Hygienic sanitation facilities benefiting char people

Publish: 6:23 PM, November 4, 2019 | Update: 6:23:PM, November 4, 2019

RANGPUR, – Availability of hygienic sanitation and safe drinking water facilities are benefiting thousands of char people living on the upper Brahmaputra basin.

According to officials and experts, the health condition of char people has improved following continuous improvement of their hygienic status,
preventing the spread of water-borne diseases.

“The success has been achieved following successful implementation of awareness building activities through GO-NGO collaboration,” Chairman of
Rangpur-based research organisation ‘Northbengal Institute of Development Studies’ Dr. Syed Samsuzzaman said.

The char people now understand well that sanitary latrine and pure drinking water are essential preconditions to lead a healthier life free from
water-borne diseases.

Earlier, poor sanitation condition has been blamed for ill-health of char people of all ages, especially pregnant and lactating mothers, spreading
water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery and jaundice in char areas even a decade ago.

“The char people had been lacking minimum sanitation facilities in the past in char areas basically sheltering sick mothers and kids,” Samsuzzaman said.

Successful implementation of the 12-year-term (2004-2016) comprehensive Chars Livelihoods Program (CLP) with the assistance of donor agencies and Government of Bangladesh (GoB) has made valuable contribution in improving the living standard of people.

The Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives sponsored implementation of the CLP comprehensive programme, aiming at improving livelihoods and living standards of char people since 2004 under adverse climatic situations.

Mamunur Rashid, Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh, an implementation partner of the CLP, said some five-lakh char people have access to hygienic sanitation and pure drinking water facilities in riverine areas.

The CLP-beneficiary char families have set up sanitary latrines and tube wells on their raised plinths with saved money they earned from various
income generating activities in ten riverine districts.

“The beneficiary char households on island chars of Kurigram, Bogra, Gaibandha, Sirajganj, Jamalpur, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Pabna and
Tangail are enjoying hygienic sanitation and pure drinking water facilities now,” Rashid said.

At the same time, the CLP-beneficiary char households also have easy access to healthcare services, family planning and their children are now
healthy enough to go to schools with a dream of a brighter future.

Like other char areas, the CLP beneficiary households have achieved success in many char villages in Rangpur, Kurigram and Gaibandha districts
improving their hygienic sanitation and drinking water facilities.

Talking to BSS, CLP beneficiaries Anjuara and Kobita of Gangachara upazila in Rangpur said they have improved sanitation conditions freeing them from waterborne diseases.

Charwomen Aklima Khatun, Sonabhan Begum, Farida Khatun and Shabana Begum of Roumari upazila in Kurigram said waterborne diseases have been reduced sharply since they had started using sanitary latrines and safe drinking water.

Additional Divisional Commissioner (General) Zakir Hossain lauded the success achieved by char people in ensuring hygienic sanitation and pure
drinking water facilities to attain the SDGs by 2030 and build a healthy and developed nation by 2041.