Journey Through Bangladesh
Digging for Water
Volunteers attempt to resolve water crisis in Ramgorh
About 300 people, including members of the army and the Ansar, have joined forces to work as volunteers to make a dam in Boropilak. The combined efforts of the group and villagers will hopefully create a permanent water source for the people of the remote village called Boropilak, which is located under Ramgor upazila in Khagrachhari hill district.
Sindukchhari Army Zone Commander Lt. Colonel Kamrul Hasan said they have requested many local government organizations to create a dam between two hills at Boropilak area to form a lake. This envisioned lake can provide year-round access to water to the 300 families but none come forward to resolve on going water crisis, which is a major cause of suffering of the thousands who live there, including a few hundred indigenous people. “We sat with the villagers and decided to make the dam through voluntary labour in three or four days, and we started our work towards the end of April”, said the colonel.
Villager Sanu Marma said that the villagers have been suffering from the scarcity of water for a prolonged period of time but neither the government nor any non-government organization has come forward to a solution to the crisis. Rahima Begum, a villager, said that the work is progressing smoothly and the team expects to finish the work as per schedule. Kraiyo Marma added that the lake might also be used for fish cultivation at some point in time.
Mohammad Nur Hossen, a villager, said that they are interested in cultivating fish in the 2-acre large lake, but fulfilling the need for water would be first priority. He added that the lake would serve as an important source of water for fruits orchards of the village during the comparatively drier winter seasons.
Chaithowai Marma, Chairman of Hapchhari Union Parishad, said that there are quite a lot of problems in the hill areas, in light of which the resource allocation from the government is insufficient. The lack of resources to build the dam is a good example of this. “The voluntary efforts of so many people is remarkable and will benefit thousands of people of the area.”
(R) thedailystar.net 2009