Project Running
Project implemented

 

                                                                 

Survey Findings:

Drinking Water TW

A total 16,472 drinking water tube wells were surveyed in Homna, Upazila. Of them 848(5%) TWs were found out of order on the day of survey i.e., 15,624 TWs water were tested (Annex- 1).


Upazila
Union
Drinking Water TW
Painted Red <0.05 mg/L
Painted Green
>0.05 mg/L
Out of
Order
Total TW Surveyed
Homna
Asadpur
967
300
72
1339
Chanderahar
1265
94
28
1387
Chalivanga
351
190
47
588
Chandanpur
408
448
41
897
Dulalpur
1082
151
82
1315
Ghagutia
673
739
86
1498
Gharmura
588
306
72
966
Homna
1282
527
103
1912
Joypur
399
230
28
657
Manikarchar
596
420
43
1059
Mathavanga
727
457
63
1247
Radhanagar
502
173
37
712
Vashania
909
116
91
1116
Nilakhi
926
798
55
1779
Total:
10,675
( 68%)
4,949
(32%)
848
( 5%)
16,472

Table – 1: Union wise screening Status of Drinking Water TWs of Homna Upazila

Homna Upazila
Out of 15,624 Drinking TWs tested in Homna 10,675 (68%) TWs water contains arsenic beyond acceptable limit and painted Red. Rest 4,949 (32%) TWs water were within permissible limit and painted Green. 5% TWs found not running on the day of survey (Table-1).

Irrigation Tube Well:
A total 3,383 irrigation TWs were surveyed in the Upazila out of which water from 3,148 TWs were tested and the other 235 TWs water could not tested as those were out of order at the time of survey (Annex-2).

(a) District
:
Comilla
(b) Population
:
233,805
(c) No. of Union
:
14
(d) No. of Ward
:
126
(e) No. of Village
:
207
(f) Percentage of Arsenic Contamination
:
69%
(g) Affected Population
:
161,325

The general objectives of first phase of the project are to assess the extent of arsenic contamination in all tube wells water of the project area along with assessing the technical viability as well as the effectiveness of different alternate safe water options and to figure out the community acceptance of different options. The specific objectives of the project are:

 


Upazila
Union
Irrigation TW
Red
Green
Out of
Order
Total TW Surveyed
Homna
Asadpur
156
21
37
214
Chanderahar
158
142
7
307
Chalivanga
29
2
0
31
Chandanpur
18
15
26
59
Dulalpur
196
106
64
366
Ghagutia
127
83
5
215
Gharmura
173
76
34
283
Homna
296
53
32
381
Joypur
141
14
0
155
Manikarchar
90
76
7
173
Mathavanga
364
121
14
499
Radhanagar
229
40
8
277
Vashania
146
0
1
147
Nilakhi
210
66
0
276
Total:
2,333
( 74%)
815
(26%)
235
( 7%)
3,383

Table – 2: Screening Status of Irrigation TWs of Homna Upazilla) Homna Upazila

3,383 Irrigation TWs were surveyed in Homna Upazila out of which 235 i.e., 7% were out of order. Of the 3,148 TWs water tested 2,333 (74%) TWs water were found arsenic contains in the water more than 0.05 mg/L (Table-2).
Identification of Arsenicossis Patients:
Suspected arsenicossis patients were preliminary identified by ISDCM TW Testers and shared the list of patients with local DPHE and Health Officials in the Upazila. Later DCH / DGH confirmed 108 nos. arsenicossis patients in the Upazila.

