Some 250 families of Koyra upazila in Khulna will get potable water supply as another water treatment plant has been set up in the coastal area that faces a serious crisis of drinking water due to rising salinity.
The Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant has been set up with financial and technical support from Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF). With this, the PKSF has so far installed 70 RO plants to ensure safe drinking water supply in six coastal districts - Bagerhat, Barguna, Khulna, Satkhira, Patuakhali and Pirojpur.
A main feature of these types of plants is that they collect water from open sources rather than extracting groundwater which is depleting fast, according to the PKSF.
Advocate Gloria Jharna Sarker, a reserved seat Member of Parliament, on Wednesday inaugurated the water treatment plant.
Advocate Sarkar said tens of thousands of people are facing the challenge of living without access to safe (drinking) water across the globe.
The plant can produce 1,000 liters of water per hour to meet the demand of some 250 families on a regular basis, she mentioned.
She called upon the government and non-government organisations concerned to take the southern coastal belt's water crisis seriously and devise plans accordingly for short-term and long-term solutions to the crisis.
Speaking about the programme, PKSF Managing Director Dr Nomita Halder reiterated the foundation's commitment to keep its Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) initiatives on the top of its development agenda.
She said access to drinking water can protect and save lives by preventing various diseases and turning problems into potentialities, including unlocking the opportunities for education, job placement and improved health. "This is why we, in the PKSF, attach high priority to ensuring safe drinking water in communities affected by the potable water crisis," she added.
Koyra Upazila Nirbahi Officer Animesh Biswas was also present at the event.
Bangladesh has made substantial progress in ensuring universal access to improved water, with more than 97 per cent of the population having access to it. But access to safe drinking water is still low at 34.6 per cent, according to UNICEF.
Scarcity of safe drinking water is becoming more acute in changing climate situations from the combined effects of sea level rise, drop in ground water level, changes in upstream river discharge and increased frequency of more intense cyclones and tidal surges, said experts.