Bangladesh Water Crisis


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A research task by year 10 pupils attempting to fins solutions to global water problems.

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Bangladesh Water Crisis

  1. 1.  Population of 150 million Population density of over 1100 people per sq. km (compared to the USA at just 33) GDP per capita of just $848 Water shortage and bad sanitation effects urban and rural areas In rural areas, just 16% of people use latrines regularly Slums in urban areas have particularly bad sanitation (3.4 million people in slums in Dhaka)
  2. 2.  Demand for water in Dhaka city is over 2.2billion litres a day The city can only produce up to 1.9 billion litres Summer droughts and hot weather make it worse Water that is available is usually dirty or contaminated with arsenic Arsenic contaminated wells are painted red – people have to walk further to access water
  3. 3.  Little use of latrines Diarrheal illnesses kill over 100,000 children every year Diarrhoea is linked to poor maternal health, bad fertility, poor child survival chances and malnutrition 1 gram of faecal matter is home to 1 million bacteria, 1,000 parasites and 100 worm eggs 75 million people in Bangladesh have no sanitation services
  4. 4.  Devices have been produced like the “Water Canary” which use a sample of water taken by the user to instantly determine whether that water is drinkable or not. This system uses light so does not need expensive chemicals, this saves cost for the user and it is versatile to be used in places where water sanitation is poor such as Bangladesh. Pros: does not require specialist training, relatively cheap running cost, can prevent people drinking contaminated water, saves lives. Cons: Once the water is shown as contaminated then there is nothing the user can do but find another drinking source which may not be convenient.
  5. 5.  Other devices such as the “Lifesaver bottle” incorporate a extremely fine filter technology to filter out all bacteria and viruses. This makes the water drinkable from any source. The filter is useable for 15,000 litres of water. Once this is reached the system shuts off so contaminated water can not be drunk. Once the filter is easily replaced and then the bottle is usable for another 15,000 litres. Pros: Can make water drinkable from any source, stops spread of water borne diseases, saves lives. Cons: The filter does have to eventually be replaced, a water source, contaminated or not is required for this bottle.
  6. 6.  Finally products like the “Reverse Osmosis Sanitation system” (ROSS) use movement generated by wheels to pass filters through a tank of water which cleans it of bacteria and viruses. Can carry 50 litres of water in one tank and stops the person having to carry the volume of water as they can simply roll it. Also acts as a storage device for a large quantities of water. Pros: Completely cleans the water of diseases or bacteria, prevents spread of water borne diseases, acts as a storage device. Cons: Does require the user the walk with the device to pass the filters across the tank, filter requires replacing after about one year of constant use.
  7. 7.  Investment into improvement/construction of substantial sewage systems which can safely dispose of sewage waste products. This will reduce cases of cholera and dysentery and also limit the number of deaths from these diseases. Prevents cross-contamination of sewage waste and drinking water in communities. Pros: Safely removes waste from communities with large numbers of people, limits number of deaths from cholera and dysentery. Cons: Very expensive must be funded by governments and/or aid organisations.
  8. 8.  Also investments into providing safe and clean water in communal areas in the form of taps or stand pipes. The water for these taps could be sourced from boreholes which use unpolluted ground water as their sources. Reduces number of deaths from drinking polluted water by providing a reliable clean source. Pros: Provides clean un polluted water for communal use, provides a constant supply of water nearby to communities, prevents dehydration and illnesses caused by drinking polluted water. Cons: Expensive needs to be implemented by governments or aid organisations.