Status of Village-wise Arsenic Contamination:
Out of total 207 villages surveyed in the Homna upazila in 54 villages there is no Green TW (Annex-4). There is no village in the Upazila without red marked TWs. (Table - 3)

Name of upazila
Number of Union
Number of Village
Number of Village with 100% Red TWs
Number of Village 80% to 99% Red TWs
Number of Village 1% to 79% Red TWs
Number of Village 0% Red TWs
Homna
14
207
54
61
92
0

Table – 3: Status of Village Wise Arsenic Contamination

Union Chairman & Ward Members Training:

As a part of community awareness, communication campaign and responsibility of arsenic mitigation process Union Chairmen and Ward Members were provided training at Union level in Homna The ISDCM Communication Officer and SAEs PHE acted as resource persons in the training programme. The training were given in number of batches. Their participation was spontaneous and integration was praiseworthy. In few occasion Upazila Nirbahi Officer inaugurated the training programme. All 14 Union Parishad Chairmen 104 out of 126 Male Ward Committee Members and 36 out of 42 Female Ward Committee Members attended the training. Because of training of the peoples representatives and intensive social mobilization activities community became aware about bad effect of drinking of arsenic contaminated water and its mitigation (Table-6).

SL NO
Name of Upazila
Training of Arsenic Mitigation Committee Members
Number of participants invited
Number of
participants attended
1 Homna Union Chairmen
Ward Member
Women Member
14
126
42
14
104
36

Table- 6: Union Chairmen and Ward Members Training
Sectoral Training on Communication:

Sectoral training was an important part on the use of communication materials for creating awareness of the people and the community. Considering the role and responsibility of the field workers some important allies were provided training. Accordingly field workers of Homna upazila were trained. Out of 145 Health and Family Planning workers 144 were trained, All 24 Agricultural Block Supervisors, 4 DPHE Mechanics, 16 NGO workers and 22 Head Teachers out of 24 & all 140 Imams were trained. This training has brought good changes in the community awareness through their motivational activities. The govt. field workers organized meeting with the community as part of their own activities, which helped motivate the community about arsenic problem. This training helped tremendously in community awareness and mobilization. ISDCM Social Mobilizers also attended those monthly meeting to observe the activities. Similarly other agencies like Imam, NGO workers and Head Teachers also played an important role in this regard (Table-7).

SL NO
Name of Upazila
Sectoral Training of
different agencies
Target
(Total No.)
Participants
(Total No.)
1. Homna
  • Health Deptt., Field Workers & Family Planning Workers
  • AgricultureBlock Supervisor
  • DPHE TW Mechanics
  • NGO Workers
  • Head Teacher
  • Imam
145

24
4
16
24
140

144

24
4
16
22
140

Table – 7: Sectoral Training on Communication

Courtyard Meeting and Community Meeting by TW Testers:

During the project period courtyard meeting was an important task of ISDCM staff to motivate community regarding affect of arsenic contaminated water. Accordingly ISDCM Social Mobilizer were organized 1035 courtyards meeting in the Upazila. The ISDCM Social Mobilizer organized 5 courtyard meetings in each village. In each meeting 10/12 people including men, women and children attended. The main issue of discussion was to create awareness in the community about bad effect of arsenic contaminated water, drink water from green marked TW and not to drink and cook from red marked TW water, but can be used for other domestic purpose. Beside this, community were encouraged to use rain water, surface water after boiling and water from dug well as alternative source for surface water. ISDCM field testers those who recruited only for water test. They were also engaged for motivational purpose during testing of TW water and painting of TW spout. During field test 22,154 meetings were organized by TW testers, which also helped create awareness of the community (Table-8).

SL NO
Name of Upazila
Type of Communication Meeting
Target
(Total No.)
No. of Meeting conducted
Participants
(Total No)
1. Homna
  • Courtyard Meeting
  • Community Meeting
    by TW Testers
1035
-
1035
22154
9343
-

Table – 8 : Courtyard meeting and community meeting by TW Testers

Formation of Village Arsenic Mitigation Committees (VAMCs):

Under the workplan ISDCM had encouraged villagers to form VAMCs and successfully formed VAMCs in each village of Homna upazila comprising Teachers, Imams, Representatives from Young Groups and Local Elites. Average 7/11 member committees formed and 2/3 women were included in each VAMC (Table-9).

