Dhaka, Bangladesh
Women make mint by selling pure drinking water

Women make mint by selling pure drinking water

CHAPAINAWABGONJ, Sept 12: Pushpa Rani, 39, wife of Shyamlal Bakla, has installed four submersible pumps to supply safe drinking water to people of her Sallapara community in Gomostapur Upazila of Chapainawabgonj district, reports BSS. For more than last three years, Pushpa has been playing role as watchdog on how to ensure water supply through making the pumps functional round the clock. She was elected member in women reserved seat of their Radhanagar Union Parishad (UP) last year. Like her, there are around 1,000 other volunteers including 351 women in the water-stressed Barind area. They have attained fame and leadership through providing the need-based water resource management services to their respective community people. Pushpa Rani told BSS that 15 of them including five females were elected members in their respective UPs boosting their bargaining capacity with local government institutions to establish good governance and their rights on water. She says the volunteers earned empowerment besides building their leadership with inspiration of 'Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) project'. Each of the 994 communities has water resource management committees through which the people solve their water-related problems collectively. 'Lifting underground water through deep tube-wells in the Barind tract is becoming tougher day by day. Options for surface water are also very limited,' added Pushpa. Some 7,150 families including 6,465 ethnic minorities have been brought under safe drinking water source through commissioning of 130 submersible pumps in the high Barind tract. The pumps along with 30,027 feet pipelines were commissioned with intervention of the IWRM project benefiting more than 30,000 people including 15,103 women in 173 remote villages. The beneficiary people took the responsibility of proper maintenance and functional of the infrastructures routinely. The project is being implemented in 35 UPs and four pourasavas in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts since 2015 by DASCOH Foundation and Swiss Red Cross with financial support from Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation-SDC. The initiative has been taken to maintain round-the-year drinking water supply to the poor and vulnerable villagers, where, power supply is available. Five solar panels were installed to operate five pumps in the villages remain beyond power supply network. Mamunur Rashid, Chairman of Radhanagar UP, said the water-deprived poor and underprivileged communities in the drought-hit area are getting safe drinking water privileges with the project intervention. As a whole, the scheme has ensured people participation to its activities.

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