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Girls Advocates for Harvesting Rainwater in Salinity-Affected Coastal Bangladesh — International Points


Lalita Roy now has entry to scrub water and likewise offers a service to her neighborhood by working as a pani apa (water sister), taking care of the neighborhood’s rainwater harvesting vegetation. Credit score: Rafiqul Islam/IPS
  • by Rafiqul Islam (khulna, bangladesh)
  • Inter Press Service

“Prior to now, there was a shortage of ingesting water. I needed to journey one to 2 kilometers distance every day to convey water,” Roy, a resident of Bajua Union beneath Dakope Upazila in Khulna, advised IPS.

She needed to accumulate water standing in a queue; one water pitcher was not sufficient to fulfill her day by day family demand.

“We require two pitchers of ingesting water per day. I needed to spend two hours every day amassing water. So, there have been varied issues. I had well being issues, and I used to be unable to do family work for lack of time,” she stated.

After getting a rainwater harvesting plant from the Gender-response Local weather Adaptation (GCA) Venture, which is being applied by United Nations Improvement Programme (UNDP), Roy is now amassing ingesting water utilizing the rainwater harvesting plant, which makes her life simpler.

“I get the amenities, and now I can provide two extra hours to my household… that’s why I benefited,” she added.

Shymoli Boiragi, one other beneficiary of Shaheber Abad village beneath Dakope Upazila, stated ladies in her locality suffered rather a lot in amassing ingesting water up to now as a result of they needed to stroll one to a few kilometers day-after-day to gather water.

“We misplaced each time and family work. After getting rainwater harvesting vegetation, we benefited. Now we’d like not go a protracted distance to gather water in order that we will do extra family work,” Boiragi stated.

Shymoli revealed that coastal folks suffered from varied well being issues attributable to consuming saline water and spent cash on amassing the water too.

“However now we’re conserving rainwater throughout the ongoing monsoon and can drink it for the remainder of the yr,” she added.


With assist from the mission, rainwater harvesting vegetation have been put in at about 13,300 households beneath 39 union parishads in Khunla and Satkhira. One pani apa (water sister) has been deployed in each union from the beneficiaries.

Roy, now deployed as a pani apa, stated the GCA mission performed a survey on the households needing water vegetation and chosen her as a pani apa for 2 wards.

“As a pani apa, I’ve been given varied instruments. I am going to each family two occasions per thirty days. I clear up their water tanks (rainwater vegetation) and restore these, if mandatory,” he added.

Roy stated she offers companies for 80 households having rainwater harvesting vegetation, and if they’ve any downside with their water tanks, she goes to their homes to restore vegetation.

“I am going to 67 households, which have water vegetation, one to 2 occasions per thirty days to supply upkeep companies. In the event that they name me over the cellphone, I additionally go to their homes,” stated Ullashini Roy, one other pani apa from Shaheber Abad village.

She stated a family provides her Taka 20 per thirty days for her upkeep companies whereas she will get Taka 1,340 (US$ 15) from 67 households, which helps her with household bills.

Ahoke Kumar Adhikary, regional mission supervisor of the Gender-Response Local weather Adaptation Venture, stated it supported putting in rainwater harvesting vegetation at 13,300 households. Every plant will retailer 2,000 liters of rainwater in every tank for the dry season.

The water vegetation want upkeep, which is why the mission has employed pani apas for every union parishad (ward or council). They work at a neighborhood degree on upkeep.

“They supply some companies, and we name them pani apas. The work of pani apas is to go to each family and supply the companies,” Adhikary stated.

He stated the pani apas get Taka 20 from each family per thirty days for offering their companies, and if they should exchange faucets or filters of the water vegetation, they exchange these.

The pani apas cost for the replacements of kit of the water vegetation, he added.


The coastal belt of Bangladesh is likely one of the most weak areas to local weather change as it’s hit arduous by cyclones, floods, and storm surges yearly, destroying its freshwater sources. The freshwater aquifer can also be being affected by salinity attributable to rising sea ranges.

Ullashini Roy stated freshwater was unavailable within the coastal area, and folks ingesting water was scarce.

“The water you’re looking at is saline. The underground water can also be salty. The folks of the area can’t use saline water for ingesting and family functions,” Adhikary stated.

Ahmmed Zulfiqar Rahaman, hydrologist and local weather change knowledgeable at Dhaka-based think-tank Heart for Environmental and Geographic Data Providers (CEGIS), stated if the ocean degree rises by 50 centimeters by 2050, the floor salinity will attain Gopalganj and Jhalokati districts – 50 km contained in the mainland from the coastal belt, accelerating ingesting water disaster there.


In line with a 2019 examine, folks consuming saline water undergo from varied bodily issues, together with acidity, abdomen issues, pores and skin ailments, psychological issues, and hypertension.

It’s even being blamed for early marriages as a result of salinity step by step adjustments ladies’ pores and skin shade from mild to grey.

“There isn’t a candy water round us. After ingesting saline water, we suffered from varied waterborne ailments like diarrhea and cholera,” Ullashini stated.

Hypertension and hypertension are widespread amongst coastal folks. The examine additionally confirmed folks really feel psychological stress attributable to having to continuously accumulate recent water.

Shymoli stated when the saved ingesting water runs out in any household; the relations get apprehensive as a result of it’s not simple to gather within the coastal area.


Rahaman stated river water flows quickly decline in Bangladesh throughout the dry season, however an answer must be discovered for the coastal space.

The hydrologist recommended a doable answer is constructing extra freshwater reservoirs within the coastal area by way of correct administration of ponds at a neighborhood degree.

Rahaman stated low-cost rainwater harvesting know-how ought to be transferred to the neighborhood degree in order that coastal folks can reserve rainwater throughout the monsoon and use this throughout the dry season.

He added that the federal government ought to present subsidies for desalinization vegetation since desalinizing salt water is expensive.

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