Lakhi Biswas and her story of happiness with Rainwater Harvesting Tank

November 8, 2020 | By Tajul Islam Munna | Reply More

‘’Since long back, I had to travel a long distance for collecting freshwater, despite my back pain and violated  doctors advise –‘not to carry a loaded jar.’ This is due to the necessity of my family to bring fresh water. Every day it was my responsibility to bring at least 2 jars (10-12 litres/jar) of water in the morning and evening. I had to pass a hazardous road to reach the water collection point and waiting for getting serial through keeping my jar on the queue of jars. Even some days I returned back with vacant jars after hours of waiting for water, however, failed to get through overcoming serials and maintaining scheduled time.’

Lakhi Biswas, 35 years young women under Bashbaria community – Voshpatia union of Rampal upazila- Bagerhat district was telling her story of suffering due to severe scarcity of safe water for drinking and domestic uses.

The Bashbaria is a geographically vulnerable to disasters – in terms of both frequency and intensity, mainly due to its direct linkage with the Bay of Bengal and the Rivers surrounds the community. Since the adversity of global warming and sea-level rise hit, hard to the locality It’s a last south-west part of Bagerhat district and Bangladesh as well. The area is very closed to the UNESCO declared world heritage Sunderban mangrove forest and was identified as an extreme water poverty area under a study of Voice of South Bangladesh in the year-2016..

Since after four years of study, Voice of South Bangladesh under the support from the Royal Embassy of Germany, Dhaka, implementing a project titled- ‘Saving lives and improve livelihoods among disadvantaged front-line disaster risk communities through eliminating extreme water poverty and developing micro-entrepreneurship on homestead eco-farming’ in the community and recently provided a rainwater harvesting tank for harvesting, storing and using freshwater both for drinking, domestic and multipurpose uses. Since the reporting period, 75 tanks already distributed among 75 households where Lakhi is one of them. Under the project 75 RWH tank distributed among 75 households under five CBO,s.

Lakhi added that-‘Previously it was difficult to manage drinking water for my family from collecting it distant places, since sometimes, finding no other ways, we had to consume saline water from neighbouring unsafe sources which causes abdominal problems with skin diseases. Besides these, it was very difficult to manage freshwater for boiling rice, cooking foods and making cleans of dishes. Since we washed these utensils by saline water and after completed washing by saline water, again we sprayed some collected safe water on it. It was just to bring a satisfaction to assume it as clean. We didn’t have any scope of fresh bath, because of saline water everywhere. I have experienced a number of quarrels among communities surrounding the priority of getting water earlier through the engagement of undue influences at the only water collection point at Dakra.’

‘In the above circumstances, Executive Director from Voice of South Bangladesh and a representative from the Royal Embassy of Germany, Dhaka visited us in the community and learnt details about the scarcity of safe drinking water. Since a couple of months later on August, 2020 VoSB  distributed to me an RWH tank along with another neighbouring community household and we started to harvesting rainwater.’

The Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) tank brought happiness in my life. First, it reduced my stress on the backbone and remedy the pain as well. Now we can enjoy drinking water with satisfaction. Every rainy day we can harvest sufficient water for using it, not only drinking purpose but to other domestic uses. Since enough rainfall, the litters of collected water increased more and I kept my tank full of water. We are now providing safe water to our neighbouring community people as we realized the cruel scarcity and adversity of safe drinking water from real life.’

Lakhi Biswas expressed her deep satisfaction with the Rainwater Harvesting tank provided by Voice of South Bangladesh under ‘small-scale grant’ project from the Royal Embassy of Germany, Dhaka. Since during the study and subsequent community action plan meetings it was identified the risks of unsafe water in the area due to climate-induced salinity.

The Bashbaria community under Voshpatia union is looks like an island from the outside as it surrounds by the river and thousands of disadvantaged community are living which identified by VoSB as a front-line disasters risk community where the interventions are implemented. We have more stories of such water vulnerabilities those who hit hard by the adversity of water poverty, however, voices are rarely heard. The rainwater Harvesting tank and its multi-purposes uses by Lakhi and other selected beneficiaries is inspiring others in the community to get it for solving their scarcity of safe water.

Lakhi is now very happy with her Rain Water Harvesting tank, which reduced her sufferings from collecting water from distant places and reducing the water-borne diseases in her family, which enhanced to safe money for treatment. As she told-‘Now I can do all my domestic works with peace and happiness. Thanks those who provided this humanitarian support to us.”

Interviewed by and photo credit– Md Shahidul Islam, Executive Director, Voice of South Bangladesh on October 19, 2020  (Location-Bashbaria Community, Rampal Upazila, Bagerhat district)


Category: Blog Posts, Blogroll, Climate victims, Rural Women, South Asia

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