A Reverse Osmosis system was installed at Southkhali High School For Girls to provide pure and safe drinking water to the students and staffs of the school for free.
In the Southwestern Coastal region of Bangladesh, only 10% of the population has access to safe drinking water. The remaining 90% makes do with water from various sources that does not meet International standards of potable water.
South-western Bangladesh has many of the most critical water problems and situations. Even though there is water in abundance during the rainy season, safe drinking water is difficult to find in these area. This is due to the high incidence of salinity, sedimentation as well as the presence of bacterial and pathogens in the drinking water. Also, in this area there is a high rate of unemployment due to lack of access to government services and agencies.
Shoronkhola was selected as the proposed project site because of the region’s high incidence of water-related diseases, poor nutrition indicators, absence of sustainable sanitation service provision, and an environmentally vulnerable population. Its proximity to the Bay of Bengal makes this region particularly vulnerable. With geography comprised mostly of rivers and isolated, hard-to-reach river islands, communities in these areas have limited livelihood opportunities due to unpredictable natural disasters, poor infrastructure, limited access to and communication with the mainland, saline contamination, and inadequate government services.
The Southkhali High School for Girls in Shoronkhola is located in the Bagerhat district of Bangladesh, about 15 miles from the Bay of Bengal, adjacent to the Sundarbans World Heritage Mangrove Forest.
The Southkhali High School for Girls in Shoronkhola consists of eight class rooms and accommodates 148 students. The school building doubles as a cyclone shelter in the event of inclement weather, and is a cast concrete frame structure with brick infill. A top floor of wood and corrugated steel sheet construction has been added to accommodate the rising number of female students in the area. Alongside the classrooms and a room for the teachers, the school has an office room for the Head Master as well as a small library. There is no electricity or running water in the building, but there are toilet facilities for the students and the school staff. Water is carried in buckets to service these toilets. Drinking water for the school students are gathered from the local ponds and processed with a chemical sedimentation process to remove particulate matters. Bacteria and pathogen remain in the drinking water, causing chronic water borne diseases and malnutrition as health hazards. The water is carried in buckets up to the classroom floors and stored in plastic drums.
Currently, there is no water in the area which meets basic standards of potable water. The water derived from deep tube wells have a very high salt content and is considered unusable by the local community. Surface water in the form of ponds and canals is the source for all functions and activities related to water usage. However, the presence of brackish sweet water instead of the usual salt water which is prevalent in the region makes this particular project a good choice for the installation of a RO system. Through discussion with local community, it was deemed that drinking water should be made available for the local people as well as the school. The school is located in close proximity to a village market. Thus, there is a concentration of population that can be utilized for a water purification plant.
There is no electricity or running water in the building, but there are toilet facilities for the students and the school staff. Water is carried in buckets to service these toilets. Drinking water for the school students is gathered from the local ponds and processed with a chemical sedimentation process to remove particulate matters. Bacteria and pathogen remain in the drinking water, causing chronic waterborne diseases and malnutrition as health hazards. The water is carried in buckets up to the classroom floors and stored in plastic drums.
PSLF installed a water purification system with a water storage tank. The water purification system used in this scenario is of Reverse Osmosis Type. The whole system consists of pump, sand filter, reservoir, chemical dosing system, activated carbon filter, antiscalant dosing, micron cartridge of filter, high pressure booster pump, RO module, UV sterilizer etc. The implemented system draws water from underground and purifies it to safe drinking condition in multiple steps. This purified water is distributed among the students and staffs of the school free of cost.
This water purification system will serve a section of the community’s drinking water needs as well, but that will be available on cost/payment basis. Remuneration gathered from the sale of water will be utilized for operation and maintenance of the water purification system. A sanitation system is part of the plan where the school is provided running water for hand washing purposes and a flushing system for the toilets. Gray water from the water purification assembly is utilized for running the sanitation system.
At present, 305 school children and 110 households are receiving safe drinking water from our water purification system at Southkhali.