and the study was carried out accordingly. Rajshahi city is situated on the left bank of the Padma, one of the greatest rivers of Bangladesh. In peak season (August and September) the average maximum discharge of the Padma is about 40,000 Cumec, and the minimum is 1000 Cumec in dry season (March and April) . Though in dry season discharge declines enormously due to the Farakka barrage on the upstream in India, the water level of the river always have an acceptable limit for using the water for commercial purpose and for the recharge of groundwater. From the last 12-year data of the Padma the average discharge in dry season was found about 900 Cumec and the lowest discharge was recorded as 401 Cumec in April, 1995. Therefore, if the Padma river water was considered an alternative source for the water supply system of the city the estimated water demand up to 2020 (24000m3/day) could be met with by extraction of 8.3 Cumec of water in only 8 hours operation period daily. It is quite impossible to reach the national goal 'water and sanitation for all' keeping any particular area deprived of these facilities. But the reality is that millions of people still living in dire necessity of water and sanitation facilities in the hard-to-reach areas i.e. the exposed coastal area, drought- prone area, haor area, char area and the flood-prone area of Bangladesh. Climate change has put their lives once again under enormous risk of disaster and vulnerability. Being parts of Bangladesh, the frontline country feeling the pain of climate change, these hard-to-reach areas have become the most vulnerable relating to its spatial locations, communication facilities, moderate civil amenities and access to basic services & facilities. Taking all the hardships into active consideration NGO Forum and BCAS have become promise-bound to ensure water and sanitation facilities in the hard-to-reach and disadvantaged areas. 18
  • 19. The rationale of this Project is justified as it is targeted to sensitizing and capacity building of LGls & other Water San service agencies & relevant stakeholders and awareness raising of the community people in the hard-to- reach areas. This Project is also targeted to promoting effective Water San & hygiene services, and consolidating & disseminating the actions & learning's to enhance capacity of the concerned to adapt and improve understanding on key vulnerabilities. Acknowledging the vulnerabilities and also uncertainty concerning how people would adapt and cope with the adverse situation the vulnerable people will be availing the context-specific and user-friendly technologies in the field of Water San & hygiene & in the selected hard-to- reach areas. More importantly, technological intervention would be clearly defined whether it needs modification, renovation or innovation alongside the awareness building of the community people on the challenges including climate change in the hard-to-reach areas. With the blending of capacity building of LGIs & other service agencies, awareness building of the selected community people, and promotion of context-specific safe water supply, sanitation & hygiene facilities around 0.7 million poor & vulnerable people will be directly/indirectly benefited out of the total population under the selected 47 hard-to-reach unions. Finally, the policy-makers and planners would be convinced of the relevance of the impacts of vulnerabilities on Water San learning from the scalable outputs which should be integrated into larger policy-making frameworks for giving special attention to reduce the risk in the field of safe water supply, environmental sanitation, health & hygiene at different agro-ecological hard-to-reach zones. 19
  • 20. References: 1. law.stanford.edu/courses/water-law-and-policy 2. www.epa.gov/ow/laws.html 3. www.internationalwaterlaw.org/links/water-law-policy.html 4. www.worldwater.org/datav7/chapter_7_us_water_policy_reform.pdf 5. www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/mdg1/ 6. www.unicef.org/wash/ 7. Www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_supply_and_sanitation_in_Bangl adesh 8. www.cdc.gov/healthywater/globa 9. www.treehugger.com/...water/access-safe-water-and-sanitation-c 10.www.actionagainsthunger.org/impact/water-sanitation-hygiene 11.www.technologyexchangelab.org/wash 20