Dhaka WASA miserably fails to supply safe water

30 September 2022

Reza Mahmud :
Residents of Dhaka city are yet to get rid of polluted drinking water supplied by Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (DWASA).
As per different tests, water supplied by WASA is still hazardous, says experts.
Citizens are getting infected with various serious diseases including diarrhoea because of the stinky water supplied by the DWASA.
In different studies, researchers found the presence of hazardous level of coliform and E-coli bacteria in WASA water.
 As per those tests, the level of faecal coliform in samples of WASA supplied water was 240mpn/100ml.
When contacted, BARC Director (Nutrition) Md. Monirul Islam, who headed a recent research, said that levels of both total and faecal coliforms should be zero in drinkable water.
He said the samples of that water are collected from WASA water. It means the WASA supplied water is still hazardous.
Experts said that those bacteria and viruses are responsible of creating long-term diarrhoea, headache, nausea, stomach ache, fever and cold, besides decreasing disease prevention power in human body.
They said that Escherichia coli (E. coli) are one of those bacteria. Most E.coli bacteria are harmless, but some can cause serious food poisoning.
When contacted, Architect Iqbal Habib, an urban specialist, said, "The oldest and damaged water and sewerage pipe lines are causing dangers in drinking water."
He said, "We heard for long that the WASA is trying seriously to change the old pipes."
Besides, MA Matin, Vice-President of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (BAPA), said, "According to international standard, there should be 8 meter difference between water supply pipes and sewerage pipes. But in Dhaka, these two types of pipes are set together, which caused such dangerous situations."
Experts said, dishonest persons in different areas are setting makeshift pipes illegally to collect water in many areas in WASA supply lines, which created holes in the pipes. The human faeces and other wastes are going inside WASA pipes through those damaged areas.
MA Matin said, "It is a major problem in the city's supply water. But problem is that the WASA officials usually ignore call from the consumers about the stinky water."  
Citizens complained that water supplied by DWASA stinks in different parts of the city.
They are in great trouble with unbearably odorous WASA water as it is not fit for drinking, cooking, washing cloths and other household utensils as well as taking bath.
People of those areas have been infected badly by diarrhoea, dysentery and other stomach disorders.
"Water supplied through pipes in our area at Paterbagh area and Shanir Akhra of Jatrabari is seriously odorous. We are facing difficulties while drinking, washing faces, cloths and household appliances and taking bath," Shahidul Islam Patwary, a residence of Paterbagh, told The New Nation.
According to the residents, odorous water is found frequently in nearby Jelepara, Sheikhpara, Akramuddin Goli, Chandan Kotha in Jatrabari, Jurain, Mir Hazirbagh, Gendaria, Islampur, Lalbagh, Bashabo, Shajahanpur and Malibagh, among others.
When contacted, DWASA Managing Director Engineer Taqsem A Khan said, "It is a reality that the presence of coliform bacteria is still in the supply water in Dhaka. But we are not sitting idle. We are working with heart and soul to overcome the situation and to supply safe water to citizens."
WASA MD said, the development partners have invested 2.2 billion dollars to supply safe water. More 2.2 billion dollars are in pipelines in this sector.
Taqsem A Khan said, "With the notable investment, Dhaka WASA started its new journey with a master plan to supply safe water from 2008 by introducing District Metering Areas (DMA)."
He said that there will be 145 DMA across the capital whereas 64 DMA has been completed so far.

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