Phase I (2006-2011)
The first implementation phase of our program (2006-2011) has focused on:
- mitigating the arsenic contamination in several highly arsenic-affected and marginalised communities, and
- learning from these experiences and developing innovative methods that are replicable and capable of producing multiplier effects in the country.
The lesson is that if implemented improperly 30 water supplies will only serve 30 well-to-do families; if done properly 3 water supplies may serve an entire community of 300 families. Activities can be divided into three parts. The first lead to the selection of a working area. Second, we assisted communities with the establishment of drinking water and health care systems. Third, our direct involvement is reduced, and we begin to support activities leading to sustainability of the water and health systems. The details of this process can be seen in the presentation below (start prezi and click on the bottom-right button to view full-screen).
Since 2006, we have worked in 30 unions – involving around 250,000 people. For more information, please click here to download our poster with an overview of the implementation process or our flyer with an evaluation of Phase I.
Phase II (2012 onwards)
The current second implementation phase of our program (2012 onwards) focuses on:
- strengthening the sustainability of projects initiated under Phase I, and
- refining the implementation approach in new areas
From the start of Phase I, the deep tube-wells were intended as triggers for a lengthier and broader development process. Phase II further facilitates this process in the existing working areas. Some of the committees have already started undertaking activities beyond deep tube-well operation and maintenance responsibilities. This not only encourages other developments, but it also strengthens the existing drinking water and health support systems set up during Phase I.
At the start of Phase II, we had worked closely in over 30 villages to secure safe drinking water for the community and to provide medical support for arsenicosis patients. This is not enough to counter the problem in the long term. The distribution of medicine needs to be replaced by activities to improve overall health and nutrition. This has become the focus for Phase II. To support this work, we were granted support from the Embassy of Japan in Dhaka to establish a clinic in Munshiganj.
We also continue to refine and develop the approach initiated in Phase I. We have conducted primary field visits to a new district (Shatkhira) and we are further expanding our drinking water activities in the district of Munshiganj. We also aim to continue engaging in lobbying and sharing our experiences at different levels.
Strengthen existing projects: The following activities will take place in existing working areas and will help improve the sustainability of drinking water and health systems set up during Phase I:
- Initiate a dialogue with communities on the risks of deep tube-wells, uncertainties about their possible contamination in the future, continued maintenance issues, how to monitor water quality, and alternative water supply technologies if they become needed.
- Although the signals are promising, the committees still require facilitation and motivation. Community meetings will focus on the monitoring of the maintenance committees, the replacement of inactive members, the role of the community to take on this responsibility in the long-term.
- Train and support households for setting up homestead fruit and vegetable gardens, and producing herbal medicine to gradually replace the need for external medical treatment.
- At this point, the community-based organisations are still mostly maintenance committees for the deep tube-wells. They will be encouraged to take on new activities in education, sanitation, primary health care, food security, village infrastructure, and so on.
- Provide medical health care facilities through the establishment of a clinic in Munshiganj. The infrastructure will be built on the land that is currently owned by AMRF. It will provide health care services, especially for women and children in the project area.
Refine the approach: The following activities aim to expand our work and learn from the implementation process in new areas with new socioeconomic, geographic and cultural characteristics. The following activities are part of the broader aim of the program to develop an approach that can be replicable elsewhere:
- Set up a pilot project in a new area (Shatkhira), adapt our approach to the new situation, implement safe drinking water and health systems appropriate to the new conditions.
- Record the learning experience in reports and research publications. Lobby at the national and international level and dissemination results.
Please click here to view and download our posters, powerpoint slides, brochures, yearly reports, etc.