Hard to get safe water
The shifting geography of the country’s southern coast creates both opportunity and challenge.
Eight remote shoals twenty kilometres east of Bauphal upazila town in Patuakhali, which have hosted basic farming and fishing communities for about sixty years, were in 2014 formalised into a new administrative unit: Chandradip union.
Despite formal recognition as a new community, the islands with a population of around 20,000 people retain many frontier challenges.
For many residents, using river or pond water for drinking is still the only practical option.
“We have to collect drinking water from the Tentulia River,” says Rahima Begum, a housewife from one of the shoals, Char Kachua.
In another part of Char Kachua, villagers draw water not from the river but from the lone pond at Ismail Howlader’s house.
“Bathing, washing and drinking: all is done with pond water.
“People in our community are deprived of many rights including access to pure drinking water.
We face a shortage of tube wells.” Yet the shoals of Chandradip are not alone.
Still it is to be hoped that the hardship of daily lives in such remote communities may soon find a little respite, the respite that access to safe drinking water can bring.