05 Jun 2023, 12:37

Around 40,000 slum households enjoy sanitation facilities in Rajshahi

RAJSHAHI, June 5, 2023 (BSS) - More than 40,000 less-income and slum households have been enjoying sanitation facilities amid commissioning of 11,000 hygienic latrines in the metropolis for the last couple of years.   
Similarly, they are getting facilities of safe drinking water from 2,350 tubewells installed in the marginalized and slum areas besides different other settlement improvement privileges like footpaths and drains.   

Various other settlement improvement facilities like one community latrine, 42,412 square-kilometer footpath, 6,708 meter drain, 34 dustbins and seven community centres were developed for ensuring improved water and sanitation among the poverty-prone communities.   
The access to improved water sources makes the lives of community members healthier while the constructed toilets and bathing facilities lead to improved hygiene practices and the footpaths improves settlement accessibility and mobility.  
Nur Islam, chief engineer of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC), said the infrastructural and settlement improvement activities were executed by the direct supervision and monitoring of 173 Community Development Committees.  
He said the main thrust of the venture was to improve the living and livelihood conditions of around two and half lakh poor and extreme poor people, especially women and girls, in the city.    
The beneficiary communities identified and prioritised the environmental, social and economic challenges they face as well as the required actions to address them.

The slum households have also come together in an anti- poverty savings scheme to raise more than Taka 12.5 crore. Through the savings and credit programmes, the communities now can operate their own savings schemes and create a revolving fund from which credit operations are being managed by themselves.
Household and community level urban food production technology demonstrations, provides small input supports especially high yielding variety vegetable and fruit seeds, saplings, ducklings, chick and poultry vaccination were also promoted with the initiative.

It also provides business start-up grants to extremely poor women for poultry, goat rearing, beef fattening and agri-business allowing them to have access to regular income.    
Besides, the ongoing apprenticeships and vocational training improve the odds of youth landing decent jobs and regular income.    
Rapid urbanisation in the city is a growing trend that creates various challenges particularly inadequacy of infrastructural services, basic amenities, violence and socio-economic insecurity like other parts of the country, said Dr ABM Sharif Uddin, chief executive officer of RCC.
He, however, said the community savings and credit activities have been adjudged as an effective means of addressing some of the challenges.   
The approach is good for alleviating urban poverty alongside women empowerment as many other slum communities intend to adopt the process after witnessing its overall successes.   

The successful trend will continue even after completions of the project that will help the poor and extreme poor people bring about change within their families and communities, he expects.   

Apart from this, around 10,000 climate migrants have started getting clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene support in ten slum areas of Rajshahi city.

To this end, 51 resilient and context-specific facilities are being installed and renovated besides installation and renovation of 28 community toilets.

The development activities are being implemented on behalf of a three-year project titled “Composite Actions for Climate Migrants in Urban Slums (CACMUS)” being implemented by WaterAid Bangladesh and Village Education Resource Centre (VERC).

WaterAid Zonal Coordinator Rezaul Huda Milon said 104 community people are being imparted caretaker training for operation and maintenance of the hardware options
As a whole, the project is intended to establish replicable community-managed water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, facilitate better economic opportunities for the beneficiaries, and link climate migrants with microfinance services and pro-poor WASH services provided by the city authorities.

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