In order to ensuring safe drinking water for the under-privileged people of Barind, 344 submersible pumps and 44,228 feet of sub-surface pipelines have so far been installed in 312 drought-hit villages since July, 2015
Submersible pumps are a boon for the people of drought-prone Barind , supplying safe drinking water to over 280,000 marginalized people, including 68,000 ethnic minority people.
Apart from this, another 800,000 people in 38 Union Parishads (UPs) and the three municipalities of Rajshahi, Naogaon, and Chapainawabganj districts, are also benefiting from these submersible pumps, reports BSS.
DASCOH Foundation and Swiss Red Cross jointly run these pumps under the ‘Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)’ project with around Tk3.5 crore with financial support from Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation- SDC.
In order to ensuring safe drinking water for the under-privileged people of Barind, 344 submersible pumps and 44,228 feet of sub-surface pipelines have so far been installed in 312 drought-hit villages since July, 2015.
Five solar panels were also installed to operate five pumps in the villages still not on the power grid network.
Around 5,400 inhabitants of 1,200 households now have water at their doorstep due to the installation of a deep tubewell, a 35,000-liter capacity overhead tank, and 6,000-meters of pipelines in Bidirpur village of Godagari Upazila.
“We have set a target of bringing a total of 1,258,000 people safe drinking water supply coverage by June, 2022,” Jahangir Alam Khan, Assistant Coordinator of IWRM Project, told BSS here on Tuesday.
He said the initiative has been taken to supply safe drinking water to the poor and vulnerable villagers round the year.
“We are very happy after getting safe drinking water,” said Amrita Kisku, 42, wife of Shital Kisku of Uchadanga village of Tanore upazila in the district.
Anila Kisku, 38, wife of Sunil Kisku of the same village, also expressed her happiness with the water supply system. She is now getting the water she needs for her family of nine.
Lutfor Rashid Haider, Chairman of Tanore Upazila, said the poor and underprivileged people of the drought-ridden area are now getting safe drinking water only because of the IWRM Project.
In the wake of inadequate aquifer recharge, groundwater level is declining alarmingly in the high Barind tract, posing a serious threat to its farming sector besides the living and livelihood conditions of local people, he said.
Lifting underground water by deep tubewells is becoming tougher during the dry season day by day, while options for surface water are also very limited, he added.
As such, he said the submersible water supply system is a blessing for the drought-affected people.
Akramul Haque, Chief Executive Officer of DASCOH Foundation, said the scheme aims to increase the availability of water for disadvantaged people in the Barind areas and protect them from health risks related to the use of unsafe water.
Prof Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan of the Department of Geology and Mining at Rajshahi University referred to various research findings, saying there is a shortage of drinking water in the region during the dry season and the problem has become acute over the last couple of years.
He said villagers cannot draw groundwater with tubewells as the water level goes down abnormally in the dry season.
The excessive use of groundwater for irrigation and the adverse impact of climate change are putting local people in trouble, he added.
In this regard, submersible pumps are contributing a lot to reduce the acute crisis of drinking water in the drought-prone area, though it does not solve the critical problem of a falling groundwater table.