SL No
Name of Upazila
No. of VAMC
Formed and 1st Meeting held
2nd VAMC Meeting held
Number
Participants
1 Homna
207
21
147

Table – 9: Formation of Village Arsenic Mitigation Committees (VAMCs)

Communication Campaign by Stakeholders: The main reasons of providing training to different sectoral agencies to organize campaign during field workers’ routine meeting. During project period ISDCM has monitored and collected necessary statistical data about campaign organized by the field workers on arsenic problem. Health and Family Planning Department’s field workers organized 127 meetings, Agriculture Block Supervisors 98 meetings, DPHE Mechanics 15 meetings, Head Teacher 31 meetings, NGO workers 17 and Imams organized 61 meetings. This meetings brought enormous help know about arsenic problem in the village level by the community (Table-10).

Sl.
No
Name of Upazila
Name of
Agencies
No. Campaign during Monthly Meeting
1 Homna
  • Health Deptt., Field Workers & Family Planning Workers
  • Agriculture Block Supervisor
  • TW Mechanics
  • Head Teachers
  • NGO Workers
  • Imams

127

98
15
31
17
61

Table – 10: Communication Campaign Organized by Different Sectoral Agencies

Rally:
Under the project activity there was provision to organize rally one in each union. Accordingly, 14 rally was organized at union level in the upazila. The govt. Primary schools were considered for venue at starting point of rally. The Head Teachers, Assistant Head Teachers, Local Elites, Students and Local NGOs attended in the rally. The students and other participants moved from village to village and chanted slogans with arsenic related message. In Homna Upazila 14 rallies were organized with 6251 participants. (Table-11).

Sl.
No
Name of Upazila
Type of Project activity
Target of activity
No. of Rally completed
Type of Participants
Total
attended
1 Homna Union level Rally
14
14
Head Teachers, Local Elites, Students of Primary Schools, Community Grameen Bank, DPHE ASA and other NGOs
6251

Table – 11: Union level Rally

4.4 Miking:
For sensitizing the community on arsenic problem, miking in the villages of the Homna upazila was one of the important tasks. Miking has been organized in 207 villages by rickshaw playing cassette and chanting slogans. This was the very easy and acceptable communication media to communicate the messages to the community people (Table-12).

Sl.
No
Name of
Upazila
Name of
activity
Total
Target
Total
Completed
Slogans
  Homna Miking at village level 14 Unions
207 Villages
14 Unions
207 Villages
“Nirapad Pani Khabo, Miley Mishey Sabai Nebo”
“Gram Bhaider Boley Jai Arsenic Mukta Pani Khai”
“Dokander Bhaider Boley Jai Arsenic Mukta Pani Khai”
“Hotel Malik Bhaider Boley Jai Arsenic Mukta Pani Khai”
“Shabuj Mukho Koler Khabar Pani Miley Mishey Sabai Aani”
“Lal Mukho Koler Pani Bholyo Jeno Naa Aani”

Table – 12: Miking at Village level in the Project Upazila


Billboard & Information Board:

Erection of Billboard in important places of Union and Upazila was another task under project action plan. All together 60 billboards erected with message and information on arsenic problem in the project upazila. The site list of the places for setting up the billboards were provided by Union Parishad Chairmen. The messages of billboard attracted the community people to know about arsenic contamination and its mitigation. In the Upazila, 17 information boards were installed in the office of the Union Parishad, UNO & SAE DPHE. The boards contain the information that will be needed in planning Safe Water Supply Project. upazila-wise information on water and arsenic status is shown in the Table -13.

Sl.
No
Name of
Upazila
Name of
activity
Total
Target
Total
Completed
Remarks
 1 Homna
  • Billboard erection
  • Display of Information Board
60

17

60

17

Average 4/5 Billboards were erected in each Union.

One in each Union Parishad, one in UNO office and the another in the SAE DPHE Office.

Table – 13: Billboard and Information Board

Popular Theatre and Kavi Gan:
The Popular theatre and folk song were another important task of creating awareness regarding arsenic contaminated water and its mitigation. The Popular theatre staged drama in Homna Upazila. Script of the theatre “Mayna Bibir Ghar Sangsar” was written by a well known professional writer (Annex-5). One Professional theatre team were hired. The hundreds of people from all walks of life including upazila officials, upazila Nirbahi Officer, local elites and common people attended and enjoyed the theatre. Similarly organizing folk song/kavi gan professional party was hired and they staged 10 sessions in important places of the union in the Upazila. Hundreds of people enjoyed the folk song/kavi gan. The theme of the song was arsenic problem its consequences and mitigation etc (Table-14).

