Crisis of safe drinking water
The sufferings of people caused by the lack of availability of safe drinking water have gotten more acute due to the unbearable scorching heat. A report published in this paper yesterday revealed that nearly a hundred people had been queuing outside Lalbagh Shahi Mosque for almost an hour in the sweltering heat to collect drinking water from the mosque since the water supplied to their homes by Dhaka Wasa is filthy and unsafe. This includes residents of Lalbagh's Killarmor, Islambagh and Kazi Reaz Uddin Road who have been going through this ordeal for the last seven to eight years.
The executive engineer of Wasa Zone 2 said that leaks in the pipeline are to blame for the contamination of water in the area. He also said that replacement work of supply pipes in Lalbagh area will start this December.
Over the years, the media has repeatedly highlighted the countrywide water crisis—both in urban and rural areas—and ill-maintained, worn out pipes have been identified as one of the major reasons behind pathogens contaminating drinking water causing serious waterborne diseases. However, what we have also seen over and over again is the complete disregard for citizens' needs and Wasa authorities resorting to false promises to quell criticism.
To say that it is disappointing that the issue of undrinkable water has not yet been resolved would be an understatement. The government needs to recognise water as a human right and prioritise it as such. It is high time for Wasa authorities to deliver on their word and take up more initiatives to address the lack of safe drinking water which is only expected to get worse as more and more people migrate to the capital.