Environmental and Population Research Centre (EPRC), Bangladesh
Dr. Bilqis Hoque, the principal investigator, and the Environmental and Population Research Centre (EPRC) in Bangladesh, the CHF-funded water project in Bangladesh, set out in 2002 to develop appropriate techniques for management of safe drinking water for children in relation to floods in areas which experience these annually. It continues because of the generous gifts from Miss Esther Lazarson of New York City, In the past, there was, unfortunately, a lack of information about appropriate ways to manage safe water for children during flood seasons, which occur annually. And the precautions that are known by scientists were usually not carried out by the families.
This has been changing. During the latest phase, activities commenced in four villages. All the previously installed water wells were inspected and found to be in full use and arsenic-free. Thirty-two more tube-wells providing safe water were installed serving a total of 2,617 people, over a thousand of them children, bringing the total number served to 13,494. In attempts to bore the tube-wells, about one out of four were unsuccessful because the arsenic and/or saline levels were too high. It is encouraging to know that bacteria is not their only concern. The newest adventure comes because much time has been saved with the new water availability. Therefore it seemed appropriate for the organization to use that time to begin a women’s empowerment program. Women’s clubs were begun at the schools where the mothers were encouraged to get involved in homestead gardening, literacy and health education