As of the beginning of 2017 the availability of clean drinking water in Bangladesh is expected to get worse. As Bangladesh is experiencing some of the most drastic climate changes in living memory, families are having to spend hours a day hunting down fresh drinking water. It looks as thought this water crisis and sanitation issue is not getting any better anytime soon…
About 20% of the population of Bangladesh are living in conditions that most people can’t imagine. Out in the country side droughts have made it nearly impossible to get clean drinking water. People living out of the cities are also more prone to natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes. Making families have to travel miles just to get a pitcher of drinking water.
“Finding fresh water here
is like finding gold”
The weather has worsened nearly every year and this of course is contributing to water not being drinkable. Flooding of riverbanks and erosion pollutes the water, making families often times having to send there children out to get water, rather than go to school.
Many experts believe that the struggle for Bangladesh will not get better anytime soon. Now that summer is approaching the problem will worsen and may lead to many new problems for those living in rural areas.
Surface water has all but dried up in most parts of Bangladesh, which will make finding clean drinking water nearly impossible without the use of filters. In many areas, such as the Barind Tract area in north Bangladesh you have to dig nearly 300 meters underground to find safe underground drinking water.
The water supply in several major cities has even reported to be dwindling as the months pass. Groundwater is disappearing at a drastic rate, according to Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation. They say that this crisis is of the utmost importance and getting clean water to their people is the number one priority for the year 2017.
In many places good clean drinking water become more valuable than gold. You can’t drink gold, can you? And without water you will die. If there is no water to buy with your gold, then what good is gold?
As of the first quarter of 2017, Bangladesh has been experiencing some extremem cclimate changed. Cyclones and flash foods have been ravaging small towns and villages. Making finding clean water impossible.
“We now frequently face cyclones and flash floods which cause the swamping of croplands by saltwater and put us in danger”
Said Shafiqul, a farmer in a southern Bangladesh rural area. Places where Shafiqul lives are extremely hard to reach places according to the world health organization. You literally need a plane to get to these places, as most of these areas do not have road.
Using whatever pots they can afford, most Bangladeshi farmers get up at the crack of dawn and travel 2-5 miles to a small pond where they can fill up their container. Often times passing by rusty pumps that were previously used to get well and ground water but have now dried up or have been damaged in natural disasters.
Once the arrive at the river they fill there pots and begin the journey home. This will hopefully last the family for a day at most and then the process starts again in the morning.
About 20 years ago there were fresh water ponds and wells that everyone could use for drinking and cooking water. As time went on, all of those sources of water began to gradually vanish. Now, most of the morning is spent just making to a clean water source and back home again. Villagers understand just how precious every drop of water is and must be used as sparingly as possible.
The average rainfall has dropped to the lowest in recorded history, about 1200 mm. The national average being around 2300 mm. There is some hope though.
Organizations like the Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) have begun installing wells and providing fresh drinking water to members of small towns that were previously unable to get good drinking water.
This will also help agricultural communities to produce more food by bringing out as much water from the earth as they can. Many times well water is not enough if you have a farm and if you have no water you can’t farm at all.