Acces to safe and reliable drinking water in the karail slum, Dhaka

Gerben Postema

An explorative research into drinking water facilities, availability- and quality of drinking water
Abstract Final Report
Access to safe and reliable drinking water. A topic that will always be of utmost importance. Development countries like Bangladesh are facing many challenges regarding safe drinking water access. The capital Dhaka is expanding explosively, which comes with overcrowding and poverty. Depletion of aquifers and guaranteeing the microbial safety of drinking water are two of the major challenges the city is currently facing. Due to the fast expansion many inhabitants of the capital see themselves living in the poorest settlements of the city. With this explosive growth access to safe and reliable drinking water is sometimes hard to guarantee. With the help of governmental and non-governmental organizations Bangladesh is trying to provide drinking water access even to the poorest inhabitants. The Karail slum is a good reflection of what could be achieved with some help. The slum is mainly self-supporting nowadays if it comes to drinking water supply. Deep groundwater is abstracted onsite and distributed to the dwellers of the slum. The goal of this investigation is to give insight in the drinking water supply system that is used in Karail. With the collected data possible relations between the available amount of drinking water and the microbial quality are explored. The methods that are used mainly consist of a brief literature study, mapping of the drinking water facilities, surveys and drinking water quality analysis. The microbial water quality was set as the main indicator for the overall water quality with the use of total coliforms and E. coli counts. Mapping of the area give a brief insight in the drinking water facilities in Karail. Other results show major inequalities in drinking water availability in different areas. The source water turned out to be microbial safe, but somewhere between abstraction and collection contamination of drinking water occurs. Many quality tests collected from different tap point showed microbiological activity. A direct relation between the availability and the quality of drinking water could not be established after this investigation.
This was mainly caused by the small sampling size. Solutions that could be considered to improve water preservation are chlorination and easier access of the distribution network for inspection and maintenance. Overall the drinking water supply system that is used in Karail should be considered as an improvement but needs close monitoring and regulation to maintain drinking water quality throughout the system.

/* */