Wasa Nirapod Pani Andolon organized a march in the capital's Jurain area to vocalize their demands
Dhaka residents arranged a march on Friday demanding Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) to supply safe water and the resignation of the organization's Managing Director (MD) Taqsem A Khan.
Wasa Nirapod Pani Andolon (safe water movement) organized the march in the capital's Jurain area around 10:30am, which ended near a CNG re-fuelling station in Shanir Akhra around 11am.
Carrying banners and chanting slogans demanding safe water, the participants demanded Taqsem resign from his post for failing to supply safe drinking water to the people of Jurain, Moradpur, and Doniya areas of Dhaka.
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Mizanur Rahman, a resident of Jurain who coordinated the Wasa Nirapod Pani Andolon, said that polluted and contaminated water suppliers should be brought to book.
He said: “Wasa is responsible for polluted and contaminated water. Wasa has to compensate the people who have become sick after drinking their polluted water.”
He also demanded an apology from the Dhaka Wasa managing director.
Alleging that Wasa authorities had promised to solve the problem, Mizan said: “We did not have access to safe water since April 23. On April 25, Dhaka Wasa MD assured that the matter will be resolved, but still we are suffering from a lack of safe water.”
During the march, participators distributed leaflets among peddlers and local residents in the areas and urged them to join the march.
Monirul Islam Faraji, another Jurain resident, told that people had been suffering from skin diseases, typhoid, jaundice, and diarrhea due to using the Wasa supplied water for too long.
He added that people had been losing a lot of money on treatment.
According to a report published by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), 51.5% of all Dhaka Wasa consumers in the capital reported that the water they receive was visibly filthy, while 41.4% complained that their water smelled bad.
Poor water quality all year round was also reported by 34.5% of Wasa users.
On May 7, safe water advocates asked Dhaka Wasa to take responsibility for the quality of water it supplied, following a myriad of complaints by angry consumers from around the city.
The platform, named Wasa Nirapod Pani Andolon, announced a five-point charter of demands, which include: supplying clean water everywhere; compensating people who have fallen sick after consuming the dirty water; reimbursing bills paid for the polluted water; investigating the reason for Dhaka Wasa's inefficiency; and resignation of the Dhaka Wasa MD if he fails to fulfill his responsibilities.
WASA NIRAPOD PANI ANDOLON'S DEMANDS
• Ensure safe water supply to residents of Jurain, Shyampur, Muradpur, and Dania.
• Compensate the people of Shyampur, Muradpur, Dania, and Jurain who have been suffering from several diseases caused by consuming the unsafe water.
• Refund all bills that have been paid by residents of these areas. People of these areas will not pay bills until Dhaka Wasa starts supplying safe water.
• Form a probe committee to investigate the reason behind Dhaka Wasa supplying dirty water for years and punish the culprits responsible.
• Wasa MD apologize for lying to the residents.