Sl.
No
Name of
Upazila
Name of
activity
Total
Target
Total
Completed
Remarks
 1 Homna Popular Theatre

Folk Song/Kavi Gan

1

10

1

10

.

Table - 14: Popular Theatre and Kavi Gan


Debate on Arsenic:
3 topics of the debate were selected and distributed to the individual school on lottery basis and provided to each selected school for preparation (Annex 6). In final round the UNO was the Chief Guest with the presence of other upazila officials while the Principal of the local Colleges presided over the debate competitions. Trophies distributed to the Champions and Runner ups.


Certificates issued to all participants of the 8 schools of the upazila. The debate competitions were enjoyed by the community people and highly appreciated by all of them (Table - 15).

Sl.
No
Name of
Upazila
Name of
activity
Total
Target
Total
Completed
Remarks
 1 Homna

Debate in 8 Schools

8
8
 

Table – 15: Debate in 8 Schools of each Upazil

Village Water Resource Map (VWRM):

Preparation of Village Water Resource Map (VWRM) was one of the major tasks of the project activities. This was done to identify the red TW marked area and green TW. This was also helped identify and assess the requirement of hardware options. The map was prepared with the help of community people and leaders. The mappers drew the village water resource map of all the villages of Homna. The mappers visited each village along with social mobilizers and sit in the central point of the villages to drew the map. In this connection TW testers helped the mapper to drew the red marked area and green as well. The peoples of the villages were very helpful to prepare the map. Village water resource maps become good indicators to understand villages up to the arsenic situation of the villages. Of the total 207 villages, Village Water Resource Map of 119 80% tube wells arsenic contaminated were sent to UNICEF (Annex-7).

Conclusion & Recommendations:

  1. The TWs which were tested on the date of survey and painted red or green should be re-tested every after six months continually;
  2. DPHE should have a cell within their local office for testing and painting of the new tube well installed for maintaining keeping up-to-date record of the level of arsenic contamination;
  3. ISDCM feels that there should be a cadre of women social mobilizers and advocacy activities properly trained/oriented to keep up the momentum. This may be a part of human resource development. It is the demand of time and subject commensurate with the trend of the new millenium;
  4. All sectoral agencies and stakeholders should built good working relationship and emphasize due importance to the arsenic mitigation project;
  5. Not all villages are affected equally and hence there is a need for prioritization in information. For this we need to know which villages are most affected;
  6. A national standard and quality field test kit should be developed to detect arsenic contamination more accurately;
  7. The identification of arsenic contamination should be followed immediately by providing appropriate safe water options to keep the momentum generated through motivation and communication campaign.
Donor & Agreement:
UNICEF, UNICEF/NGO/2001/004
Area & Duration :

Homna Upazila of Comilla District. June 2001 – May 2002

Cost of Project :
BD, Tk. 3,811,610.00
 
 

Introduction : Groundwater is the main source of drinking water in Bangladesh and India. In the early ‘eighties, arsenic contamination of groundwater was detected in six eastern districts of West Bengal, India. The arsenic concentration in groundwater in these districts ranged from 0.06 mg/L to 1.86 mg/L, far in excess of WHO’s drinking water provisional guideline value of 0.01 mg/L. It is estimated that over 15,000 people are affected by arsenic and are suffering from ‘arsenical dermatosis’ (black spots, eruptions and even cracking of skin). Similar problems have also become apparent recently in Bangladesh in the areas bordering India, but their geographical extent is yet to be defined. Homna under Comilla district is a low laying area and was undertaken as project area.

The Objectives:

 

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CONTENTS
 
PROFILE
Copyright © 2006 Motion Technology, Bangladesh.
Title of Project:
Implementation of Community Based Safe Water Supply and Arsenic Mitigation Project in Homna Upazila of Comilla district to determine the extent of arsenic contamination in tube well water, mobilization of Community/Govt. development workers
and people’s representatives and awareness creation through training, orientation, identification of arsenicosis patients and acceptance of different water options.