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Water Crisis of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Posted in Bangladesh, Water Crisis, Water Crisis of Dhaka by Khaled Saifullah on April 24, 2009














Photo: Priyo

Water scarcity in the capital city Dhaka has worsened in the past few weeks due to frequent load shedding and fall in groundwater level. The people of Lalbagh, Kamalbagh, Islambagh, Nawabpur, Khilgaon, Mirpur, Hajaribagh, some parts of Mirpur and Mohammadpur, all part of Badda, Shewrapara, Kazipara, Paikpara, Kalabagan, Nayapaltan, Khilgaon, some parts of Moghbazar and Basabo alleged that they were acutely facing water crisis in the areas for the last couple of weeks. Recently Gulshan, Dhanmondi, Badda, Rampura and Bonhasri are facing water crisis.

Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA) said they are producing 160 to 165 crore liters of water a day against a demand of 205 liters, WASA officials said, which is about  25 percent less than demand. Managing Director of WASA Raihanul Abedin, said: “We hope to solve the water problem in the next four years as some WASA projects including setting up a water treatment plant and replacing old pipelines will take some time.” On emergency basis, the WASA is supplying water by tank lorries in different areas including Kajipara, Dhanmondi, Nakhalpara, Rampura, Badda, Shahjadpur, Basabo, Mohammadpur, Monipuripara, Rajabazar, Gulshan, Uttara, Mohakhali and others parts of Dhaka Metropolitan Area. But people claimed “to get water from WASA lorry, we usually have to wait for 10 days.”

Blaming load shedding for the current deficit of water supply, Abedin said if smooth supply of electricity is ensured, WASA could nearly meet the city’s total need. Of the 505 water pumps of WASA, only 274 have generators, and the rest remain idle during load shedding. Also “A substantial quantity of water is wasted everyday due to leakage,” said the WASA chief. “Replacing old pipes and setting up new ones of around 3,800 km length will start soon and end by 2012.” To reduce dependence on ground water, they have already taken initiative for setting up, Abedin added.

Morsheda Akhter, a resident of Rampura, said, “When necessary, we have to use dirty water for bathing and cooking. When we complained to the landlord, WASA told us to buy purifying filter.” “Stinky, dirty water is our great problem. WASA officials said that they would try to solve our problem but the solution never came,” the commissioner of Rampura added. The commissioner also said “Our water is dirty because Buriganga and Shitalakkha rivers are polluted. The government is not taking any step to clean up these rivers.”

The WASA has 478 deep tube-wells in the city to meet 75 percent of the demand, which is also 86 percent of its supply. The rest 14 percent comes from surface water sources, said a WASA official.

WASA said load shedding is the main reason for water crisis in Dhaka; because WASA cannot operate pumps for about 9 to 10 hours every day.


7 Responses

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  1. Adib Sajed Adel said, on April 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Water crisis is a very big problem in Dhaka city during this time of they year. The Government should take necessary steps.

  2. Qeexu said, on June 26, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Проекты. Покупка уголь
    Требуется плотник

  3. Nadia said, on March 28, 2011 at 6:42 am

    WASA MD Syndicated Culpability with Water Supply (WASA)
    Taqsem Khan.

    Now you found a new policy of not responding to my telephone calls. Bravo, this strategy of yours is highly applauded, alright enough with the jokes already getting to the point- No wonder, the entire chain of command is dysfunctional. You, mostly hide under the shade of the term “I’m busy” well this is business get it? I don’t call you, spending my time money & energy for pap-talks. Never have I found in my case that you have taken responsibility for your action knowing what sort of culpabilities are going on in Ulon. Sources reveal that U sort of enjoy and if not encourage having received the culprits impersonating themselves as The substantial members of this particular neighborhood but, they by no means or standards represent ULON. Did Illegal water lines just out of thin air conjured into the Grabbed Canals and your people just kept their eyes shut? Truly is hard to believe. And needless to mention your improper behavior to address a valued consumer is unacceptable, being a public servant you forget to refer one as “Sir,/Madam, yet your impertinent knows no bounds in your rowdy voice which is outrageously annoying, discourteous to the highest degree, totally unprofessional with a biased perception and egoistic for a man of your stature as if taking everything personally. By no means these are tolerable. As I see it, a conventional overhauling will yield no results whatsoever. A massive stand release could be the one and only solution at this point in time. And obviously you are not, as I made my point already DEPENDABLE AT ALL and trustworthy for, ur men didn’t show up at my doorstep today as you committed! May I ask, What kept you from sending them over and looking into my water problem? I DEMAND MY WATERLINE FIXED RIGHTAWAY….AND IT BETTER NOT RECUR IN FUTURE. And if u cannot ensure that then I assume its high time we need something who can.

    Bottom line
    “I don’t much care in what you think of yourself as what’s important is what I know you as – A Public SERVANT working Just like an efficient official… Your post and positions are good enough for elsewhere but not in such an important service providing organization like “WASA”. It is not my intention here to deliver lecture about “how you discharge your duties” except to say that your job needs an uncompromising person who performs impartial, accountant able and transparent, who doesn’t hand out any uncalled for favoritism let alone allow any sort of nepotism to anyone. Must I remind you that I contribute to WASA exchequer that in turn provides you with your monthly pay and if you don’t count that we have our differences here.

    You might as well note that a high profile investigative team is underway….i would do everything in my power to ensure that the poison ivy of the crime committing syndicate is permanently uprooted regardless of whoever is implicated.

    While we are in the process of making our country “ A Digital Bangladesh, am going to conspicuously upload this topic onto the Information Super Highway.

