May 8, 2021


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There is no drinking water, no going

A helpless freedom fighter from Sharankhola called many nights and said that he had never seen such a cry for water before. He was saying, they are in so much trouble, yet why don’t we write about them. Will the lack of drinking water be eliminated? Will anyone read? Why do the officials wait to read about the water crisis and to print the text? I know, there is no answer to these questions. Even then the mind wants to know.

Tubewells do not run in Sharankhola of Bagerhat. Salt water under the ground. Either the water of the sky or the water of the pond — this system has been going on there for ages. The water of the pond is taken out by hand mill and kept in a brick-sand tank to make the water safe. It is called PSF (Pond Sand Filter) by all children and adults. This popular and affordable system of safe drinking water collection is available in almost all the districts and upazilas of our coast. However, due to management, most of them remain useless throughout the year. However, this year’s calculation is different নেই there is no rain at all, so there is no water in the pond. As a result, the PSFs are not running. There was 10 mm of rain in March last year. But this time the situation is completely different.

Although it is difficult to provide food during the coronation period, drinking water is not available to the people who eat every day. Water traders in Sharankhola are now selling 10 liters of water at Tk 40. That is 4 rupees per liter. But it is possible to sell water at Rs 1 per liter even if it is profitable. A private development agency is working to distribute water at affordable rates in the Southkhali bogie of Sharankhola. In Rayenda (Upazila Sadar area) another organization is delivering water from house to house at the rate of Tk 2 per liter. In the process of reverse osmosis, they are giving drinking water to the people by desalinating the salt water of the canals. We need salt-free water for various purposes besides drinking water. Even cattle are not accustomed to salt water.

Due to the water crisis, people are forced to limit the use of salt-free water. Many are being forced to meet the needs of the whole family with just 2 jugs or at most 10 liters of water. But according to internationally recognized standards, a person needs 3 liters of water to drink in a day. If there are 5 members in the family, only 15 liters of water will be needed for drinking. Out of this calculation there is standard water for personal hygiene, for cooking. As such, a family of five needs at least 40 to 65 liters of safe water per day. Needless to say, the people of the South do not have that fortune.

There has been a lot of research on drinking excessive amounts of salt water. Researchers are still continuing their research. ICDDRB has been associated with Dhaka University, Imperial College London and many other well-known and unknown institutions. Announcing the results of one such study in 2016, Adrian Butler, a reader at Subarface Hydrology at Imperial College, said the World Health Organization recommends a maximum of 5 grams of salt per day. But coastal people in some cases eat 200 times the salt. Eating too much salt is associated with high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease. If people on the coast drink less salty water (such as rainwater), it is possible to lower their blood pressure. We know that excess salinity in drinking water is the main cause of high blood pressure in pregnant mothers. There is a link between high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia.

In this country of seven months of rain, the coastal people know very well that rain water is easy and safe for them. The researchers concluded. However, the cost of retaining rainwater in their prescribed manner is often beyond the reach of the average person. But it is possible in community or social management. Asylum seeker

The pioneer club, a small social organization near Rayendabazar, has done just that. It was the only safe source of water in the area after Sidr in 2006. That source has dried up this time. There is no water in the pond of one bigha of their land. Ayub of Agradut Club said that he has given water to everyone for so many days, now they have to run with the money from the tank for water.

As freshwater or slightly brackish water sources dry up, so does the salt level in flowing rivers. Although the Bhola river of Sharankhola has dried up and turned into wood, the Baleshwar river is still strong.

The Baleshwar River flows 148 km through Barguna, Pirojpur and Sharankhola in the south-western part of Bangladesh, joins the Sundarbans and joins the sea. The Madhumati river was a major source of fresh water in Baleshwar. Madhumati merges with Baleshwar from Jhanjhania of Nazirpur upazila through Pirojpur. Due to Farakka, Madhumati, Gorai and their mother river Padma are now just a stream of water. So the rivers have lost the power to return the tidal salt water to the sea at low tide. Even then, fresh water is being blocked inside the country with various dams upstream of Baleshwar.

According to the Department of Environment, the salinity of the Baleshwar River suddenly increased last year. Later it was seen that this situation was created due to the obstruction created by the upstream water coming through the tributaries. After the removal of that barrier service, the salinity of the water becomes somewhat normal. However, this year the situation has returned.

Recently, there have been reports of rising salt levels in many more upstream rivers. Four times more salt than usual was found in the water of Kirtankhola. Muntasir Rahman, assistant biochemist at the Barisal Divisional Office of the Department of Environment, was quoted in The Daily Star as saying that after testing the water at Charkaua, Launchghat and Dapadapia points on March 8, the electrical conductivity (EC) was found to be 1360 microsem per centimeter. Per centimeter could be found. Sa.

The EC is considered to be acceptable up to 1200.

It was decided long ago that 16 pond based water purification systems will be constructed in Sharankhola. Although the upazila complex has been opened, the rest are not known. There is no reason to wait for electricity connection again. ‘Nanofilters’ have sat in many places but are not being introduced. Locals said it was possible to start two plants adjacent to Banglabazar or fire office immediately. There is enough water now as the ponds adjacent to the two projects are getting bigger.

There are more than sixty khaspukurs in Sharankhola upazila. If even half of this can be recovered and brought under automatic (known as nanofilter) purification, there will be at least a shortage of drinking water. They need to have solar power system, not electricity. This should be the main consideration in cyclone prone areas.

In the process of reverse osmosis, those who have arranged for water purification need to cooperate in production and distribution. The goal of these collaborations will be to maintain quality control and affordable prices. You also need to think about the easy-to-use process of retaining rainwater at home.

In addition to negotiating a fair share of water with neighboring countries, we also need to consider whether we ourselves are in the interest of the river. In our plan to withdraw river water even within the country, the river should not be deprived. The river looks like the sea all year round.

Gowhar Naeem Wara is a writer and researcher