We are surprised at the Wasa MD's comment that the water supplied by Wasa in the capital is hundred percent pure. He didn't stop there and went as far as saying that the water is drinkable and there is no need for people to waste gas to boil the water supplied by them. Reportedly, he made the comments after a Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) study found that nearly 45 percent subscribers do not get the desired amount of water from Wasa while about 35 percent complain of getting poor-quality water throughout the year.
We find his comments irresponsible because several studies and reports published in the recent years portrayed a completely different picture. A 2018 World Bank report found that 41 percent of water supplied by Wasa has bacteria at source and 13 percent of water contains arsenic. As the WB report pointed out, “E-coli bacteria was present in 80 percent of private piped-water taps sampled across the country, a similar rate to water retrieved from ponds.” Researchers have also found that even the deep layers of underground water are contaminated with excessive amounts of heavy metals and other pollutants.
Contamination takes place at different stages—from extraction to supply, both chemical and physical. The heavy metals in the water cannot be removed even after boiling and purifying it through regular water filters. Another reason for rampant water contamination is the derelict Wasa supply lines. Thus Wasa authorities cannot just reject evidence-based findings. They should shun this denial mode and work towards ensuring safe drinking water for all the residents of the city instead.