WATER AT EVERY DOORSTEP
“Weather was not this bad when I was married off and came to this village 27 years ago. Rainfalls were regular and drinking water was abundantly available,” says Fozila Begaum, from Nishanbari Union, Morelganj Upazila of the coastal Bagerhat District of Bangladesh.
Increasing salinity intrusion in this area lead to scarcity of drinking water. Sourcing drinking water has been increasing difficult, especially for women like Fozila, who walk long hours under the scorching sun daily.
There are more than 500 families like Fozila’s who are suffering from lack of available drinking water for years now. The entire community depend on one single pond as it gets more polluted and drier.
To support these families are ensured with safe drinking water Local Government Initiative on Climate Change, (LoGIC) project, led by the Local Government Division of the Ministry of Local Government Rural Development and Cooperatives, is a joint 4-year initiative of the Government of Bangladesh, UNDP, UNCDF, the European Union and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). LoGIC is phase II of UNCDF’s global Project Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL) in Bangladesh.
The project uses UNCDF transferred Performance Based Climate Resilience Grants (PBCRG) to climate vulnerable local governments as additional financing and complements the general grant resources provided by the Government to all Union Parishads (UPs). The specific purpose of PBCRG is to help UPs make investments to strengthen resilience to climate and disaster impacts, covering infrastructure and public services for the poor.
Realizing the severity of the crisis in the coastal areas of Bagerhat, LoGIC project together with local government institution and community, conducted a participatory community risk assessment survey. The identified risks were highlighted in Ward Shava following immediate inclusion in the Union Parishad’s annual development plan and risk reduction action plan. Parishad made a funding proposal on “Integrated Water Management Plant to ensure safe drinking water for the saline-stricken community” for immediate implementation.
“This is the one and only water treatment plant in this community providing pure drinking water to the 500 families who were suffering for the last two decades. We were gladly engaged with this initiative, providing voluntary support during its implementation,” says Fozila.
Water from the only pond source is treated and distributed among the households at their doorsteps through a home service system. Now women don’t have to walk miles or carry heavy pots full of water, nor do they have to spend their time in purifying it at home.
By channeling additional resources based on the requirements of the community in a coordinated approach, LoGIC has implemented a low-cost, nature-based technology. LoGIC played a catalytic role for this community to build resilience against climate change by working with the community and the UPs to bring out sustainable solutions to climate induced problems.