Sustainable Solutions for the Delivery of Safe Drinking Water (SDSD) is the SDC funded project for contributing equitable and sustainable access to the jointly managed water and sanitation services through improved local governance. The goal of the project has been partly achieved by improved access to proper hygienic sanitation and water supply technologies, detection of arsenicosis patients, and establishing a patient-referral system which is linked to support government institutions.
The main purpose of the present project period is to further consolidate changes and to promote replication of good practices while working in partnership with and transfer knowledge to important actors in the WATSAN sector. Changing the communities’ and to improve the water and sanitation situation by strengthening community participation and planning management capacity of local governments is still on the high agenda of DASCOH. For this purpose DASCOH intends to further strengthen the community participation. One of the main tasks of DASCOH is to link CBO`s to UP which will be done through collaborative and consultative planning of service delivery. CBOs have been trained to design their village development plan for the future activities which has been introduced to UP authorities.
The DASCOH-supported CBOs are the only local associations debating the development of their entire villages, albeit so far dominated by WatSan activities. DASCOH’s contribution is more fundamental while mapping the dwellings of poorer and richer residents and computing basic social and WatSan statistics. DASCOH has familiarized the CBOs with a diverse participatory reflection and action (PRA) toolbox, in which the so-called village profile, poverty map and annual action plan are the mainstays. CBO members were led to create, probably for the first time in the history of most villages, an explicit self-description of local society. Water and sanitation service delivery is facilitated by Union Parishads whose capacity is increasingly strengthened by DASCOH.
DASCOH has formulated and implemented a capacity development package consisting of innovative techniques and processes which were instrumental in building capacity within the Union Parishads and the communities. It is sharing of learning and achievements with other practitioners via participation in the “WATSAN horizontal learning group”. Union Parishads in all 17 Unions of the project’s intervention have been introduced in participatory and needs responsive planning of WATSAN issues and they are more transparent and accountable in provision of respective services. 17 Union Parishads have – for the first time – contracted out the installation of safe water options to private service providers, via an open and transparent tender process (tender committees). The approach to support UPs in contracting with private sector for communities WatSan service providers for infrastructure and civil works, with involvement of standing committees and communities, are innovative and unique in the context of Bangladesh which has been established and developed by DASCOH. Among 446 communities CBOs were working. These CBOs made annual plans and submitted it in UP. Also CBOs participated in open budget and dialogue sessions with Union Parishads. For water point installations all CBOs signed agreements with Union Parishads. For installations CBOs contributed 20% of the costs. Total 1,500 water points were installed (49% in women headed and poor households). Use of pure water increased from 20% to 40%. Project was supporting medication for the arsenicosis patients. The GoB has approved a SONO arsenic filter which can be used at household level. In the year 2009 the project provided 300 filter for 390 arsenicosis patient in Chapai Nawabganj district. Through the medication and the use of arsenic free pure water many patients were cured to a certain extent. All 17 UPs of the project started water point registration to establish regulatory mechanism for safe drinking water supply and sustainable repair and maintenance system at union level. 17 local mechanics appointed by UPs, the mechanics repairing inactive water points free of cost while community bearing the cost of spare parts only and ensuring safe water supply round the year.