Water supply runs dry in Senpara | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 19, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 19, 2009

Water supply runs dry in Senpara

Residents suffering for last two months

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Residents rush to the road with pitchers as a Wasa water tank (not in picture) arrives near Rokeya Sarani in Senpara Parbata area. The area has been facing a severe shortage of drinking water for weeks.Photo: Anisur Rahman

Just after recovering from illness, Kohinoor Begum came to fetch water from a water-carrying lorry of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) at Senpara Parbata in the city's Mirpur area yesterday.
The woman in her 50s waited around half an hour in a queue and finally managed a bucket of water for her six-member family with the help of a neighbour. But a bucket of water is too little for her family.
"I've come here after three days of illness ignoring the advice of doctor. I've no alternative way as five of my daughters are working in garments factories," said Kohinoor, who also recovered from paralysis one year ago.
Selina, another woman of Senpara Parbata, failed to collect water after waiting for half an hour due to hassle, as she carried her six-year-old mentally disabled son, Sabbir.
"I have no other family member except my husband. He takes care of son when I come to fetch water. But he went to office in the morning," Selina said.
Like Kohinoor and Selina, several hundred people including women and children of Senpara Parbata gather at the main road in the area to fetch water from the water lorries of both DCC and Wasa every day. Thousands of people in the area are not getting water from the Wasa supply line in last two months.
Many residents have to bring water from other areas to meet their everyday necessities. DCC and Wasa distribute water three times a day but the supply is too little to meet the needs of huge number of people in the area.
"I walked about one kilometre to fetch a pitcher of water but I have failed to collect water from the lorries because of huge gathering," said Jesmin Begum who waited for an hour from 9:00am to collect water.
Many residents of Senpara Parbata and Manipur, especially the poor, depend on the supply of lorries. But people, who are comparatively rich and do not like to face hassle for collecting water, prefer to buy water from Wasa and other sources or bring water from other areas.
Murtaza, owner of a five-storey building, said they have to buy water everyday but most of the days they do not get water from Wasa due to its huge demand.
"To buy a small lorry of water from Wasa, we usually have to wait for 10 days," she said, adding that they also buy water from other persons as well.
She said her family members depend on the houses of their relatives to meet their daily needs, including for taking bath and washing cloths.
Mohammad Shahjahan, site supervisor of Associate Engineers and Dealers that gets the work order for setting up another pump at Manipur-1, said residents of the areas will have to wait 26 days more to get rid of the water crisis.
He said they started their work to set up a pump near the existing pump on March 16 and the work will be completed by next 26 days.
He said the capacity of the pump would be 4,000 litres per minute and water problem of the area solved when the pump starts operation.
Mosharraf Hossain, pump operator of Manipur-1, said the capacity of the existing pump is 5,000 litres per minute but the capacity drops to 1,200 litres. And it is the main reason for the ongoing water crisis.

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