AMRF recently facilitated the formation of a new Community-Based Organisation (CBO) for safe water and sanitation activities in Ward-3 of Birtara Union (A Union is the smallest administrative area in Bangladesh. It is divided in 9 Wards, each usually covering one village). We divided the Ward in smaller clusters where villagers elected two or three representatives, forming small peer groups. In every cluster we carried out Community Situation Analyses, which includes the development of social and physical maps and household surveys. All the peer groups in the Ward were then invited to attend a Ward-level meeting to discuss the election and establishment of a CBO. One of our preconditions is that the CBO members are local, poor and involved on an honorary basis.
In the presence of all the peer groups of Ward-3 in Birtara Union, a CBO consisting of 11 members was formed. We also planned the installation of safe water supplies. AMRF will fund one water supply and we encouraged the community to think about approaching other organisations for additional water supplies. By drawing on village maps from the Community Situation Analyses and discussing water access, we facilitated the development of a Community Action Plan for the entire Ward.
Birtara Union consists of 2661 households and 12041 people. This year we will extend our work to cover the other Wards in Birtara, as well as six other Unions in Sreenagar and Lowhajang Upazilas. In each Ward of every Union a CBO will be formed.