Greater Women's Involvement in Implementing Arsenic Mitigation Measures in Rural Areas

This PDA will demonstrate the advantages of greater women's involvement in designing, implementing, and managing water supply interventions in arsenic affected villages.

Description

Despite its drinking water supply posting the highest risk for arsenic contamination in the world, progress in arsenic mitigation in Bangladesh has been slow. The country's 2004 National Policy for Arsenic Mitigation and Implementation Plan for Arsenic Mitigation established the Emergency Water Supply Program and promotes two types of technologies:

  • Alternative technologies that include deep and shallow tubewells, improved dugwells, rainwater harvesting systems, and others that use arsenic-free water sources
  • Arsenic removal technologies that have been certified by the government

But both these options depend on materials neither produced nor easily available in the country.

This PDA will develop an innovative model for delivering improved, sustainable, and safe drinking water through greater involvement of empowered local women's groups. It will also develop the capacity of women's groups for operations and maintenance (O&M) for them to effectively manage water supply systems in arsenic affected areas.

Expected Outcome

  • Women are educated on arsenic mitigation
  • About 50% of affected people have access to safe drinking water
  • Poor women members of women's groups are involved in income generation
  • Water safety options are installed after informed choices by the communities and properly operated and maintained by local women's groups
  • Communities are equipped with appropriately trained women's groups for required O&M