Around 50,000 people in the capital's Shyampur and Nayatola have been facing serious water crisis for weeks as two Wasa water pumps there are inoperative due to technical glitches.
The crisis is so grave that local residents are spending several hours in queues to collect water from water lorries of Dhaka Wasa and Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP). Many have been spending additional money for drinking water and taking bath at relatives' houses nearby.
Homemaker Nasrin of Poddar Lane in Shyampur has been collecting a jar of water from a nearby house around 3:00am every day for the last two weeks.
“I also spend several hours in queues daily to collect water from Wasa lorries to meet my emergency needs,” added Nasrin, who has to walk around half a kilometre to fetch water from lorries.
Standing in queues for water has been a new experience for Kaniz Fatema Nawrin, who has just graduated from a private university.
“My parents and tenth grader younger brother also fetch water from water lorries,” she mentioned. For bathing, they go to a relative's house at Bank Colony in IG Gate of Shyampur.
The Dhaka Wasa and the DMP are supplying water to Shyampur by around eight lorries every day for the last five days, said Babar Ahmed of Nabin Chandra Sen Goswami Lane.
Residents of Nabin Chandra Goswami Lane, Bahadurpur Lane, Lalmohon Poddar Lane, Ashwin Gate, Faridabad and Millbarrack of Shyampur have been the major sufferers of the water crisis, he added.
Apart from the crises in Shyampur and Nayatola, people at Bhatara near Baridhara are also facing a similar ordeal for the last two months as the Wasa failed to set up a new pump there for want of land.
According to Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa), it can produce 242 crore litre of water daily against its demand of around 230 crore litre per day. But as the summer has set in, the capacity has dropped to below 230 crore litre per day due to depleting groundwater level and technical glitches in a few pumps.
Seeking anonymity, a top Wasa official said as the company produces 78 percent water from 670 deep tube wells across the capital, a particular area faces supply dearth if any pump becomes inoperative.
The pump at Nayatola has been out of order for about a month, while the pump at Shyampur for about five days, he mentioned.
“We have already started installing a new pump at Shyampur which would take at least a month. The crisis at Nayatola will be over within the next five to six days,” added the official.
About the problem in Bhatara, he said the Wasa was yet to find a piece of land to set up a new pump there which has delayed any solution to the crisis.