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Don’t drink the water

  • Published at 12:00 am April 26th, 2019
Four out of 10 zones under Dhaka Wasa contained notable levels of arsenic, ammonia, chlorine and bacteriaCollected

It is time not only to hold Wasa to account but also to clean up water sources like rivers

It is an obvious fact that the water that comes out of most taps in Dhaka city is not fit for drinking until it is boiled or purified in some form.

And yet, the MD of Wasa recently commented that the water quality was perfectly fine, and that there was no need to waste gas in boiling it.

These comments are irresponsible to say the least, as Wasa is, no doubt, well aware of the sorry state of the water supply in the capital, as study after study has shown that the water is, in fact, not safe to drink.

According to a World Bank report from last year, E-coli bacteria has been found in 80% of private piped-water taps, and that even deep underground water, often thought to be a fairly safe source, is frequently contaminated with large amounts of metals and other pollutants.

The water supply, then, poses a serious health risk to the population of Bangladesh, and a large part of the responsibility of providing clean water falls on the shoulders of Wasa.

With the water table diminishing at an alarming rate, and our overreliance on groundwater, which is solely supplied by Wasa, a serious crisis could be on the horizon unless we take action now.

It is time not only to hold Wasa to account -- which means it must look at the problem in its supply lines where contamination often happens -- but also to clean up water sources like rivers, which have become so polluted over the years that it is nearly impossible to treat them.

All the strides we have made economically in recent years will be in vain if the country is plunged into shortage of clean, drinkable water.