Fulfilling the long-time dream of fresh water of the local people, a water treatment plant was recently inaugurated at Maheshkhali upazila in Cox's Bazar.
Integrated telecommunications infrastructure services company, edotco Bangladesh, in collaboration with Brac, constructed the reverse osmosis (RO) based water treatment plant to provide safe drinking water to the people of the island.
The plant was inaugurated recently through a virtual ceremony attended, among others, by edotco Bangladesh Country Managing Director Ricky Steyn; BTRC Vice Chairman Subrata Roy Maitra, and Director of Brac's Communicable Diseases and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme Md Akramul Islam, said a media statement.
Inhabitants in Maheshkhali, a distant island of Cox's Bazar district, mostly rely on shallow wells, ponds, and streams, which are often contaminated both biologically and chemically beyond human consumption.
Water supply from these sources is also shrinking due to the constant intrusion of the saltine, making the lives of the lowest income groups difficult, especially the women and children.
These groups also suffer significantly from waterborne diseases due to the use of unsafe water, resulting in high cost of health care and disastrous impact on health and nutrition.
As part of its social commitment to improve livelihoods of the community, especially to the underprivileged community near the tower sites, the edotco has installed two plants near Uttor Meheriapara Jame Mosque and Kutubjom Model High School in Maheshkhali, impacting the lives of about 1000 poor and ultra-poor households.
At the virtual inauguration event, Ricky Steyn said, "Access to safe drinking water is a basic human right and it must be ensured to attain the country's commitment to achieve SDGs."
"We believe this partnership project with Brac will allow us to ensure a significant impact in improving the health of the local community people specially the women and children," he added.
Md Akramul Islam said, "In an effort to ensure the welfare of communities in Moheshkhali, we have established facilities for the provision of safe drinking water, which will especially benefit the women and girls."
"We are thankful to edotco for joining our efforts to reach out to the people of these communities where water scarcity is acute. This initiative will help many families stay protected from water borne diseases but also from the havoc of ongoing Covid-19 pandemic," he added.