Sustainability of arsenic mitigation interventions—an evaluation of different alternative safe drinking water options provided in Matlab, an arsenic hot spot in Bangladesh
2015 (English)In: Frontiers in Environmental Science, Vol. 3, no 30Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The wide spread occurrence of geogenic arsenic in Bangladesh groundwater drastically reduced the safe water access across the country. Since its discovery in 1993, different mitigation options tested at household and community scale have resulted in limited success. The main challenge is to develop a simple, cost-effective, and socially acceptable option which the users can install, operate and maintain by themselves. In an arsenic hotspot of southeastern Bangladesh, 841 arsenic removal filter (ARF), 190 surface water filter membrane, 23 pond sand filter (PSF), 147 rain water harvester (RWH) and 59 As-safe tubewell were distributed among the severely exposed population by AsMat, a Sida supported project. After 3–4 years of providing these safe water options, this study was carried out during 2009–2010 for performance analysis of these options, in terms of technical viability and effectiveness and thus to evaluate the preference of different options to the end users. Household and community based surveys were done to make an assessment of the current water use pattern as impact of the distributed options, overall condition of the options provided and to identify the reasons why these options are in use and/or abandoned. In total, 284 households were surveyed and information was collected for 23 PSF, 147 RWH, and 59 tubewells. None of the filters was found in use. Among other options distributed, 13% of PSF, 40% RWH, and 93% of tubewell were found functioning. In all cases, tubewells were found As-safe. About 89% of households are currently using tubewell water which was 58% before. Filter was abandoned for high cost and complicated maintenance. The use of RWH and PSF was not found user friendly and ensuring year round water quality is a big challenge. Arsenic-safe tubewell was found as a widely accepted option mainly because of its easy operation and availability of water, good water quality and negligible maintenance. This study validated tubewell as the most feasible drinking water supply option and this evaluation holds significance for planning water supply projects, improving mitigation policy as well as developing awareness among users.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media , 2015. Vol. 3, no 30
drinking water, arsenic, mitigation, alternative options, tubewells, users' preference
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-179199DOI: 10.3389/fenvs.2015.00030ISBN: 9781138001411OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-179199DiVA: diva2:881870
QC 201512112015-12-112015-12-112015-12-11Bibliographically approved