It seems that the WASA managing director has revised his estimate of the quality of pure water it supplies to its consumers in the capital. He now admits that not 100 percent but only 84 percent of the water is clean. And the devil is in the faulty distribution system, according to him. We believe that the percentage of people not getting potable water is actually far more than what WASA would have us believe.
That’s what begs the question: is it not WASA’s remit to ensure that the distribution system is secure and safe? And when it comes to drinking water, that is all the more necessary to guarantee. It is rather strange that all the recent studies regarding the water supply in the capital stem from a High Court directive when it should have been the WASA who should have been doing the study on its own without being prompted. Oversight and management are a constant exercise.
It is ironic that on the one hand, we take pride in pulling off a major feat such as putting our own satellite in space, while on the other, Dhaka WASA cannot even ensure the supply of pure drinking water to all the dwellers in the capital. When so much is spent to purify water at source, can WASA afford faulty pipelines to render that effort meaningless? Supply is as important as production. Poor quality of drinking water has short- and long-term consequences for the economy as well as for the health of the customers. Much more should be done by WASA of its own volition to ensure safe water. It all boils down to prioritising budgetary allocation and proper use of the money.