    (this document is initiated by a scrupulously honest, and tightly self disciplined WASA consumer under the Freedom of SPEECH & Expression Act)

    Nadia Sikder.
    For and on behalf of
    Momtaj Begum, owner of:
    211/2 Ulon Road, West Rampura

    Memo to
    Executive Engr. Kasasin COPY
    WASA Zone-6

    In several instances you were contacted, but have failed detrimentally to give your dutiful services, instead provided with some lame excuses that didn’t get the job done. I hope you are not one of those who considers themselves much higher than the chair they sit on. With or without your full consent dubious deeds were performed, in any event all blame falls on your shoulder. You intend to say that Land Grabbing Canal Filling don’t concern your scope of work. Well I don’t intend to burst your bubble though, due to considerable degree of experience with handling departments like yours, I have come to know whether you like or not, somewhere or another we all are accountable. Just like, how in the name of Satan’s Ploy did the self-proclaimed Matabars in Ulon West Rampura not only got WASA’s water lines onto the Manmade Lands which very much existed Lakes rather redirected unofficially the main water line catapulting all the way to various undocumented peripheries… as a result the main line presently is partially/fully inoperative. Question is Without your knowledge why & how did this take place? Well, that’s for you to find out what exactly is going on, and coming up with a remedial effort… In any event as a conscious consumer as I see it, you are chargeable for the offences your men are implicated to. Again, as a Conscious Citizen I have done my part righteously, informing constantly to WASA that apparently fell on the deaf ears (over phone plus sending formal complaints via email. Let me refresh your memory: Ulon Holding #15-Siddik, #13-moznu #17-Kuddus, 211/E took illegal lines (from the diverted water line) in the dead of night police ceased them since they failed to come up with any proper paperwork or ID. Immediately after the cops dispersed they quickly began their unlawful task of excavating the road for connecting themselves with the unsanctioned waterline. 212-Monir Uddin Ahmed hadn’t been left out because not only his lines too are erroneous but he keeps on spilling water incessantly underground my residence with the main objective of inundation reason being- “Bhoomidashyuta”…. don’t you get it by now? it’s a crime committing syndicate and what’s your problem in recognizing the word for what they in reality are: Land/Lake/waterbody/home Grabbing? while in true sense of the term you(a section of WASA insiders) too aren’t off the hook! Last but not the least, much to your awareness, Ulon PUMP HOUSE has turned more like the devil’s snare has actively devoted it to the diversion of the line resulting in myself being the worst sufferer without water… which I never was! The original documented network right now is just a parallel to the one that got laid out by the “Land Grabbing Syndicate” to their convenience…. How did it happen and again why did WASA let it happen? Not only that, when the electricity is off the generator should be turned on by the pump operators, which they usually don’t, almost similar to one that you spat out this morning on phone a flimsy excuses and concluding with one that offered water on payment leads to questioning why in the world do I have to pay for my water that WASA rightfully is obligated to supply me with as I REGULARLY PAY MY MONTHLY WATER BILLS. Fact of the matter is funds for functioning the Generator with Diesel is provided by the major donor agencies but if they don’t operate the generator what do they do with the donation then? I think its about time to release the operators like we all know these days people don’t get suspended, transferred or dismissed they go to prison for any irregularity in performance, carelessness and negligence to duties which, I am sure you unhesitatingly would agree with me. After all, these people by dint to a lengthy posting to the same area got familiar to the area as well as people particularly the wrongdoers, if you know what I mean , It is evident that in a way they fall easy prey to the culprits as well as their culpabilities even they are not bad at all! When the 3G residents speak out “we need fresh blood new recruits to replace the old ones” for they know pretty well that, the Third World War is knocking at the door and the reason is “WATER”. Let me put down one more fact here that the wrongdoers in the area joined together and have successfully completed diverting/laying the flow of sewerage/sewage line underground… the flow of sewage used to flow towards “SOUTH” (Rampura) Now it flows to the “NORTH” from Thai Plastic to Ulon Bazar and beyond! To give you one more, In the past (also going on) canals were grabbed, filled, creating forged paperwork owned, constructed undocumented multistoried buildings and of course got undocumented utility lines… Now their hands have become so long not to mention becoming filthy rich that, they are up to making somebody’s home a CANAL… sounds ridiculous? Well, come visit Ulon for yourself …but be sure, you won’t find anybody to validate these for two reasons one: as usual, being scared of the main culprits (only 2/3 in number) and two: the easygoing people for obvious reasons wont open up their mouth…. Here comes the same old saying: who came first the egg or the chicken.

    To conclude, I am out of water, need it and need it NOW and am looking forward to your prompt action.

    I appreciate your sense and sensibility.


    Nadia Sikder,
    For & on behalf of
    Mrs. Momtaj Begum
    211/2, Ulon,
    West Rampura, Dhaka -1219.

    – Managing Director, (already E-mailed with the Ref. above) – D.G. National Consumer Rights Directorate
    -Syed Ashraf Hossain Hon. Min. LGRD
    -Chairman, Anti Corruption Commission – President, Crime Reporters Association (CRAB)
    – Chairman, National Human Rights Commission – A selection of Media (both Print & Electronic)
    -A selection of NGOs / INGOs – Bangladesh Legal Aid & Services Trust (BLAST)
    – A selection of Major International Donor Agencies

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  7. Sabrina Haque said, on September 24, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Thank you for sharing this vital information with us. Could you please give me some ideas on how can we reserve rain water in apartment buildings and make use of it? Thank you once again.

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