Connecting people to services and services to people through trained tube-well mechanic
Mainul Islam struggled a lot against the poverty and could not continue his study more than class eight. One contractor gave him scope to learn sanitary repairing works. He always wished to do something good for the people. A vacancy published in a local newspaper in 2009 has changed his life. Through this advertisement the Hujurypara Union Parishad (UP) was searching for a tube-well mechanic. Mainul applied and passed an interview with some practical test. He passed and joined in Hujurypara UP as a mechanic whose main responsibility is to repair and maintain the UP registered tube-wells regularly. “As a man of Rajshahi I always feel that I should do something for the people of Rajshahi, in the drought-prone western region. This job is not only a job for me but also a scope for me to do something constructive for the people who are facing the scarcity of pure drinking water”– said Mainul.
Complaints from the community members about tube-wells which are not working properly have been very common for the Hujurypara UP before 2009. As a consequence the UP recruited him as a mechanic who is now looking after more than 2000 tube-wells in Hujurypara UP area. Right from the beginning DASCOH has involved and enhanced the capacity of UPs to ensure sustainable development at the local level. DASCOH is providing 80% of the mechanic’s salary and the remaining 20% is contributed by the community. UP chairman confidently said that they like to keep the mechanic therefore, money will be provided in the future from UP-funds.
Before any repair starts, the tub-well needs to be registered at the UP office. The registration fee for each tube-well is only 50/- taka per year. If any tub-well is not functioning it will be reported to the UP and they will organise the repair, involving the trained mechanic. Mr. Mainul who was trained by DASCOH staff will charges a small repair fee in case some spare parts need to be replaced.
The advantage to work with a trained mechanic is appreciated both by the UPs and the community members. Through this initiative a low cost repair system could be established and the tube-wells are well maintained. This innovative and unique practice connects people to good, qualitative service and service provider to people. The UP feels more responsible and accountable to the people. Other UPs picked up interest to replicate this good practice under the Horizontal Learning Programme to replicate the approach according to their ability, and suitability and their context. These positive results show that the UPs are more responsible and accountable to the people and the community benefit to have year around access to clean drinking water.