Biosand filter brings smile in the family of coastal community

The southwest coastal area of Bangladesh is highly vulnerable due to Climate change. Livelihoods of this community people is seriously threaten. The underground water is saline in this area. For the reason of sea level rise, floods caused by river erosion, salinity increase and so on, source of drinking water ponds are becoming unusable day by day. There remain a few drinking water ponds that consists dirty water and it is unusable. For drink excessive dirty water of the pond, people are becoming sick. People are suffering food scarcity, unemployment problem, increase frequent natural disaster due to climate change.

Drinking water crisis adding more vulnerabilities to the community people of coastal region, which forcing people to migrate from the area. The women and adolescent girl in the area usually collect drinking water from far for the family. Sometimes it causes the physical problems for the women, as they have to carry heavy water vessel long time and long distance. Working women were not able to work regularly and many adolescent girls miss school for collect water from far distance. Sometimes women and girls face physical and sexual harassment while collecting water. Many people are forced to buy water from the market. Cyclone SIDR in 2007 and AILA in 2009 increased the people’s suffering of the coastal people.

LEDARS (Local Environment Development and Agricultural Research Society) is a non-political and non-government development organization working in the coastal area since 1996. LEDARS has been working on Climate Change adaptation and mitigation, environmental conservation, human rights and good governance, water and sanitation and education for dignity. LEDARS is very much focus on removing drinking water crisis from coastal region. Till now LEDARS installed 23 Pond Sand Filter (PSF), reactivate 11 PSF, 47 rainwater harvesting systems etc.   LEDARS has been awarded as excellent Third Prize of world Water Showcase from World Water Forum 2015.

Since 2007, LEDARS has been installing biosand filter to purify the locally available dirty pond water for drink, so that women and adolescent do not need to go far and face harassment. This filter can treat turbidity and bacteria and produce drinkable water for drink. In 2014 an American donor named OHorizon Foundation proposed LEDARS to work with them to install thousands of Biosand Filter among coastal community. With the support of OHorizons, LEDARS has made a filter production center in Shyamnagar and till date, LEDARS installed 1050 biosand filter in 1050 families. For this reason the access to pure drinking water has increased in the community. People are able to use locally available pond water in their community easily. It is saving their time, money, and mental harassment. In the meantime, this good looking and easy use filter being popular among the community. The pure water from the filter has brought smile in the women and girls. The local administration appreciated this initiative. After the successful implementation of this project in 2016 LEDARS is going to install 6000 biosand filter in 6000 family in Shayamnagar and Ashashuni upazila of Satkhira district by 2017 and 2 Lakh filters in Satkhira, Khulna and Bagerhat District within 2021.