Innovative measures taken to increase access to safe water in rural areas

the Government of Bangladesh with the support of the World Bank (WB) has undertaken the Bangladesh Water Supply Program Project (BWSPP) to expand the provision of drinking water supply services in pilot villages and small towns.

The Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) under the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives is implementing the BWSPP which is funded by the World Bank (IDA Grant of US$ 18.51mi). The project has made significant advancement in contributing to Bangladesh’s efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in Water Supply and Sanitation by 2015

. These pilot schemes hold potentials to be scaled up in near future. WB and the project implementing agency i.e. DPHE has initiated a dialogue on the possible scope and preparatory activities for a follow-on scaled up project based on the implementation experiences of the ongoing BWSPP.The project is piloting among others, innovative measures like small-scaled piped water in villages to shrift households from arsenic contaminated tube wells.

With the help of BWSSP, now 21 villages are enjoying access to safe water through small scale piped water provision. BWSSP is also helping to expand and rehabilitate water supply systems in 24 Pourashavas as well as facilitating to set up deep tube wells in different parts of the country including cyclone affected SIDR/AILA districts. Works for Pourashava water supply is nearing completion. 90% of the work for installing 5000 deep tube wells in the cyclone-SIDR affected 12 districts is already completed. The rehabilitation work for installing another 4000 deep tube well in the cyclone AILA affected areas is ongoing and would be completed by June 2010. The project is also piloting arsenic mitigation activities through community driven approaches to respond to the arsenic crisis through awareness building, training and management of arsenic mitigation activities in hot-spot unions of 3 Upazilas of Munshiganj district.

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